Onion question...big floppy onions should I trim?? question :-)

Discussion in 'Fruit and Veg Gardening' started by Melody Mc., Jul 8, 2022.

  1. Melody Mc.

    Melody Mc. Young Pine

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    My accidental onion experiment this year was starting seeds in January when I thought I wasn't going to receive my sets, and then also receiving my sets. LOTS of onions this year if they all do well. I'm pretty excited about the ones I grew from seed.

    While my seeds were growing I kept them trimmed to about 4 inches so that they didn't interfere with the grow lights.

    Now, having been in the garden for about six weeks, many are flopping over. I've read that some people keep that floppy growth cleaned up, being sure to not bother the new shoots. I've also read that the onion requires a lot of photosynthesis to form their bulb, and if you mess too much with the greens that won't happen. ....I've also read that once they start to flop, they don't do much photosynthesis anyhow.

    Hence...I gratefully come to the Stew once again asking what others do and what luck they have had.

    My onions will have about 6 more weeks before I have to bend the tops and think about curing before cold weather. They have a lot of growing left to do in a short time.

    Thank you for any shared experiences and advice. :)

    DSCN8533.JPG

    The above is sets on the left and seeded on the right.

    DSCN8534.JPG
     
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  3. Sjoerd

    Sjoerd Mighty Oak

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    Curious-looking row of onions. I have seen this before in my own. In one instance I did not find out what was going on. I did nothing and let them go. The harvest was fine.

    Another time, the odd leaf behaviour was due to an onion/leek fly attack, in fact some of my onions may be infected this year.

    Personally, I would not do anything with your onion’s foliage. I would be interested to hear what my colleagues on here have to say on this matter.
     
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  4. Dirtmechanic

    Dirtmechanic Young Pine

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    Leave them imo. The action is at the bulb anyway. I think that can be temp related, they do like cooler weather.
     
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  5. Daniel W

    Daniel W Young Pine

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    Nice looking onions. I would leave them be.

    My onions are not doing well at all. Maybe it was the long cool Spring. The garlic, on the other hand, did great. We started harvesting some last week.
     
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  6. Melody Mc.

    Melody Mc. Young Pine

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    Thank you :) I think the growing is very intense this year with such a long cool spring early summer.

    I really appreciate the suggestions ( quietly puts away the sheers and pretends like nothing was ever about to happen in the AM....:) )
     
  7. Sjoerd

    Sjoerd Mighty Oak

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    Whew!…your onions can breath a sigh of relief now.
    I thought that I could see that those little guys were getting all teary-eyed at the prospect of being trimmed, but then I remembered —they’re onions.
     
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  8. Sjoerd

    Sjoerd Mighty Oak

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    In my time as a gardener I have tried all sorts of things. Not with onions, but with leeks (same family). Here it is common that when you first plant your little plantlets in the real ground that you clip 1/3 of the foliage off to improve the root ball which will ultimately determine the thickness of the stem and the foliage growth which will make for a more robust plant.

    Another group clips 1/3 of the roots off at planting-on time for the same reason.

    A smaller group clip BOTH before planting.

    Mel, I have done all three and could not actually tell if there was any improvement from the control group ones that I had planted alongside.

    As for yours, I am still wondering why they present as they do. For me, this is not over because the hears are back in the shed. I am still wondering.
    Pity I do not have a sharecropper’s hut on your property so I could investigate further.

    Of course one important result will be the quality of your onion ball at harvest time, but the dynamics that caused their appearance is of interest to me.
     
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  9. Odif

    Odif Young Pine

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    One of my onion patches really didn’t do well this year. Firstly several of them went early into flower and the others were all bent over without really growing large. I did not really understand what I was doing wrong until one morning I found a great big tomcat quite comfortably relaxing in the middle of the onion patch. Could your scruffy looking onions be the result of some kind of animal perchance? Luckily My biggest onion patch is doing really well.
     
  10. Melody Mc.

    Melody Mc. Young Pine

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    Thank you so much for all of your seasoned and thoughtful suggestions. I value each and every one.

    After listening to everyone, I suspect that the bent over onions coud be from tender greens and hail/rain damage??? I suspect. ( I have a big fence around from years of keeping my horses out....so I don't think any tomcats BUT anything is possible! I will check in with Puddins the forest fire rescue Barn Cat ;)) It makes sense that pressure/weight may cause the bending.

    I'm pondering if I should break out the shears for 1/3 of the patch and clean up the bent over big guys....a test plot - unto a test plot.

    Sjoerd....I have a guest cabin, three empty bedrooms, and a fifth wheel.....you and your bride are welcome, but I suspect you would miss your garden. :) And perhaps your moat? ;)
     
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  11. Sjoerd

    Sjoerd Mighty Oak

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    Cackle—I think you are right, I would. I always say, “serious gardeners don’t take vacations during the season”. Hahaha.
    Still, it is fun to fantasise. :)
     
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  12. Melody Mc.

    Melody Mc. Young Pine

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    @Sjoerd @Daniel W @Dirtmechanic @Odif

    Onion Update...:):)

    Everyone was left alone. I had good intentions of just cleaning up about six of them on the end, but life took over and they were left to their own devices.

    The new growth is all straight and upright. :) I was worried that if the greens were bent over so early in the growing season, that my onions would stop growing. The onions grown from seed are now ahead in the bulb race of the set onions so far. Everyone is healthy and tall. Bulbs are beginning to grow above the soil level.

    Thanks again for all of the feedback Stewbies. I really appreciate it. I don't have anyone else to bounce this stuff off of and it means a lot. :stew1:
     
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