Monday, May 3, 2010


....sort of :(
This year we are once again seeing our multitude of onions go to seed and fail to grow into decent bulbs....eek!

As I found out last year Onions are very weather dependent and our fluctuating winter temperatures confuse them into thinking it has been 2 seasons so they flower in order to propagate.

The plants never develop a sizable bulb and most of that is an inedible core.

Tho this is actually a leek (also going to seed) the idea is the same. A very hard inner core with only a few usable outer layers. I used 20 white onions in a pot of spaghetti sauce just to get enough actual onion. ....sigh.

The only ones that seem to be avoiding this fate are the red onions (planted as transplants vs. the sets used in the other bed). Of course I didn't plant very many of those....sigh.

From the Plant Answers Website---
Most folks want to grow onion bulbs NOT onion flowers! What causes bulb onions to send up flower stalks? Flowering of onions can be caused by several things but usually the most prevalent is temperature fluctuation. An onion is classed as a biennial which means it normally takes 2 years to go from seed to seed. Temperature is the controlling or triggering factor in this process. If an onion plant is exposed to alternating cold and warm temperatures resulting in the onion plant going dormant, resuming growth, going dormant and then resuming growth again, the onion bulbs prematurely flower or bolt. The onion is deceived into believing it has completed two growth cycles or years of growth in its biennial life cycle so it finalizes the cycle by blooming. Flowering can be controlled by planting the right variety at the right time.

So for all of you who live in HOT summer areas, when do you plant your onions and what kinds do you have the most success with?

1 comment:


Like you, I'm just getting used to onions. My green bunching onions were planted a couple weeks ago and are up and running. They remind me of the ease of growing radishes. I do have brown onions behaving like yours; but the bulbs have developed more. I have also planted some heirloom onion seeds to grow along side my tomatoes. I'm growing the current crop to ward off insects around my tomatoes. If they produce something that's even better.