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Old 05-21-2016, 09:51 PM   #1
CanadaSue
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Default Onions - sets or seeds?

I grew up with my grandparents & father planting onion sets rather than seeds. Automatically, I did the same thing & now find myself wondering - what is the difference? IS there a difference? Can you grow proper onion bulbs from seed & if so, do they take longer to mature?

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Old 05-21-2016, 10:15 PM   #2
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I always planted from sets. No reason other than that's the way my Dad did it too.
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Old 05-21-2016, 10:17 PM   #3
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Go with sets or bulbs, if you can. Onion seed often has poor germination.

Make sure the varieties you choose are appropriate to your area (long day for Canada).
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Old 05-21-2016, 10:23 PM   #4
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Thanx - I didn't pay much attention to other gardeners last year until mine were planted. Some bought little planters full of sprouts that had to be divided. Not going there - it was very time consuming. I couldn't remember the success rate among those who planted from seeds.

I do find planting sets as simple as it gets & will stick with that.

Thankfully, our good garden centers rarely carry anything 'iffy' for our zone & when they do, the few knowledgeable staff warn you to make sure the plant is suited to where you want to put it.
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Old 05-22-2016, 09:47 AM   #5
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The same as others, I always planted sets because my Dad did. Last year I started seeds in the greenhouse and had better onions than from the sets. They were Valencias. This year I started some Valencias and some New York Early (from Fedco I think) and they came up great and are growing well.

I am in zone 5a.
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Old 07-05-2016, 02:26 AM   #6
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Seems like onions the wife planted from bulbs flowered early otherwise growing fine. Shard is already bolting. Seeds on the sycamore trees looking very yellow and ready to drop.

All indicators that the plants aren’t convinced this is high summer.
This is in South West Wales and we are only 60 feet above sea level.
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Old 07-05-2016, 10:36 AM   #7
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I spent several years in Vidalia. ALL of the 13 counties that make up Vidalia plant from sets. I grew mine from sets. I highly recommend you not bother with seeds - it is not worth it. I think all the Vidalia's are Texas Sweets. It is the soil (low sulfur) that makes them sweet.

I used to see dump truck loads of onions go to cow feed simply because they were too large or had two onions growing in the same bulb.

My specialty was designing the hardware and User Interface (Visual basic) that controlled the drying or curing of the onions.

I sat down with the nations largest onion producer at the time - Bland Farms, and spoke with the owner, Delbert Bland. He told me him and his Dad had a bet going that he (Delbert) could not grow a hundred thousand dollars worth of onions on a single acre. Now, being into seriously obnoxious agriculture - I was all ears. He grew these beautiful "Green Onions" that were about 16" tall and sold them to Publix. He won the bet and showed me his new truck that was the bet.

I was amazed to see that much money come from such a small place and be legal!

I was extremely amazed at the ignorance of the Farmers at that time. They had little concept of how to treat the product after it came in from the field. It was really sad - but they learned. Most Farmer do not consider post-harvest - they just think "inputs". When the whole crops rots - they cry and learn. I will tell you from unfortunate experience that it is very sad to watch a Farmer cry - it has happened several times.

I visited a potato Farmer once a long time ago (I used to do potatoes). It was a social call, nice guy. He lost a thousand acres of potatoes. He was sitting at his desk - next to his safe bawling his eyes out. I left. He died after that. He told me that that part of the state of Florida would never have a privately held farm of his size after he died. Estate taxes had to be paid and the land had to be divided.

I dealt with another Farmer recently. I think he was one of the bigger Farmers in Florida. His farms were SOOOOOOOOOOO big, they each had their own runways and were registered with the FAA. You could easily see their farms from space. Rumor has it the farms sold to Bill Gates?! I had heard the super rich were buying farms - maybe so?
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Old 07-05-2016, 01:22 PM   #8
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Ah, well, no, fine! Umm, we got about two square metres for for our onions.

I guess we use about 30 square metres for our various veggies. A productive pastime.
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