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Well, Steve, I think after years of planting sets, I'm going to go for seed. I am going to go with Burrell's Yellow Valencia Onion. Since we are about 75 miles north of Rocky Ford, where it was developed, it does great here. But, I've never done it from seed.
I love bunching onions, so a few of those. They are so easy to quickly chop and throw in a salad, I have to have those every year! And I think I will give leeks a shot this year.
What do you have planned?
I just decided to do a little search using Burrell & Rocky Ford (yep ;o).
I suppose I won't order plants. If I really want to wow the neighbors, I'd start with those nice Texan Walla Walla Sweets. Of course, like you & Rocky Ford Shelley, I'm not all that far north of the "real" Walla Walla. I can't overwinter them here but they can get a start in my greenhouse. And, it won't be long!
Last year, I had Utah Sweet (little north of there, too ;o). Oddly, they do a little better than Walla Walla . . .
There is a nice onion that I still have plenty of in the basement - Ovation. It is considered a sweet but it has a good storage life! Kind of worries me that Osborne seems to be the only retail seed company that carries this Sakata hybrid, tho'.
A nice big red was Red Beret. It did quite a bit better than Red Bull in '13 and the bulbs are holding up well.
Bunching onions: Gallop has done well for me. The Tokyo White gets soooo big by late in the season! It just never stops and isn't quite as "nice" as a leek. I may try another of the smaller bunching onion varieties this year from AgroHaitai but Gallop seed is available from a number of US companies.
Lillia red bunching onions did just fine in 2013. Both Gurneys & Osborne carry the seed but Osborne seems to have become my "go to" company. Onion seed in starting mix soon!
Then, about the 1st of April - sets into the garden. What sets? Well, whatever the garden center has on its shelves. One of these days. One of these days!! Imma gonna plant some seed one year for onion sets next year!
Good intentions are not enough. They've never put an onion in the soup yet. ~ Sonya Levien
Seeds are actually pretty easy to use. David52 explained how to do it in a post here a few years ago.
I haven't decided on varieties yet but I'm leaning towards Utah sweet and Rossa Lunga di Firenza.
Here is a link that might be useful: Onions from seed
I quit growing the Shimonita, too strong a flavor.
Evergreen is ok for a bunching onion, just make sure you dig them up in the fall. If not, wait till they go to seed, collect the seed, then dig them up.
I've been able to keep enough Lancelot leeks overwintering that I now don't need to buy seed.
But for the main onion, its Candy, grown from seed. They'll keep at least until the next summer.
I neglected to grow Lancelot last season.
Shouldn't make that mistake again.
Candy may show up on the seed order! I really didn't give it a fair trail 4 or 5 years ago. Too much shade.
Steve, I bought my Candy seeds via HPS, 2000 seeds for 9 bucks, and I keep the packet in the freezer.
They say onion seed doesn't last that long, but I'm on the 4th year, and the germination is fine.
Here is a link that might be useful: link
Well David, I am one of those people who believed them, for awhile.
No problems with 2 year old seed here.
I was looking for storage onions this year, and I'm trying Copra and Red Marble Cippolini. This is my first time growing onions, and I'm growing them from seed, so I hope they do okay. :)
The onions from sets usually store the best for me. Not from sets but I was real pleased how well Ovation does.
Lizzy, I haven't grown either one of those.
Not "Red Marble" but another Cippolini was really strong flavored. I hardly knew how to use it! Those that didn't make good growth, I left in the garden - ran over them with the tiller - they came back the next year and produced nice bulbs! They were fine with roasts to flavor the meat. Maybe your Cippolini will be a little "tamer."
I'm lucky in that regard; my husband can't stand a crunchy onion, so I have to cook them to death before they pass the "crunch test". So by that time, I'm not even sure if they are onions anymore; just a sad, translucent shell of what they used to be.