[Market-farming] Starting Onions in Ground

Richard Moyer ramoyer at gmail.com
Thu Jan 3 12:49:46 EST 2013

Bill and Pam,
Thanks for this thread.  (This list archive includes HT onion seeding and
transplant production; just reviewed that a couple of days ago.)

In reviewing my 2012 market year, we could have sold many more onions in
Aug, Sept and Oct, at a good price.  We sold out before then.

Those of us locally who seeded onions last fall in HT, then transplanted
out in spring, we grew many huge onions.  But we had a glut at the market.
 And the larger they were, the more readily they rotted before some growers
could sell them all. Record heat and ample rain in July, after very dry
June, exacerbated curing and storage.  Those who moved all their onions
fast at wholesale prices came out the best.  But our market motto is
"always fresh, always local", and I'd like to supply bulb onions into the
fall.  Med-small onions still sell well.

I seeded my onions in the HT later this year, in Dec, except 2000 'Candy'
seeds yet to be planted.

And I was looking at buying more Candy seed this morning, as we had the
most requests for that, and it's described as a 'day-neutral' onion, that
could bulb up later than the ones you are mentioning Pam?

Bill, you mention growers that aim for Aug/Sept harvest.  I'd like to shoot
for that (we have drip irrigation), to even out the onion supply at our
market.  But need to find onion seed, growing, curing and storage methods
that work for 'late' season production.  Our driest months are Sept and
Oct, so we time some of our other crop maturities then as well.

Any other growers doing late season bulb onions, at 37 latitude or

Richard Moyer

> Message: 2
> Date: Thu, 3 Jan 2013 09:50:07 -0500
> From: Pam Twin Oaks <pam at twinoaks.org>
> Subject: Re: [Market-farming] Starting onions in ground
> To: Market Farming <market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Message-ID:
>         <CANA=oL=
> Fm_PFJp7jKRm-w_a4a5eTopTwXJ5kKzWX8E+GH1WPrQ at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
> 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
> later.
> Are you talking about bulb onions or green bunching onions or little
> scallions?
> 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
> --
> Pam Dawling
> Author of Sustainable Market Farming, Intensive Vegetable Production on a
> Few Acres
> http://www.sustainablemarketfarming.com/
> http://www.facebook.com/SustainableMarketFarming
> http://www.newsociety.com/Books/S/Sustainable-Market-Farming
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