When to plant onions and root vegetables

growingagreenthumbJanuary 16, 2011

Hello! I am a transplant from Northwestern Ohio and am not living in Tucson, I desperately miss fresh vegetable and fruit gardens and went a little crazy at a nursery yesterday. I have a large area in my back yard that I would like to plant bulb onions, green onions, carrots, parsnips, and turnips in. Does anyone have any advice to offer regarding when to plant these? The seed packets say 2-4 weeks before last frost but after 14 years I have learned that predicting frosts is an effort of madness.

I spoke with my dad and he said as long as lows are in the 50s planting these vegetables should be ok.

Any help would be much appreciated!

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I'm a total newbie, but I have had carrots and spanish onions in the ground since November 1. I have a couple of bare patches where some things didn't survive the frost, and was just thinking of putting in more carrots. Since this is my first, year, I can't offer any advice as to whether any of this will work, but the folks at the nursery said carrots can be planted anytime during the winter, preferably NOT during frost (so far enough before the first frost to be established, or at least not during a really cold snap. Since we don't seem to be having one of those this month, I'd say go for it.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2011 at 1:41PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

I think now is fine for planting onion transplants/bulbs, and in a month or so I'd plant carrots, though some folks plant them a lot earlier. It's a great time of year for Swiss chard, kale, spinach and lettuce. Here's a link to the Urban Farm's planting guide for the desert. They do a nice job breaking things out about when to plant seeds vs. transplants etc., and it has a timeline for harvesting.

I'm curious to hear from our other veggie growers too. There's just no substitute for first hand experience is there?

Keep us posted!
Take care,

Here is a link that might be useful: Urban Farm's Planting Calendar

    Bookmark   January 17, 2011 at 2:21PM
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I usually plant my root vegs in mid Sept. and don't know how well seeds will germinate in cool soil, your area being colder than we are here in the valley. Parsnip seeds can take 3 to 4 weeks just to germinate but I start my seeds in damp paper towels just til the little root appears then sprinkle them on prepared soil, cover and water and they're usually up in a week. I love parsnips but they do take a long time to mature but they should do well down there, I've left some in my garden here into the heat of early May and the tops stayed very green and healthy and the roots didn't suffer too badly taste wise. By the way, I've read that you can eat parsnip tops, anybody do this? Good luck with your Tucson garden, there is a great garden club down there with some very experienced gardeners you might want to check out. They don't have a website but info is here: tucsongardening.blogspot.com They're the Gardeners of Tucson Club

    Bookmark   January 20, 2011 at 10:23AM
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bucks(9 Arizona)

I grow a small amount on onions and garlic to sell. The best month to plant all of these is October. Remember I just said the best month. So if you want the best results, plant in October.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 7:00PM
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