[Market-farming] Starting onions in ground

Pam Twin Oaks pam at twinoaks.org
Thu Jan 3 09:50:07 EST 2013

Chris, a lot depends on your latitude, and when onions start bulbing.
Different varieties have differing numbers of daylight hours to trigger the
start of bulbing. (Temperature is a secondary trigger). First, make sure
you choose varieties suitable for your latitude. Then figure out how to get
big plants before the bulbing date. If bulbing starts in April, as it does
here at 38N, there's no hope of big onions from seed sown in January or

Are you talking about bulb onions or green bunching onions or little

What works for us, for bulb onions, is to sow in the hoophouse 11/10, then
transplant outdoors as soon as we can 3/1-3/7. Harvest is in early June. If
your latitude is similar, that will work for you. If not, it probably
won't! In Georgia they transplant outside in October - that wouldn't work
for us because the winters are too cold. Sounds like you are probably north
of 38, given that you are thinking about starting onions now. I can say
that sowing in the hoophouse and transplanting out works very well, I just
don't know what the dates should be for you.


Pam Dawling

Author of Sustainable Market Farming, Intensive Vegetable Production on a
Few Acres
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