Why are my onions so small?

organic_mamag(Z5 IN)August 3, 2008

I planted a row of yellow onions (sets) this May. This is my first year with a real garden and first time to grow onions. I read about the fact that you are supposed to wait until the green tops fall over to pull them. Well, mine were falling all over the place so I started pulling some about a week ago. I was disappointed to see how small they were. I was expecting them to be about baseball size, but they were considerably smaller than that. They do look healthy and I've been drying them on the patio to store. I ended up only picking about every other one. I wondered if maybe I planted them too close together or too close to the surface of the ground (not deep enough).

Does any experienced onion grower have any advice? We eat a lot of onions and I'd really like them to be bigger.

Thanks!

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
wcthomas

Onions grown from sets generally will not be as big as those grown from plants. Also, May is much too late to plant for your area.

I would suggest setting out plants in early to mid April, planting about one inch deep. Feed them with a high nitrogen fertilizer about two weeks after planting and again about one month later, and keep them well watered and weeded (a thick mulch is helpful). Spacing should be about six inches between plants and twelve inches between rows. Do not knock the tops down - let them fall naturally - and harvest when the tops are down and mostly yellow/brown.

Most important, be sure to buy large onion varieties, and ones suited for your latitude (long day type).

TomNJ

    Bookmark   August 3, 2008 at 5:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
organic_cali

I have a similar problem, but this isn't the first time I've planted onions. I used to get baseball-sized onions. The last two years, including this year, the onions have been quite small. We've gotten plenty of rain, I've been weeding them, and fertilized. Am I missing a nutrient in my soil?

    Bookmark   August 21, 2008 at 12:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
TJG911(z5b CT)

i agree may is too late. also sets are a poor choice. either start from seeds or at the least buy plants locally not mail order.

what was the spacing? you did not tell us.

what variety? baseball sized is large and not all onions are that large.

soil needs to be rich and have good drainage free from rocks.

onions require 1" of water or rain a week.

tom

    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 8:47AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
elgammal2_comcast_net

I planted them in November and now the green stalks are falling over. The onions are very small. I did put fertilizer in the soil before planting the set and I have given them more twice...Thank you

    Bookmark   May 8, 2011 at 5:21PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Kelsae starts
I have done lots of research but am curious to when...
SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC
How do you pronounce Ailsa?
As in the "Ailsa Craig" onion variety Winter...
bakerhardwoods
If it looks like a leek, and smells like a leek...
I have what I feel like may be a stupid question. We...
MaryBeth Hostetler
Garlic Plants are Coming Up (Fall 2014)
I planted some garlic bulbs about 2-3 weeks ago. And...
redsun9
Do you soak your garlic before planting?
Was wonering how many do the overnight soak treatment...
obrionusa
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™