Onions from seed.

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Benandbill

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Onions from seed.
« on: May 01, 2013, 07:47 »
This is supposed to be straight forward according to this article http://www.allotment-garden.org/vegetable/onion-shallot/grow-onion-seed.php but I'm told by everyone else, not to bother and just grow from sets.

I've got sets in but am trying some seeds as well this year.  I sowed the 3rd April, first in my small plastic greenhouse and have moved them to windowsill indoors to try and encourage growth.  They're now 2" tall with a further nearly an inch floppy bit at the top - those who've grown onions from seed will know what I'm on about here.

They are 2 per module so I'm going to separate them today into bigger pots, one onion per pot.  I want to do this before they're too established s onions are notoriously bad for root disturbance.  I've done 2 now into 3 1/2 inch pots and have left them uncovered in my back garden.  The rest I will find room for in the plastic greenhouse and compare which does better.  Here's hoping!

Can anyone experienced in growing onions from seed tell me if what I've done as described above sounds right or wrong?

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wil4025

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Re: Onions from seed.
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2013, 13:56 »
I used a few ways this year, in cell trays with seed compost, really sandy one. Two in each cell and then water and water, I did at first at heat, but in unheated greenhouse and all transplanted to 1" cell trays and all doing really well. Was the easiest way.
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Ivor Backache

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Re: Onions from seed.
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2013, 15:04 »
I have always grown from seed and it only recently that I now plant sets as a backup. Seed give you a much better choice. Yes they are a bit more finicky but what you have done is the same as myself. I have 40 plants in pots waiting to be planted out probably next week. They are now outside. ( my allotment is 5 miles away so I need to be sure the plants are sturdy)
Not sure about root disturbance. I always start my sets sitting on a tray of compost and plant out with an established root system, whilst I am  waiting for the soil to warm up, and it stop the birds pulling them out.

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DD.

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Re: Onions from seed.
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2013, 15:14 »
I'm not too sure about the "onions are notoriously bad for root disturbance" bit either. I don't know where you got that from.

Mine get quite a lot of disturbance in planting out, especially those grown in trays, rather than modules.

They are of the same family as leeks and if you think about what you can do to the roots of those and get away with it...........!
Did it really tell you to do THAT on the packet?

Seeds are SOWN, planting's for plants (and bulbs & tubers)!

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shokkyy

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Re: Onions from seed.
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2013, 17:57 »
Last year I decided it was too much faff to bother moving them from their 60 or 40 cell modules (2 per module  :ohmy:) so I just let them get on with it and planted them out when they looked big enough. Gave me a very decent crop. I only started doing onions from seed in the last 2 or 3 years and I've been getting much bigger and better onions than I ever did from sets, with much better choice of variety and very little hassle.

My KW peas though, that's another story  >:(

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Benandbill

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Re: Onions from seed.
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2013, 18:38 »
Last year I decided it was too much faff to bother moving them from their 60 or 40 cell modules (2 per module  :ohmy:) so I just let them get on with it and planted them out when they looked big enough. Gave me a very decent crop. I only started doing onions from seed in the last 2 or 3 years and I've been getting much bigger and better onions than I ever did from sets, with much better choice of variety and very little hassle.

My KW peas though, that's another story  >:(

When would you say they look big enough to plant out?  The way mine are at the moment they don't look like they'd last 5 minutes with the birds around.  I guess that's the advantage of netting - also, I'm quite early on in my experiment so I'll try to harden in the garden first!  I'm a poet and I know it  ;)

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richy

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Re: Onions from seed.
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2013, 19:04 »
mine were only 2 inches tall when i put them out up the plot, striaght from the tray, they are doing just fine.

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hightide

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Re: Onions from seed.
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2013, 19:14 »
I now only grow from seed as I am convinced I got onion rot in one of my beds from sets I put in previously >:(
The three and a half inch pot may be overkill, mine go into sixty cell trays and are planted straight in from there.
Sometimes when the weather or ground delays planting, the roots start to grow up the side of the cell, this is not a problem, the trick is to dib a hole and let the roots dangle backfil the hole so that the base of the seedling is half inch down, firm up and water in job done. One tray of Ailsa Craig, two of Kamal, one of Blood Red Holland and one of Red Baron took about two hours, checked them yesterday noticed one of the Kamal is a bit yellow not sure why.
A weed is a plant that's in the wrong place and intends to stay

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Annen

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Re: Onions from seed.
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2013, 19:17 »
Do you think these look big enough to plant out?
WP_000194.jpg
Anne

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pdblake

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Re: Onions from seed.
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2013, 19:27 »
Do you think these look big enough to plant out?

Yes. Mine that are out aren't that big yet :D

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mumofstig

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Re: Onions from seed.
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2013, 19:29 »
That's just what mine are like, and will be going out very soon  :)
Lesley x
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grendel

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Re: Onions from seed.
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2013, 19:46 »
I did some last year, but they got forgotten in the trays and only grew to 1/2" diameter, these were dropped in with the sets this year to see if they work, I also had some smallish shallots so planted those as well, they have sprouted a bunch of leaves already so things are looking good.
Grendel
we do the impossible daily, miracles take a little longer.

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Annen

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Re: Onions from seed.
« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2013, 20:13 »
That's just what mine are like, and will be going out very soon  :)
Oh dear,that means I'm going to have to find somewhere to put them, I rather overbought on sets forgetting that I had all the seedlings coming along, its the first year I have had any success with them.  We might have to do without sweetcorn this year ;) And I've just remembered I bought some baby leeks the other day - 98 in the pot!
« Last Edit: May 01, 2013, 20:15 by Annen »

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Benandbill

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Re: Onions from seed.
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2013, 20:15 »
That's just what mine are like, and will be going out very soon  :)
Oh dear,that means I'm going to have to find somewhere to put them, I rather overbought on sets forgetting that I had all the seedlings coming along, its the first year I have had any success with them.  We might have to do without sweetcorn this year ;) And I've just remembered I bought some baby leeks the other day -98 in the pot!

Nice problem to have though eh Annen - perhaps you could give some away??   :)

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Benandbill

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Re: Onions from seed.
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2013, 06:20 »
Well, I left 2 of the 14 seed experiment outside in the back garden yesterday in the bosom of my cabbage plants and they seem to have survived.  Having said that, how obvious would it be if a frost had had them, would it show straight away?  :unsure:



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