[Market-farming] Onions and sets
boulderbelt at embarqmail.com
Sat Oct 24 13:48:56 EDT 2009
We have grown them by thickly direct seeding onions in April and not
thinning them out. It is also good not to weed them too much because
you want very small onions. out of 2 50'x 4' beds we got about 5
pounds of sets and another 2 bushels of pearl onions.
We cure the set onions like the bigger ones and than keep them in a
cold barn over winter. if they start to sprout in winter than they
are put in a fridge and that usually stops them from going too far.
In April we plant them.
For big onions we start the seeds in 6" nursery pots in early
January, about 75 to 100 seeds per pot, if you go thicker they will
damp off in droves. they grow inside until the end of Feb and than
are put out in a cold frame to harden off. We transplant Mid march
through the beginning of May. We use the pots instead of soil blocks
of cells so the seedlings have room to grow good roots and get bigger
than blades of grass.
I have tried direct seeding and thinning out over about 5 weeks and
using the thinnings as scallions/green onions. Use sweet onions for
this. Yellow storage (hot) onions will be way too hot for most people
and you will get few return customers. i did have the problem of not
having a good enough market for the thinnings so the bed did not get
thinned out as it should have for big onions so got a lot of smallish
onions in the end. And this is why i stick with starting from seed
early in the year and transplanting in early spring.
I have also had good luck with starting seed in the ground in a cold
frame or hoop house (unheated). We started them in November and got
them covered and they did really well all winter. In April we dug
them up and moved them to where we wanted them that year.
Boulder Belt Eco-Farm
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