Onions look like sticks not bulbs


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Hi All,

I am a newbie in gardening and have started onions for the first time. I started them from seed and am now about 5 months from germination.

My problem is that i pulled a couple and they are looking more like leeks (straight stems) then bulbs.

I "spooned" them about 1 month ago but still looking wrong to me.

Can anyone offer me any advice on what I am doing wrong?
 

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Perhaps you planted Long Day Onion seeds? If so it is doubtful if they will ever bulb. What was the variety of onion?
 
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The onion type was Californian Red.
That is a Short Day Onion and should bulb up. A short day onion must have 12-14 hours of direct sun and will take about 110 days from seed to harvest. What probably happened is you did not fertilize with enough phosphorus as phosphorus is what makes onions bulb. It appears from the pictures that your onions did not form many "leaves" either. One leaf on a onion plant equals 1 ring on an onion bulb. Onions are heavy feeders and a lack of nitrogen is what causes this lack of leaves. So, all in all, I would say a lack of adequate nutrition is what caused this. But, don't pull them up yet. They may still bulb but I doubt if they will be big bulbs. Having said this, if the plants start to flower you may as well pull them and eat them as green onions.
 
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Meadowlark

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I grow a lot of short-day onions...about 200+ pounds a year. My short days are in the ground about 180 days before harvest and of that time, the last 60 days or so have the most bulb growing activity. From your photo, it looks to me that your reds are just in the beginning of the bulbing stage.

If you pull them now, you can certainly use them but it's possible and maybe likely that a few more weeks in the soil will yield much larger bulbs.
 
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