[Market-farming] Market-farming Digest, Vol 98, Issue 17

Mark Weinheimer mrw601 at gmail.com
Thu Mar 10 13:37:08 EST 2011

> Subject: Re: [Market-farming] multiplier onions - Onions grown from
>        bulbs
> I hope you don't mind if I slightly hijack this thread, but it reminded me
> of something we noticed with our onions last year, and wondered if others
> noticed this last year or in past years as well.
> Last year we switched to growing our onions predominately from bulbs.  I've
> always used a fair amount of bulbs for my yellow cooking onions. (Sturon
> from Veseys seems to work good for us)  Last year I was able to get some
> red
> and white bulbs as well.  We're in a short season area, and bulbs are
> usually more reliable, depending on the weather to have good sized onions
> in
> the fall.
> Of course, since we switched to mostly bulbs, we ended up with a hot dry
> summer for a change.  What surprised me though, was that the red and white
> onoins did terrible in the heat!  More than 75% of them went to seed and
> had
> unsaleable bulbs.  We had a very limited # of red and white plants grown
> from seed, and those plants did not bolt to seed and done reasonably well.
> Of our yellow Sturon bulbs, we did see more than usual #'s of those going
> to
> seed as well, but it was under 10%, and we still had a decent crop of
> those.
> So I did see this much more so in the red and white bulbs, than in the
> yellow onoins.
> Has anyone else seen this sort of discrepancy between using bulbs or
> plants,
> depending on the weather for a particular season?  (Right or wrong, I
> switched back to plants for everything this year except our usual amount of
> the Sturon bulbs,  and intend to put most of the onion plants on plastic
> mulch.)
> Dave
> Dave,
I only grow early green onions from sets or bulbs.  We're in a short growing
season area, too, but I get much better onions from plants.  We never get
bolting on the onions, although in the frigid summer of 2009 we did have a
lot of leeks that bolted.  By the way, when I asked Dixondale about the
problem the following spring, they sent me a free box of leeks.
Best of luck,
Mark Weinheimer
Farm Manager
Regional Food Bank of NENY
965 Albany-Shaker Road
Latham, NY  12110
(518) 339-5726
(518) 786-3691
(518) 786-3004 Fax
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