A reader wrote to me the other night and gave me the details of the wonderful success she and her husband have had with onions this year. She had written to me earlier saying she’d followed my onion planting instructions to the letter. Although she is an experienced gardener, her previous onion crops had not been successful. But by planting transplants, planting earlier than she normally would (to allow time for root and leaf development), and planting no deeper than 1 inch — they ended up with a great crop!
The tops are starting to fall over now and they’ve set up a place to cure them.
The Red Candy Apple onions of course, are a bit smaller but the larger white ones are in the 3 to 4 inch diameter range. Needless to say, she and her husband are thrilled! (And I’m excited for them, because I know how great that can feel!)
Small Onions – Normal Occurrence
In the course of our email conversation, she mentioned that some of the onions were still about an inch or smaller. I consider this a normal occurrence from planting transplants since the bunches usually have various sizes and real tiny ones usually make the smaller onions.
What Can Happen
Many times these small onions will cure right in the ground. They can stay buried in summer’s dry soil without any indication until fall — or even next spring — and then come up. Many times I’d see them and leave them in the ground on purpose as my back-ups for spring onions during the fall and winter months. The only problem with that was — it’s pretty inconvenient to work around volunteer spring onions when you’re trying to get a bed mulched or planted.
Or Cure and Plant for Spring Onions
Last year I harvested all the small onions (one inch or smaller) I could find and cured them with the rest of my onions. (After they’re cured they’re called sets.) Last fall I planted them in the same spot so they would be more conveniently placed when I wanted to work in my garden beds.
Onions are biennial plants. The seed is started and grows into an onion; the tops fall over; the onion is cured. Then the small ones can be planted again and in many cases will produce a larger onion. Or you can use them for spring onions.
They’ll sure taste good this winter when you’ve harvested greens from your fall/winter garden and then pick a spring onion to top it off.
Other Onion Posts:
Onions Plants – A Bonus Can be Green onions in Winter
Organic Gardening is easy, effective, efficient and it’s a lot healthier.
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