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long day onions?

Posted by trisha_51 z4/5 Alaska (My Page) on
Tue, Jan 4, 11 at 15:53

A search for a long-day variety was not successful, so I'll ask all of you. What variety of onion do you plant from seed?


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RE: long day onions?

I grew Norstar for many years with good results but switched a few years ago to Talon. Norstar would keep in my basment until around March, but Talon lasts until May (well, that's when I ate the last of them, but they were starting to sprout then anyway). I start them from seed in mid to late March, plant them out in mid-late May, bend the tops over in late August (most tops have naturally fallen over by then), then pull them to dry by late August or the start of September. I grew some forgotten variety of red onion one year, but we didn't eat enough of them to make it worthwhile, so most went soft after Christmas. And I've grown "Spanish" onions from sets not seeds, but they have no keeping ability. Anyway, here's a pic of some of my Talon onions that I grew in 2010, photo taken about 15 minutes ago (January 5). I've put a 2-dollar coin in for scale but you might not be familiar with those in Alaska -- the coin's diameter is 1.1 inches, or 28 mm.
Photobucket


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RE: long day onions?

Trisha,
For the past two years I've grown 3 types here in Fairbanks:
1. Ailsa Craig (white onion, sweeter, large, does not store well). Gets to about 1/3 lb on average.
2. Red Wing (red onion, smaller, stores well). Got to be about 1/4 lb on average.
3. Copra (white onion, smallest, stores very well). Got to be about 1/5 lb on average.
I started all of them from seed about 10-12 weeks before transplanting, and had transplanted them out in early-to-mid May. I do plant into raised beds, which warm up faster, and had built hoops of clear plastic over the beds, which I left in place until the last week of May.

When I was looking for onions that might work here, I looked at the Cooperative Extension recommended variety list, and looked at catalogs from Johnny's and Fedco. Both of these list recommended latitude ranges for some of their onions. You may not see any listed as recommended for 64 degrees North, but you may see something like "recommended for higher than 45 degrees."


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