Return to the Allium Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Planting out onions March 2?

Posted by tammyinwv z6/WV (My Page) on
Thu, Feb 21, 13 at 11:20

On Feb 9, I sowed indoors salad scallions "Parade', and Ailsa Craig Exhibition onions.
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-962ttBc7rZs/URb1QU6bBpI/AAAAAAAACS0/NU1Oor1twK8/s1600/seedstarter3.JPG

On this pic it shows them a few days later. They are now all up, and about double in height of what they are here. Approx 1.5", some a little more.

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-YBY5LlomYZw/USIm51L-cKI/AAAAAAAACU0/zxr58ZjqsLs/s1600/seed1.jpg

According to my county extension agency it says to "PLANT Onion sets" Feb 2. They seem awfully small, and that seems pretty early, unless they tolorate snow, cause I know we will get more till about end of March thru end of April. Our last frost date in May 10.

This is the first time I have sown them indoors first, and never did them outsid until after May. I need some tips from the experts.
Tammy

Here is a link that might be useful: feb 18 onions, twice this size now.

This post was edited by tammyinwv on Thu, Feb 21, 13 at 11:26


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Planting out onions March 2?

Make sure you and your extension agent are speaking the same language. Planting sets is quite different from setting plants. Plants should be set when they are big enough. If you sowed the seeds February 9, that should be a minimum of 6 weeks later and 8 weeks would be preferable.


 o
RE: Planting out onions March 2?

Thanks farmerdill, i was wondering if there was a difference. I didnt talk with the agent, I was going by an online calender for my area. I will wait the 8 weeks, and I read on here it was recommended to keep them trimmed, so will also do that. But i figure i am going to have to transplant since I just have these in seed starting soil, and in those shallow seed starting trays.
Tammy


 o
RE: Planting out onions March 2?

Your seedlings are on schedule, but they are crowded and you definitely need to thin them now, and then transplant them to roomier digs in a couple of weeks.

I would never transplant my seedlings in early March -- too much wind and cold. April, or 3-4 weeks before last frost date is perfect.


 o
RE: Planting out onions March 2?

Thanks planatus. I always hated thinning, seemed like such a waste of materials. but I seen this morning where somone took the thinnings and replanted just those into another flat. Dont know why i didnt think of that,lol.
You answered my questions, I wasnt sure when to transplant into larger pots/cups.
Tammy


 o
RE: Planting out onions March 2?

Tammy, I don't see any reason to thin your onions and certainly not the scallions (those grow perfectly in bunches). Planatus's advice is excellent as always, but he likes to give his onions a lot of room which I personally don't think they need. You can certainly do what you feel is best.
I'd suggest you wait a few weeks for them to grow a little more and then take out each cell and pot them up intact into their own 3-4 inch pot with good soil. They'll grow just fine like that and in another 6 weeks each group will be easy to separate into single plants and transplant into the garden.
Scallions, as I say above grow great in clumps. I seed 15 seeds into 6 pack sized cells, and transplant just like that. I then harvest the bunch, as a whole, put a twist tie on it and sell lots and lots of them.
-Mark

This is how tight I seed my onions and grow them till transplanting outside. (sorry, no pics of the scallions)
onion flat
onion in flats

This is how they look in the field.
in field 2

This post was edited by madroneb on Fri, Feb 22, 13 at 22:49


 o
RE: Planting out onions March 2?

Thanks a lot madroneb, for all the great tips an pics. I would have thought even the scallions would need to be separated more after planting out. Since I am using raised beds, thats good to know.
Tammy


 o
RE: Planting out onions March 2?

As long as the fertility is good, scallions grow great in a bunch. This is what happens naturally if they are left to go to seed. The flower falls over and the seeds grow in a clump.
The natural scenario doesn't work so well with bulbing onions. If you don't give them room to grow after they're about 1/4" diameter, you end up with small onions.
I know of growers that transplant them in groups of 3 and they just push away from each other and make great big onions but this only works If your soil is fertile and loamy .
I don't have that kind of soil so I transplant them 4-6 inches apart and they do fine.
-Mark


 o
RE: Planting out onions March 2?

Mark..what size cells did you seed the onions in? Could they be sown in trays without cells and then transplanted in the ground?


 o
RE: Planting out onions March 2?

Tomatoes...
If you take a close look at the pictures above you'll see there are no cells in those trays. Those are just open flats, about 16x20x3. I seed about 1000 bulbing onions in each of them and they grow that way till they transplant into the field.

I feed them a little fish emulsion every week or so once they get large and are close to transplant time.


 o
RE: Planting out onions March 2?

Thanks Mark, I wasn't sure because the plants were in such nice straight lines in the flats. This is my first year growing onions. Hoping I'm not to late starting them from seed. I'm going to try Copra, I did some research and I thought this would be a good variety to grow for the first year. I liked the fact that they stored well. I'm trying to decide if I should plant them on black plastic or not. It's hard to find time to weed in the summer. It looks like onions do not shade out many of the weeds. I see that you do not have yours on plastic, do you find it hard to keep up with the weeds?


 o
RE: Planting out onions March 2?

Tomatoes,
I use as little plastic mulch as I can and I never use it solely for weed control, only for a few earlier crops.

I find that if i'm on top of weeds when they are small, they rarely become a serious problem. Also, the shape of onion plants make them easy to hoe around.

Copra is an excellent variety. You should really get on the seeding soon. I'm not sure where you're located but you want to have them dry down while it's still warm and mostly dry. Rainy fall harvests make for poor keeping onions.


 o
RE: Planting out onions March 2?

Thank you for your advice. I am in zone 7a. Another idea I had is to use would chips since I can get them for free and they would help retain the moisture from the drip tape.


 o
RE: Planting out onions March 2?

Wood chips may work well as mulch the first season, but keep in mind of a few things.
They break down slowly, even when turned under the soil. Because of this it makes that area difficult to direct seed into for a few years.
Also, they tend to pull nitrogen from the soil in their decomposition process which could result in deficient plants. If your soil is abundant in N. this may not be a problem.

There are other pros and cons to using wood chip in/on the soil but thats another discussion....


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Allium Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here