Please recomend a onion

orangedragonflyJune 7, 2008

Id like to start some onions from seed. Is there a onion that does better here (in Mass on coast) than others? I was thinking more of a scallion type onion

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nick123(z4b / sunset 44)

I'm in Maine, not Mass. I've not had good luck with growing scallions (Allium fistulosum) from seed, though supposedly Red Beard is one of the better ones. I do, however, grow Topsetting Onions (Allium viviparum) which grow extremely well for me. They usually make topsets (bulbils), not seeds though. Under stress, they occasionally make seeds.

Their lifecycle is a little different than regular onions.

In case you're interested:
Late summer, the topsets are formed on the mature plant. Plant the topset. Next year in June or July, the plant can be pulled and eaten as a scallion would. If the plant does not get pulled, when the greens die back in August, the bulb can be pulled and used as a shallot. If the bulb does not get pulled, it will start growing again as the summer cools down toward autumn. It can then be pulled and used as a scallion would anytime before winter. If it still doesn't get pulled, next spring it will put up a flower stalk with bulbils and the cycle starts over again. Mature bulbs with a flower stalk aren't very edible, as 2/3 of the bulb is the hard stem. Depending upon the cultivar (common ones are Moritz Egyptian, Catawissa) one mature plant can make between 5-40 topsets. The topsets can also be eaten. They taste sort of like a mild garlic. And if you just want the onion greens without pulling the bulb, you can cut them anytime from any plant, regardless of maturity. You can even cut them in the winter if you can dig through the snow.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 3:15AM
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TJG911(z5b CT)

any onion that is a day long onion grows well here. day neutral can be grown in the south or the north.

the question is what type of onions do you want? sweet? typically these are short term storage. hot? typically these are long storage. fresh eating only no storage? red? white? yellow? size? some are huge and too much for 1 or 2 people to eat at one time if you don't care to store them in the fridge. some are rather small.

my standbys are:

1. copra (day long) a yellow very long storage lasting 12-15 months if cured and stored properly. probably a hot onion if eaten soon after pulling not sure my case after pulling in august and after curing they go into storage in early october and i don't start to eat them until april to may so they are not real hot after long storage.

2. red wing (day long) a very nice red onion that stores a long time a good 8-10 months again if cured and stored properly. some are hot but some are sweeter. gave up on mars too many rot.

3. candy (day neutral) very sweet with exceptional storage for such a sweet onion, mine keep to late february. can get very large, mine are 5-6" but this year i planted 8" on center not 6" so they may be larger. i gave up on alisha craig exhibition (day long very large) as too many produced double onions that tend to get soft or rot and don't store well... all that is about the doubles. the non doubles store to late january and are very sweet but candy for me is better cuz no doubles, no soft onions and they store longer.


    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 4:37PM
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