Secrets to growing 'Big Ole' onions?

earthworm73(WA z8)May 22, 2010

I am growing Walla Wallas in a SWC. I grew them a season or two ago and they ended up being about the size of a hard ball (baseball) at their biggest. I see people who have harvested the Walla Wallas and other similar onions from SWC and the ground that were like the size of soft balls. So what do I have to do to get them nice and large? BTW...I use 10-10-10 as a fertilizer.

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    Bookmark   May 23, 2010 at 10:15PM
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I've never tried growing Walla Walla, but here are a few tips I've found:

~ Walla Walla (as you probably know) is a long-day onion -- it wants a lot of daylight, so is best grown in Northern climates. You also need to plant early, of course. Are you planting soon enough?

~ Walla Walla likes a soil pH of 6 to 7. Have you checked your soil for acidity?

~ They also need a good deal of space -- are yours crowded? I read: 5 to 6 inches between sets and rows spaced 15" apart.

~ Also, a 10-10-10 fertilizer is recommended at planting, as you've done. But, about a month after planting, they recommend a high nitrogen fertilizer (21-0-0) applied at a rate of one cup for every 20 feet. Repeat every 3 to 4 weeks. And water immediately after applying fertilizer.

I've never tried Walla Wallas because my garden is always far too muddy in the spring to plant as early as these need to get in the ground. Heck, my garden is usually still covered with snow when most people are talking about planting long day onions.

I hope some of the above is useful!

    Bookmark   May 24, 2010 at 12:32AM
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Personally, I would fertilize every 2 to 3 weeks. I do mine every 18 days (I write it on my calendar or I would forget). Onions also love water. I've read blogs from people who grow onions for show and they really water their onions. I'm not sure how much is too, much but I make sure mine don't get too dry.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   May 24, 2010 at 10:21PM
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