Oh no my onions flowered!

austinb82(USDA 8)June 10, 2013

Hi, I planted some onion sets in March and I noticed that many of the onions have flowered and sort of fallen over. I've read that this is a bad thing and that they will never form mature bulbs now. I read this can be due to irregular weather patterns causing them to think they are in their second year. That would make sense with the warm dry early may, cooler wet late may and now warm dry weather again. So am I correct in that these onions will no longer form mature bulbs and I need to find another use for them?

Also, I still have some onion sets in my basement, would it be too late to plant another round in their place? I know they won't get as big but maybe I could at least get some smaller onions by harvest time? Thanks.

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lonmower(zone8 Western Oregon)

Onion "sets" are small bulbs and onion "seedlings" are the small immature plants started from seed.

A few years ago I planted "sets" and had a similar experience with bolting. Even though they are commonly sold in our garden centers, I am not sure if sets planted in spring can be successful in our area. At the end of last summer (August) I started Keepsake onions from seed and then planted them in the garden as seedlings in October and they overwintered and produced beautiful onions which I harvested a few weeks ago. You might want to try this.

I don't think that the weather (this year) is a factor of your crop bolting. You can use these onions, but they will not keep. I would pull them all and use as many as you can and chop and freeze the rest. This works quite well. Last year I had them same problem with Spring planted seedlings because of the wet spring and that I may have planted them too deep

If you truly have "sets" I would wait until Fall and try to overwinter them...but I would ask on the Allum forum as those folks might have more accurate answers

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 11:49AM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

The ones that flowered, should be used soon and are not keepers. They will rot of kept longer.

I have planted in the past both sets(over wintered) and seedlings in the spring. The sets tend to bolt more than the seedlings. With the sets, you have to use very small ones. Bigger once have a higher chance of bolting.

Not every onion, be it seeds, seedlings or sets, is a ONE SIZE FIT THEM ALL. Onions are daylight/ latitude sensitive. It is whole new ball game growing onions successfully. Of course, everybody can plant them. So, I just plant onions for greens(scallions) and buy the bulbs from stores.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 8:30AM
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