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overwintering onions

Posted by jeaninmt 3a (My Page) on
Sun, Oct 28, 12 at 23:22

This may sound crazy, but I am slightly crazy and it keeps me busy. An onion plant that has been growing for years in our greenhouse finally had its seed spread by our son. I thought it was a green onion plant. Then this Fall while I was pulling out chickweed, there was a bunch of small bulbs. The bulbs are maybe 2" across at the biggest and thumbnail size at the smallest.

I would really like to be able to overwinter these and plant them next year in the hopes of getting seed. I planted 4 of the biggest ones in the garlic patch. Now I am thinking about some of the smaller ones. It seems like they will dry up and wither away, being tiny. Do you think they would winter over better if I planted them in gallon pots and kept them in the crawl space over the winter ? It is about 45 degrees. Or replant a few in the greenhouse, which drops to 0 - 10 degrees over the winter.

The outside patch is mulched with 4-6" of straw. Outside temps drop to -15 -20.
Thanks for any ideas, Jean in Mt

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: overwintering onions

Jean, I can't answer your questions, but I do have one of my own on this topic. Last year I missed picking a few onions in the fall, and they lived through what was an admittedly extremely mild winter here in Iowa. I was surprised at this. Are you telling me that in a normal Montana winter you overwinter onions?

RE: overwintering onions

These particular onions were in our solar greenhouse, it is about zone 5 or so. There have been other onions that sprouted and grew in the garden in the Spring. I think that it depends on getting a snow cover of 6" or so before the hard freezes hit. In those cases the ground never freezes and we get all sorts of volunteers in the Spring.

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