Only Small Onions...12 years and still failing


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Thanks for your response. Interesting take. I can tell that you are a dedicated organic grower. That is a good thing. However, I know plenty of people who use synthetic fertilizers and get tremendous results. One neighbor grows potatoes the size of softballs; another gets onions the size of baseballs. I know that organic gardening methods are certainly good for the soil...no question. But, they are also more expensive and time-consuming (at least from what I've heard from others). With that said, I am desperate enough to give some of your suggestions a try next year. Nothing ventured,,,nothing gained. I appreciate your time to get back to me. BTW, the tomatoes that I grew in just one straw bale grew incredibly well. I had to trellis them to a height of almost 7 feet. Too many to pick and use. And that was from just 4 plants in the bale.
Have you ever wondered why chemical fertilizers have such high NPK numbers? I agree, one can get great results by using chemical fertilizers. But, it reaches a point of diminishing returns and the cost of using chemicals increases in time. Why don't you do a test in a small area of your onion patch. In one area organic only and the other chemicals? Keep track of the costs and labor including pesticides and fungicides, fertilizers and amendments. If you incorporate a lot of organic matter into your soil, use only organic fertilizers and maintain both plots equally, I predict that your onion crop will be more than satisfactory and much better than the chemical fed onion patch.
 
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Meadowlark

Gardner, Angler, Adjunct Professor, and Rancher
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Chris,

If I may suggest, soil amendments to modify PH can take time so you may want to address the PH well before planting. For example, I often need to add ag. lime to my acidic soils and it can take 1-2 months to be fully effective.

Also, let me add, I've been growing big delicious onions in the Texas sun for many years, and never ever considered shade netting. My onions want full sun and thrive on it.
 
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No success with onions. Been trying for 12 years...sets, plants, in rows of amended and fertilized soil. Tried containers. Red, yellow, white, etc. Long day varietes for NE PA. Watered and fertilized at recommended intervals. Result? Always the same...golf ball sized or smaller onions. I feel jinxed. Tried planting just below surface and 1" below surface. Close together and farther apart. No difference. HELP!!
Really ?

I'm probably not much help with growing conditions in America but I would think about shade netting, often had some reasonably sized onions when they get shaded out by weeds.
I have heard mainly that onions prefer full sun. Go figure. Anyway, thanks for the shout back.

What does ''Go figure'' mean @Chris W ???

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Here are a few of Zigs onions this year - only a moderate size this year with two little runts at the front of the last picture.
Why not Go figure..........:mooning:
 
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I've found that the size of my onions depends entirely on the amount of compost I put on the year before. A few sections of our onion bed washed out and had to be replaced with new dirt. Those onions were only half the size of the ones that grew in the old soil right next to them. I put 4 inches of good compost on the beds in the fall and let it soak in over the winter.
 
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I simply plant small greens or the small packages of bulbs. Completely ignore them until harvest except I may water if it gets dry. I consider them among the easiest plants to grow. The last few years I have been growing the vidalia, because I like the no sting. I have never had a failure crop wherever I lived. Usually Zone 5.
 

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