Onion Growing thread, 2019


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I live in southern California in the desert climate and I just planted some sweet Spanish yellow Utah jumbo onions in the little starter containers (21 little planters). It still gets cool in the evenings (in the 40s) and up to around 65-70 during the day but soon it'll be getting hot (usually well over 100 degrees every day). We just got a massive rainstorm (very rare here) and so all of the containers filled up with water and the potting soil is totally saturated. Will that kill the onions???

Forgive me but I'm very new to gardening and almost everything I try ends in death and destruction (hence my "black thumb" screen name). I get the impression that I should have planted these last fall but I just went by the information on the packet of seeds. Should I write these off and try again this fall or what?

Thanks.

Mike
 
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When you sow onions depends on your latitude, as they react to light and different types react to different day length, although there is some overlap. (I live in a climate which allows either)
California is a big state, but since you live in the south, it may be that you are better suited to over-wintered onions.

As to the rain? Well it depends. If they were seeds, they'd likely be OK. Seeds are DESIGNED for tough times. Small plants too, if it was an isolated incident, I'd expect to make through, otherwise onions would have gone extinct a long time ago.
Just to help them along, try to put them somewhere so that a repeat event is precluded, and give them time to drain and get over their ordeal.
 
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Thanks, bees!! I guess the bigger part of the equation is whether or not the seeds got washed away. LOL I will definitely relocate them if there is more adverse weather forecast.
 
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I planted seeds for 24 Sweet Spanish Yellow Utah Jumbo onions about three to four weeks ago and just yesterday three of them poked their heads out of the planting pots. I used some kind of plant helper soil I bought. Does that seem like way too long to wait for them to even start showing??? I have concluded that I am a dismal failure at gardening. I planted 24 bean plant seeds and only ONE has started to grow. I think the soil I have in my yard is very, very sandy and not conducive to gardening. I need to prep it somehow. I'm very discouraged.
 
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Are you direct sowing into the ground? How deep? Maybe some pictures of your garden area or seed starting method would help us figure out whats going on.

I'm pretty much just sand here, so everything I do is in a raised bed with good soil or in containers.
 
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I am using plant starters (for lack of a better word) for the onions. I will try to post a photo. They are not directly in the ground (yet). I need to get my raised bed boxes set up so I can move these if I don't kill them like I seem to kill everything else.

51825
 
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Just reread your earlier post. My guess is many of your seeds washed away. And your temps are maybe a little cool, allowing for slower germination. I'm still a novice, but that's my guess for you.

If your are starting in starter pots like that I would keep them someone a little more protected from the elements, otherwise there's really no benefit to the starter pots. Might as well direct sow. The point of using starter trays is to control the environment for best gemination. If you aren't controlling the environment, why do it? If direct sowing, heavy rain may wash to your seeds away from where you planted them. They'll survive the water, just might not stay put. I actually covered my carrots with a beach umbrella during a heavy rainfall a few days after planting!
 
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I used the starter trays for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, we were finishing up some landscaping right where I want to put them. I also did it because I wanted to do more soil prep but that never happened. In any event, temps here are climbing fast. It's still a bit cool overnight (in the 50s) but we've been getting into the 80s already and even 90 on Monday. Soon it'll be well over 100 degrees here, which is our normal temperature in summer.
 

Meadowlark

Gardner, Angler, Adjunct Professor, and Rancher
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One month of growing to go before harvest here
onions one month.JPG
...

In this last month the bulbs will really take off many of them reaching 2 pounds of the sweetest onion you have ever tasted.
 
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