Onions/ Leeks

mocc625(MO zone 5)February 22, 2014

Hi --

I have been reading on here off and on for a while, and am fairly new to market growing (starting year 3).

Last year hubby asked me to grow candy onions -- not having a real clue - I just bought some seed... and grew some onions -- started them late, let the weeds get ahead of me --- and still was pretty happy with how they turned out. But not the lovely, large onions I was aiming for

My question is this -- when do most of you start onions and leeks from seed to go in a tunnel or in beds outside? I am a zone 5 --

we tried some onion plants this year from Dixondale - they went in about mid Jan -- still not happy with how they look - no real growth or even much "greening up" ???
just put leeks in a few days ago --- too early to say much about those

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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

You planted onions outside from Dixondale, in January, in zone 5? Personally I believe you planted 2 months early. I am in north central ks and I plant my onions, into a movable high tunnel in early to mid March and outside in early April. Last year I planted in early Febrary and we had lots of bolting.


    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 12:51AM
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question, areyou planting long day or short day onions. I know Candy is a day nuetral but most are either long or short day and you need long day onions.

Plants go out in mid March through Mid May (earlier the better. Seeds go in the ground in Jan or Feb.) Though if you are using a hoop house than they should be just fine being planted as early as February.

Leeks will need to go in a 6" deep trench that will be filled in over the season, much like establishing a bed of asparagus, for nice long , white shanks

For big onions they need space and you have keep them well weeded or they will not get full sized

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 3:51AM
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i started my onion/leek/shallot seed in january to be planted sometime in early march or as soon as possible.
i have overwintered onions and leeks in the HT. they should be ready to harvest over the next few weeks.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 4:45AM
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Don't onions need lots of consistent water? I've never had onions to 'size' up and have blamed it on no irrigation to them.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 9:26AM
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mocc625(MO zone 5)

Well I did plant in a tunnel, but its sounding like I planted too soon especially this winter - with the harsh temperatures we have had

Randy - what zone are you ? I did over winter some onions in the tunnel that we planted late Oct - they look pretty good -- was wondering how soon they would be ready to come out?? (they are candy onions)

as far as the varieties - I did check with the folks at Dixondale they said the varieties should be fine where I am (which is a 5B on some maps) but did the Red Candy and a Cipponlini

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 10:46AM
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this is zone 6. i try to feel under the soil to check their size and pull them based on that. these will be green onions. i plan to check them when i next pick for the market which will be friday this week. i did this last year on a smaller scale but planted them later and started selling them in april. this year there's different varieties planted.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 2:02PM
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Seems like with hoop houses some of you could do short day onions , neutral or intermediate , and long day onions? As long as the plants are passing through 12 hours at good size wouldn't that give you good bulbs?

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 3:55PM
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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

I planted short day onions last year, planted early February and honestly they didn't produce any earlier than the intermediate onions in the bed next to them. They did bolt much more than the intermediate ones though. This was in an unheated high tunnel and in one movable tunnel. I probably won't do it again. I thought the same thing, plant earlier and get them bigger and have earlier onions. Also we had a baby in early March and I knew my work days were going to be limited.


    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 4:55PM
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you need long day onions to get the big ones as they will grow up to the solstice. short day onions quit growing when the days get over 12 or 13 hours and than they bolt. they rarely get big. maybe if they were grown between September and April in a greenhouse they might work

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 6:30PM
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Mark(Oregon, Zone 8)

Here in zone 7/8 we overwinter short day onions and on good years they can get huge. The also are consistently 1 1/2 month earlier than February seeded long day onions.
I've never tried planting them in a hoop, I can't get enough money for them to justify that.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 2:07AM
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of course in zone 7/8 you would get big short day onions but zone 6 and northward you need long day onions to get big onions

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 4:23AM
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Mark(Oregon, Zone 8)

For clarity, I am north. 45.52 to be specific. It's not always about the degree, but about how early you can get them to size up before bulbing triggers.
These were harvested the first week of June. My long days were dug towards the end of July.

This post was edited by madroneb on Mon, Feb 24, 14 at 11:49

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 11:43AM
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