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about these onions....

Posted by p-mac 7 (My Page) on
Wed, May 21, 14 at 15:03

I got mine in the group order back in February. Got them all planted in a timely manner too! Almost every one of my Red Creole bolted but most of the others are doing well enough.

Some (especially at the south end of the garden bed) are broken over. Not because they're ready to harvest, but because the wind flat blew them over. I've watched them for over a week and they're not standing back up. Do I go ahead and pull them? Or leave them, hoping they'll size up? Is anyone else encountering wind-beaten onions?

Paula


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: about these onions....

Paula,

The wind is breaking mine too. I feel the neck with my fingers and if I can feel the break, I go ahead and pull them and use them. Once the neck is broken, as opposed to only being bent, they're done and will not enlarge any more. The wind has broken so many the last two weeks that I am keeping a few for fresh eating, but am chopping up the rest and freezing them for future use in cooking. Since the wind has broken their necks before they can mature, they won't store well or for long, as fresh onions but they'll last forever in the freezer. I've been freezing them in the amounts needed to make Annie's Salsa, so that part of my salsa prep will be done already when it is time to harvest paste tomatoes and make salsa.

I've also has red onions bolt, though I don't remember which ones.

I planted about 4 times as many onions as we needed because so much can go wrong with them. Overplanting insures we end up with enough. The ones that aren't breaking are in great shape, though, with between 11 and 13 leaves. That's pretty awesome considering how dry it has been. I think I've watered them 4 times since planting them, maybe 5 times.

The wind has broken so many the last couple of weeks that I've been tempted to yank out the bed where breakage is the worst (not sure why, but in two beds side by side, the northernmost bed has taken almost all the breakage type damage and the bolting while the onions in the other bed are fine) and just replace the whole bed with something else. After considering that, I just looked at the motley collection of home-grown seedlings I had left to stick into the ground and decided to put excess hot pepper plants in the ground wherever I pulled out broken onions. I now have about 30 pepper plants mixed in with the onions. Once the onions come out, the peppers will have that bed all to themselves. Had I not had a bunch of little pepper plants waiting for an open space in the garden, I likely would have stuck southern pea seeds in the areas where I pulled onions. It would have looked odd for a while to have southern peas sprouting in the middle of the onion rows, but as the wind continues even today to break onions, eventually I'd have a bed of purplehull peas where I once had an onion bed. I'm starting to think the relentless wind won't rest until it has broken the neck of every onion in that bed.

I don't don't what it is with the wind and the onions this year, except I have noticed it is the smaller and weaker ones that are breaking. The big gigantic onions with oodles of foliage don't snap in the wind.

Dawn


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RE: about these onions....

  • Posted by mksmth oklahoma 7a (My Page) on
    Wed, May 21, 14 at 15:33

my harvest will be very small compared to last year. Larger ones are bolting, smaller ones arent growing. I might get a dozen to size up out of the 100 i planted. The rest will make great green onions for some taters.

Mike


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RE: about these onions....

My onions and garlic both are a disappointment. There are at least two things I should have done differently. There were several times I should have watered them and did not. Also I should have fed them more, some of them I fed one time, the others were not fed at all. Mother nature did not like me trying to grow onions this year, the wind seemed to never stop. I also had some very cold weather to deal with. I will have a fair harvest, only because I planted so many. None of them will be large.


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RE: about these onions....

Just today, I've found bout 15 plants broken over. First ones this year. I'll have to feel the necks, but they all look broken to me.

But I've only had three bolt, and they were the Texas Sweet 100's. Planted five bunches.

And I need to add, I was in on the group order from Dixondale.

This post was edited by LCDollar on Wed, May 21, 14 at 17:19


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RE: about these onions....

Whoop, double posted

This post was edited by LCDollar on Wed, May 21, 14 at 17:18


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RE: about these onions....

Mine also were from Dixondale, but not the group order because my planting date is a little earlier than y'all's up there in central OK.

I have no quarrel with Dixondale. Their plants are always healthy and grow great. Our problem is with our crazy weather. Because onions are biennials, erratic spring temperatures with lots of late cold temperatures can trick the onions into thinking they're experiencing their second season, which causes them to bolt and send up a flower stalk.

Larry, I think I've done alright with the onions all things considered. They won't be big, but that is by my choice since I chose not to water them as much as I'd have to water if I wanted really big onions. The garlic, though? It is in a separate bed up by my potting shed and I tend to forget about it. I think I've only watered it three times, including today. It probably is too late to expect much from the garlic. A lot of mine are yellowing, browning and dying back. It is kind of early, and I don't know if they'll have formed good cloves, but they look like they are "done".....and about a month earlier than normal.

It could be just because of the recent heat because all the garlic in one area started yellowing first, than in a different area, and then in a third, so it might be maturing by variety. It just seems odd they all are done so early. However, I have a few in the big garden where they are planted as companion plants with tomatoes, and they're done too, so more watering didn't keep them from finishing up at the same time as the main bed.

Dawn


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RE: about these onions....

I won't make as many as I usually do. I always plant Candy and have NEVER had Candy bolt. That being said, I got mine out a bit late and they're kind behind where they usually are this year. Actually had several die early. Never had any die.

Never had a problem with dixondale. This was the first year that they sent plants this big. They were all fairly large and had already been snipped down. I'll probably make about 60% of what I usually do. I kind of hate that because we freeze a lot to use for cooking. Oh well, I was due for a down year. I regularly grow softball sized onions with this variety.


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RE: about these onions....

I love Candy and have been immensely disappointed that Red Candy Apple was not merely a red version of Candy. It has been a total disappointment in my garden---slow-growing and doesn't get big at all, even in a rainy year or with heavy irrigation. Candy, though? Love it, love it, love it. I think that I've never had bolting occur with Candy or with Superstar/Sierra Blanca, and I've wondered if the fact that they are day-length neutral has something to do with that.

I did have one specific variety in my Dixondale order that had some ridiculously large plants this year. Because that is not typical of Dixondale, I chalked it up to there either being an inexperienced person pulling and banding the bundles, or maybe they had odd winter weather and some of the plants just got too big too early. If it was a common problem with their plants, I would have emailed and asked for a replacement, but I didn't because it is an anomaly.

I don't get as much rain as you do most years, but in the very rainy years here, like 2007 and 2010, I can get softball-sized onions. In a year with low rainfall, I'm just not going to water enough to give me onions that big. I always think I will. I tell myself---give them an inch of irrigation per week every week that rain is not falling, but then I don't do it. I guess I'm saving all my water for the hot season.


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RE: about these onions....

I planted 11 bunches from dixondale. That's a BUNCH of onions. I was trying to replicate the harvest of 2010 when I didn't have to purchase a store-bought onion but a few times for fresh eating for over a year! (9 bunches planted that year). I used the spacer tool that our former member, Chandra, made for planting. Worked great. I've fed them at least 3 times and I've watered often. (I'm lucky that I'm on well-water and the only cost is the electricity to work the pump.) The Red Creole (just one bunch) were LARGE. Like - bigger than green onions one would buy in the store. I too thought (like Dawn) that maybe it was the weather or maybe something just got away from them. It was also the smallest bunch. Barely 50 in it. I may have 10 left that didn't bolt. I'm not surprised. I won't spend time, energy or money on those ever again. I actually had better luck with Red Candy in 2010!

The rest of my order were the 1015Y (2 bunches) - doing well, but not great. Should have stuck with Candy. Bermuda (3 bunches becuz Gson LOVES them and at 10 yrs old - that's saying somethin'.) - some but not lots bolting and more sizing up than the others. Texas Legend - ehhh! Not as good in size as the 1015Y but not bad (2 bunches). And Southern Belle Red (2 bunches). Less than 10 total bolting although they are not a "short day" onion - they are doing well and can keep their space in the bed.

Hmmm...that's only 10, I'll have to count again. I did go out tonite and pulled many...and have many more to go. But that free's up space for cukes and chili peppers since I've reduced down to only 3 raised beds. This is only my first of lessons in self control for gardening space. I can't retire for at least 3 more years so it is what it is. hahah!


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RE: about these onions....

Pulled the rest of the broken necks. After cleaning the tops off....and dividing into red, yellow & white...I got a total of over 10 lbs. of little onions.

Maybe I could have purchased the same amount at a Farmer's Market for an equal amount of money...and not had the time and worry. It's all a learning curve. I now know what I WON'T buy to plant in the future since I've satisfied my curiousity.


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RE: about these onions....

Eleven bunches? Earth sister, what were you thinking? My max that I've ever planted probably is 7 or 8 bunches, and I thought that was too many but I wanted to grow all those at once and compare them to each other in the same year. This year I only planted 5 bundles, but two of them were samplers, so that gave me 9 varieties.

I loved 2010. A year like that doesn't come around often. In some ways, 2012 was as good here because we had lots of rain at the right time. We haven't had lots of rain since.

I saw more broken necks in the garden from yesterday's wind, so I guess I'll pull those tomorrow. I noticed all the broken necks were from the samplers. Hmmm. Not sure what to think about that. They all are in the same bed so maybe that bed catches more wind. Regardless, that bed mostly is pepper plants now with a few onions left in it, and the other bed is mostly all onions, with some volunteer watermelon plants in it. Today I found more volunteer watermelons plants in the back garden. So, with two sections of volunteers plus the ones I planted on purpose, I now have more land in watermelons than in onions.


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RE: about these onions....

I should clarify, my onions are the Dixondale 1015Y, not the Texas Super Sweet 100.

I got confused, which happens a lot to me any more :)


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RE: about these onions....

On a different note, what do you all do regarding weed control between onions? Anyone do anything special besides just picking?


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RE: about these onions....

LCDollar, DIxondale's 1015Y is, in fact, the same thing as Texas Supersweet. The 1015Y is the production name back from the days when it was in research/development, and the Texas Supersweet is the marketing name that I guess is meant to appeal more to buyers.

Quailhunter, I mulch lightly on the same day I plant. Other than that, I just weed, and as they enlarge a bit, I mulch a bit more. I don't put tons of mulch on the beds because covering the base of the plants too deeply can interfere in bulb development, but I put enough mulch there that the weed seeds are denied light so very few of them sprout. Every day I walk through the garden and pluck out the weeds that have popped up in mulched beds. It takes no time at all if I catch them daily while young and small.

Once or twice I've used Corn Gluten Meal as a pre-emergent herbicide and it works okay, but its effect wears out after a few weeks and then you either have to reapply or mulch or something.

I have to get the weeds removed early when they are young and small because once they are big and harder to remove, I find it so discouraging and put off doing it, and then I lose control of the bed.

Dawn


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RE: about these onions....

Interesting, reading all the posts. My onion saga is running pretty much like everyone else's. I planted a little over 1350 onions this year. Mostly 1015s along with a few bunch of red and white candy.
I'm seeing a huge difference in the Dixondale and the Bonnie. Because of the timing of the planting and soil conditions, I trying not to form any opinions, but the Bonnies are absolutely smoking the Dixondales. Both in size and overall health of the plants.


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RE: about these onions....

Not to sound too dumb but 2 years ago when I had a great onion year they got big, tops flopped over and dried and I picked and dried the onions. last year not so good.
This year mine are bolting.
And does that mean they will not get any bigger?
Also what if I wanted to save seeds? then how long do I wait?
if so I could take them out and plant something else. They are in my best soil so it wont hurt my feelings if they get done early.
kim


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RE: about these onions....

Kim,

Big tops = big onions so that explains why they were so large when you had the big tops.

When they bolt, they will not enlarge, and the longer you leave them in the ground, the more they will deteriorate. The issue is that the flower stalk that comes up out of the middle of the onion gradually sort of splits it open, leaving the interior flesh of the onion vulnerable to soil-dwelling pests and disease. I generally pull them as soon as they bolt, or as soon as the wind breaks their necks, because in both cases they will not enlarge any more.

If you wanted to save seeds, you'd have to wait for the flower to open fully and then to dry and then you could save the seeds. I don't even know how long it takes because I've never let them go that far. Maybe another month or more? That's based on how long it takes ornamental alliums to go from flower to seed in the spring.

Bruce, That's usually the opposite of what I get, which is why I buy from Dixondale. I think the BP plants arrive too early down here (often in mid-January) and sit outside in those crates and get dried out. I like that the Dixondale plants are freshly pulled and shipped and still green when they arrive. Whatever works, though, is what is good, right?

I'd grown Dixondale most of my life, living in Texas before moving here, so was pretty fond of the company. After moving here, I only could find onion plants from BP or from Brown's Omaha. Both were okay, but weren't fresh like the Dixondale plants I used to buy in Fort Worth. (It is likely they were arriving in the store the same week I bought them back then in Fort Worth because they still were green when I bought them, but I could plant a lot earlier there than here.) So, I switched to mail ordering Dixondale and have been a happy camper ever since. I don't care whose onions I plant as long as they produce consistently.

The onions that didn't bolt, (which were only the large ones from one specific variety that were far too large when they arrived), are huge and will give us nice onions, despite low rainfall and very low irrigation. The ones that have been snapped by the wind are irritating, but sometimes stuff like that happens. In a drought year like this, I'm just glad to have onions at all, although it is excessively rainy years that give me more onion problems than dry ones.

Dawn


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RE: about these onions....

Thanks Dawn.
I was really sad when they bolted because I thought that meant the end and this particular bed the stalks are over 20". so I was anticipating huge bulbs. I will pull them as I said this is my best soil and this bed gets the most sun. I am glad my FIL got his in early, he shares :)
kim


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RE: about these onions....

I also planted onions from the group Dixondale order and had a similar story to everyone else. I planted 3 bunches, a intermediate day sampler, a short day sampler, and a Texas 1015Y. I have had some of each kind bolt in the last 3 weeks (but less of the 1015Ys bolted).

I pulled the short day and 1015Ys today, as most of them had flopped over a while back and now the necks on most were drying out. I think the intermediate day sampler are not quite done yet, so I left them alone. Most of my onions are only 1-1.5" wide, with just a couple that are 2". I didn't get any really big ones.

This was my first time growing onions so I am not sure what I need to do differently next time to get a better harvest. I watered a fair bit, and only fertilized at initial planting time. I would say the red ones from the short day sampler are the smallest of all, and the Texas 1015Y are likely a little bigger on average.

Oh well! At least I got some harvest!


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RE: about these onions....

I am so far behind it is not even funny. I bought a bunch of Dixondale red candy onions at Southwood a few months back. I left them in a brown paper sack on the kitchen cabinet. Surprisingly, they are still green. I finally got a somewhat shady bed tilled up and ready to go. Would I be wasting my time trying to plant these onions now? Can I do a fall planting, and how do I keep them viable until then? I also have a box of seed potatoes that are screaming to get out. Same questions. Thanks.


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RE: about these onions....

tulsastorm - I've been a member here for many years and guess what? I'm almost right there with ya. On the taters.

We have had some unseasonably cool temps here lately so I say...plant them. Give them a chance. It's not like you can save them for next year or the fall and they durn sure ain't gonna grow in a brown paper bag. You can expect a really weak crop...that's a given. But at least you'll gleen the knowledge of what it does to put them in late and get just a little. Which beats not planting them at all and getting nothing.

A couple weeks back I discovered seed potatoes I purchased. And forgot. They're in grow bags now and looking good! Sometimes gardening is like a box of chocolates. You never know what your gonna get.

My vote is table onions are better than NO ONIONS. Less you have to buy at the store

Paula....(who SO understands good intentions and life getting in the way)


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RE: about these onions....

I love the timing of this thread as I had some questions about my onions yesterday. This was my first year to buy from Dixondale and I am not disappointed. I bought two intermediate day sampler packs (candy, red candy and super star). I am especially happy with the size the red candy's are becoming. My experience with red onions in the past was all bad, they just never got big at all.

The stalks on some of these onions are just huge, like 1.5" in diameter. Tonight I counted 18 leaves on a super star, that's just ridiculous.

Anyways, I was wondering about short versus intermediate day onions in central Oklahoma (I live in NE Canadian County). I think I've always planted short day varieties like Texas 1015, yellow granex and red granex. However, it looks like intermediate day do just as well. I've had good luck with the 1015s in past years also.

So my question is how do you know to plant short or intermediate day? Or do you just plant both, or is it more about the variety you plant and less about intermediate vs. short?


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RE: about these onions....

Thanks for the advice, Paula. Yep, they sure aren't going to grow in a paper bag. Because of the rain, I had to wait a few days for the garden to dry out, but I finally got them in the ground. If I can make a pot or two of creamed home-grown new potatoes with maybe some pearl onions, it will so be worth it!


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RE: about these onions....

OSUEngineer, In central OK, as well in most of the rest of OK, you can plant either short-day or intermediate-day, so it is just a matter of personal choice. I tend to plant both. When I lived in Texas, I only grew short day types, so since moving here we have had a lot of fun trying all the intermediate daylength types as well.

If I plant my onions on time, which for me down here in southern OK can be either the first or second week of February, depending on what the temperatures are doing, the short-day types start falling over around mid-May. That gives me time to cure them on tables on the covered patio and have a nice, big supply of onions waiting to be used when salsa-making and pickle-making time rolls around in June. The intermediate types can take another 3-5 weeks to mature, depending on which varieties I've planted.

Finding a red, sweet onion that does well in our climate is tricky. I've grown every red onion, both short-day and intermediate-day, that Dixondale has offered for the last decade. The red ones generally make smaller onions that the whites and yellows. Red Candy Apple has had one really good year here when the onions got fairly large (though nowhere near as large as Candy does) and it was in a really rainy year. I also pushed the RCA along pretty hard with extra nitrogen as recommended by Dixondale for that variety. Red Creole stores really well, but it is a pungent onion variety, not a sweet one. Red Burgundy stores really well too.

My intermediates are huge like yours this year and I am very pleased with them. They may be the biggest onions, in diameter, that we've ever had here and with the most leaves, and they've done it with very little irrigation and less than 6" of rain so far this year. I don't think I have any with 18 leaves, but have some with 15. My friend, Fred, who is still gardening and ranching at 91 years young, stopped by the other day and singled out the onions for comment. He found the stand of intermediate day types impressive. He isn't easy to impress, so when he says "you have a great stand of onions" then you know you have a really great stand of onions. He only planted short day types this year, I think, because his all have fallen over already.

For me, when properly cured for a prolonged period of time on tables on the covered patio and then stored in Dixondale's netting tubes, most intermediate daylength types will last a very long time---well into the winter months. That is pretty good for sweet southern onion types because they normally do not store as well as the non-sweet long-day onion types grown farther north in the USA.

I like having the short day types for use in canning and for fresh eating in summer, and the intermediate day types both for use in canning and for fresh eating over many months.

When the wind breaks the necks of some onions and when others bolt, I just chop them up and freeze them in the quantities needed for cooking in various recipes I use throughout the year. I also will set aside a certain amount of onions for making salsa and pickles and a certain amount of onions for fresh eating and then will chop up the rest. We had a really rainy spring one year and every single onion I planted matured into huge monsters. I chopped and froze onions for days, and those frozen onions lasted us three years.

I probably have tried every variety of short-day and intermediate-day onions that Dixondale has sold in the last decade, and most all of them have done well for me. The hardest category is sweet red onions because they tend not to get as large as the yellows and whites. Most sweet red onions also don't store as well as the yellows and whites. I think part of Red Candy Apple's problem is the use of the world 'candy' in its name, which made people think/hope it was the red version of Candy. It isn't. It is not that it is a bad onion or an overly small one, but just that it suffers by comparison to Candy, which is huge and sweet. So, its problem is more because of our perception of what it would be than any real shortcoming on its part.

Due to the prolonged lack of rainfall, I wasn't expecting much from the onions this year. They can get really big with lots of rainfall and/or irrigation, but I haven't watered them very much and they surely have not had much rainfall--maybe about a third as much as usual. I'm pleased with how big they are despite the lack of moisture.

Because I never can let well enough alone, I ordered the short day and intermediate day samplers so I could grow six of my favorite types of onions, and I ordered a separate bunch of 1015Ys because they are our favorites, and then I added Red River and Highlander to our order. That gave us 5 bundles that equaled 9 varieties. The Red River and Highlander varieties are, technically, listed in the Long-Day category but can be thought of as really late-maturing intermediate day types or really fast-maturing long-day types. Of course I had to try them to find out for myself how they'd do here in southern OK. They are among the onions that are absolutely huge now, althought they haven't started bulbing up yet, and I am looking forward to seeing how they size -p here because their necks are so thick they look like leeks.

I noticed yesterday that some of the TX1015Ys had completely pushed themselves up out of the ground and are sitting on top of the ground, so I guess I'll gather them up today and line them up on table to cure.

TulsaStorm, I agree with Paula that you might as well give them a try. Sometimes late plantings will surprise you, and I'd rather plant late than not at all. I hope you get a decent harvest from your late plantings, and I expect you will, especially if the weather cooperates even just a little bit,

In a perfect world, all of us would get everything planted exactly on time and it would produce just as expected, but none of us lives or gardens in a perfect world, so we just do the best we can with what we've got in any given year. Sometimes I forget to plant something and find it in a bag weeks (or months) later. I always go ahead and plant it anyway and usually the late plantings still produce something.

Dawn


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RE: about these onions....

Thanks Dawn. I got confused this year and thought that I was getting some 1015s, but obviously those are short day and I ordered intermediate. I'll definitely be ordering from Dixondale again next year. I kept mine under plastic for at least the first 6 or 7 weeks which I credit for their size this year. I also put down plastic mulch with soaker hoses underneath. This helps with watering and moisture variation.

I'd say some of my red onions are as big as the yellow or white. I'll have to post some pictures when I pull them.


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RE: about these onions....

I'm beginning to harvest mine. Although not as large in past years, many are breaking over and not because of wind now. Some are a nice size, others are a bit small.

Like Dawn - I ventured out and tried other types just to see how they do. My personal choice is short day...especially since I've now restrained myself to just 3 raised beds. I LOVE the Bermuda for table onions as well as a good tasting white onion. (Seedmama says I'm the only one that orders these on our group order.) This year I planted the 1015Y and the Texas Legend. 1015Y will win in my garden next year. For reds, I planted Southern Belle and Red Creole. I'm going back to Red Candy.

I've left a few to size up...but they won't be there long. I need the space for pole beans and those don't do well together. At least I've gotten all the blasted crab-grass and other weeds out so I can at least get the cukes started.

Paula


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RE: about these onions....

I'm going to have to pull mine this week. I've planted only intermediate-day onions before, so I thought I'd try the short-day varieties this year. I couldn't believe it when the (short-day) Texas Early Whites flopped over - only one did not and it bolted :(
I also planted the Texas Legend - a short-day yellow. They flopped over a week or so after the whites, so they'll get pulled, too. I'm very disappointed in the size of all of these onions this year - what a weird deal!
My garlic is still upright and happy, though, so we'll see how that turns out.

Sharon


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RE: about these onions....

I think I'll pull mine this week too. I bought two bunches of 1015Y from Dixondale. Three of them bolted and the rest are all laying down. They're all pretty small still and don't look ready. But I guess if they're broken they're as ready as they're going to get. I only have a few that are still upright. This is the same place I always plant and it's always windy, so I don't know what their problem is this year. I'm just going to chop them up and freeze them anyway so I guess it doesn't matter how big they are.

Leslie


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RE: about these onions....

It is the most peculiar of onion years.

I grew 9 varieties from Dixondale: the short day-length sampler, the intermediate day-length sample, and three single varieties: Texas Legend, Red River and Highlander.

The six varieties in the samplers were a mixed bag, but one thing that was consistent was that all the wind-broken necks and 95% of the bolting were in the 6 varieties in the samplers. The three single-variety bundles had no broken necks and very little bolting, and those were in one long raised bed, while the sampler varieties were in another long raised bed. Both beds sit side by side and the bed where there was no broken necks actually sits a few inches higher than the bed where so many necks broke in the wind, giving me the opposite results of what I would have expected.

My garlic stayed green and growing well all winter, and I think the credit for that goes to the approximately 12" of rain that fell between Sept and Dec 2013. Despite some very cold nights, they only had a tiny amount of browning on the tips of the leaves. However, this garlic finished up a month earlier than usual, and I assume that somehow the weather is the reason why. Because the garlic grows in a different area from my main garden, I only watered it twice this year. Some bubs are normal, but most were substantially smaller than usual.

Leslie, I don't understand all the necks snapped by the wind either because I grow onions in the same area every year, and don't get nearly as many broken necks in April and May as we have seen this year. Oddly, I felt like our March weather at our house wasn't nearly as windy as usual. Maybe that lack of wind left the onion necks weak, and then the persistently strong winds in April and May snapped those weak necks. A lot of mine that had their necks snapped by the wind were smaller than the ones not snapped, and some had barely begun to bulb up.

In the short day sampler, Red Creole was a total flop. Not a single one of them lasted long enough to bulb up to a normal size. Some bolted, a few froze and the rest had broken necks sporadically in April and May. Texas Early White sized up nicely, but had lots of bolting and lots of wind-broken necks before the onions could size up well.

In the intermediate day sampler, Candy really underperformed, either bolting or having lots of wind-broken necks well before bulbing up was finished. That is unusual. Normally, Candy is very reliable. The other two, which were Red Candy Apple and Superstar sized up well, but also suffered some wind-broken necks and a little bolting, but not a huge amount of broken.

Texas Legend is just reaching the soft neck stage. There was almost no bolting---maybe 2 or 3 bolted---and no wind-broken necks at all. Some are softball sized, and none are smaller than baseball sized. These have done really well.

Red River (an early-maturing Long Day-Length type that also generally performs well in intermediate day areas) is amazing. Most have 11-13 leaves, and the earliest ones are just now showing the slightest hint of bulbing up. The necks are gigantic, so I hope that means the onions bulb up into big onions. No broken necks in this variety and no bolting.

Highlander is similar in size and performance to Red River, but with most having 13 leaves and a few having 15. They also have the huge leek-like necks that might be the largest necks I've ever had in any year. They are just beginning to show early signs of bulbing up.

It certainly isn't a bad onion year here. More than half my onions still are upright and haven't reached the soft neck stage, and I plant enough that it doesn't matter that so many either bolted or had their necks broken by the wind. This won't be the biggest harvest ever, but it is far from the worst. Normally, it takes about 20" of moisture (rainfall + irrigation) over the life of an onion in order for it to make its maximum size. My onions have had to get by on much less---about 6" of rain this year, and maybe 4-5" of irrigation, and yet the Texas Legend, Red River and Highlander varieties are probably the biggest, tallest, strongest onion plants I've ever grown in my life. The other 6 varieties are a mixed bag, with two varieties underperforming and the other 4 being all over the place, with everything from bolting before bulbing to having necks broken at every stage and size.

I think the bizarre weather has given us bizarre behavior by the onion crops, and certainly hope next year the weather is more normal.

Dawn


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RE: about these onions....

Dawn - I had the same experience with the Texas Legend and the Red Creole. I too think it wasn't a fair shot because of the weather.

I have some of the other varieties that are nice sized...but most are under size that we would normally get.

Paula


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RE: about these onions....

My Texas Legend onions were legendary all right...if onions the size of golf balls are legendary (!)

Maayyyy have to try them again next year to see what happens :-/

Sharon


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RE: about these onions....

lol

They never said it was Magnificent Texas Legend or Incredible Texas Legend, did they?


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RE: about these onions....

About half of my Red Candy onions have fallen over so far this week. I can't complain because they are much larger than the golf ball size red onions I've grown in the past. Candy and Superstar are still standing tall.


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RE: about these onions....

I checked yesterday and now all of my onions are laying down. I'd like to harvest them so I can put something else there but it's 800 degrees outside. I was going to do it last night, but it was still 90 when I was out watering and I couldn't make myself do it. I'll do it early Saturday.

If I would stay out later in the garden I could wait until it cooled off some and do it then. But I can't stay out too late because I have a huge colony of harvestmen living in my garden. They come out as it's getting dark and they really creep me out. I know, everyone is talking about snakes and things that could actually do damage and I'm over here creeped out by some harmless little harvestmen.

Leslie


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RE: about these onions....

Here's a couple of pictures of the Red Candy I pulled this morning.


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RE: about these onions....

Carrots are coming along nicely as well.


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RE: about these onions....

Leslie, Well, you know the harvestmen are your friends, right? They eat all kinds of garden pests, including slugs and snails, as well as mites! I wish I had a garden full of them. I'm not necessarily creeped out by them, but one got into the house and I didn't know it. It must have been on the ceiling above the bed, and I was lying in bed reading and it fell and landed on the pillow right beside by head. I flew out of bed like a rocket, and it had scurried away and I never saw it again. I kept waking up that night and checking to make sure the harvestman wasn't there in the bed.

OSUEngineer, Nice Red Candy Apples and they are a nice size. You must have had some rain, or done a lot of irrigating. I am still waiting on my last three varieties to finish up and then all my cool-season crops will be done,

It was 99 here earlier this week and that was the end of the lettuce. It is 96 degrees now, and that drove me in from the garden although I intend to go back out after I cool off a bit,

Dawn


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