I like onions. I didn't realize how much onions we had as a kid until I went off on my own. Then I learned that I ate a good deal more in my diet than most folks. They were always an important part of meals every time I went home. Ours is a small family; we are close; nobody visits often.
Anywho, it was important for me to be an onion grower and move beyond that paper bag of unidentified "sets" that I'd bring home every March from the hardware store. Walla Walla Sweets were the standard and I set out every year to grow some.
Growing from plants wasn't too difficult once I realized that onions really DO need lots of fertilizer. Growing from seed . . . was not so easy.
I couldn't grow sweet onions of decent size if they were direct-seeded to the garden in the Spring. Still can't. But, I learned that in Walla Walla - the farmers plant seed in August.
My gardens aren't far from WW but Winters are a bit more severe. Probably 2 times out of 3, I'd get mostly (sometimes all :o( the plants bolting to seed in May!!
For the last couple of years, I've planted Walla Walla seed in flats in the greenhouse in March. They are a little tedious to transplant but it works!
Gotta admit . . . the plants ordered from Dixondale Farms outperform 'em. Or, at least, they have. But, homegrown hasn't been far behind in size even if they have never bulbed-up as early.
I grew Mars & Alisa Craig from Dixondale this year. The Walla Walla did best of either. Mars didn't get much of a chance in 'o8. In 'o7 they were fine and I appreciated their better keeping qualities. This year, they must just be in too much shade. And for that reason or another, a good number have bolted to seed. Whatever the reason, the more shaded the Mars plants are - the smaller the bulbs, down to darn-near nothin'.
Alisa Craig surprised me. I expected a huge, not necessarily very tasty onion. They taste fine but the Walla Walla's are generally quite a bit larger.
I've grown Nebuka and Tokyo White onions (& a few others) for a better quality green onion than what sets produce. This year, I've got 2 new ones from Evergreen Seed Company - 4 Seasons and Kujo. These nonbulbing Asian onions are great! And, these 2 are quite different, one from the other.
I guess I'd pick 4 Seasons as a superior scallion in my garden. They are just real tender things.
Sweet onion enchiladas for lunch again today . . . ;o)
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