How to grow onions

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cowgirl8
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How to grow onions

Postby cowgirl8 » Tue May 06, 2014 5:02 am

I always have to giggle a little when i see someones garden all rowed up like a farmers field and a single row crop running down the row. We arent farmers and we dont need big rows to drive our tractor through.
My garden was our swimming pool. I have limited space if i want to grow in my garden. So i have come up with ways to get the most from my garden. Here is my onion bed. I have over 800 onions planted in a 4x10 space. I will get more than a years worth of onions off this one space. If planted like a typical gardener, this amount of plants would take up my whole garden.
This is how it works. I plant the starts about 2 or less inches away from the other onions in any direction. Heck, i just start sticking them in the dirt with no rhyme or reason really. I just want then in the dirt as soon as i can get them in, Dec is the best time. In May, i start picking the biggest bulbing onions daily. I'll get this many almost every day, shown in the picture. I take them in the house and chop them up and put them in the freezer for cooking. By the end of the onion season, i'll leave the last of the onions to get bigger for slicing and those will be the onions i'll store.
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Craig Miller
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Re: How to grow onions

Postby Craig Miller » Tue May 06, 2014 7:33 am

Do you normally harvest them all at that size?

I guess im asking if they are able to grow bigger when planted like that. Those are nice sized and about what we got out of ours last year
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Re: How to grow onions

Postby cowgirl8 » Tue May 06, 2014 8:21 am

The first will be smaller than they will be later on. The last i pick will be big because they have the room to grow bigger. I try to store around 50 or 60 large onions. I use most of my onions in cooked things, so its not necessary to store the onions if you have the freezer space. Frozen onions cook just the same as fresh and if cut up already, it omits a step in preparation. There have been times i wanted to add onion to a dish but didnt want to get out a cutting board or go to the storage area to get an onion. Now i open a bag and grab what i need. And, the times i just stored the onions, by late winter i've lost around 1/3rd of what i stored. This year i bought 2 onions from the store. We use a lot of onions so this year i planted more.
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Re: How to grow onions

Postby skyhightree1 » Tue May 06, 2014 9:55 am

cowgirl8 wrote:I always have to giggle a little when i see someones garden all rowed up like a farmers field and a single row crop running down the row.


You giggle because someone has rows in their garden??? :dunce: I think you need to get out more. Weren't you just the one getting all be nice cause we told you we wouldn't feed crap? How the tables have turned now you want to laugh cause some of us believe in making rows. I think making rows in a garden is a little more normal than feeding another animal chicken crap. You filled in a pool turned it into a garden you overcrowd your onions big whoop im sorry but you don't have a patent on doing that it happens all the time. I am like jed tried to give you the benefit of the doubt but not interested anymore i got another to add to the foes list :tiphat: :wave:
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Re: How to grow onions

Postby cowgirl8 » Tue May 06, 2014 9:59 am

skyhightree1 wrote:
cowgirl8 wrote:I always have to giggle a little when i see someones garden all rowed up like a farmers field and a single row crop running down the row.


You giggle because someone has rows in their garden??? :dunce: I think you need to get out more. Weren't you just the one getting all be nice cause we told you we wouldn't feed crap? How the tables have turned now you want to laugh cause some of us believe in making rows. I think making rows in a garden is a little more normal than feeding another animal chicken crap. You filled in a pool turned it into a garden you overcrowd your onions big whoop im sorry but you don't have a patent on doing that it happens all the time. I am like jed tried to give you the benefit of the doubt but not interested anymore i got another to add to the foes list :tiphat: :wave:

Please do.... :tiphat: Thank you
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Re: How to grow onions

Postby TexasBred » Tue May 06, 2014 4:25 pm

cowgirl8 wrote:The first will be smaller than they will be later on. The last i pick will be big because they have the room to grow bigger. I try to store around 50 or 60 large onions. I use most of my onions in cooked things, so its not necessary to store the onions if you have the freezer space. Frozen onions cook just the same as fresh and if cut up already, it omits a step in preparation. There have been times i wanted to add onion to a dish but didnt want to get out a cutting board or go to the storage area to get an onion. Now i open a bag and grab what i need. And, the times i just stored the onions, by late winter i've lost around 1/3rd of what i stored. This year i bought 2 onions from the store. We use a lot of onions so this year i planted more.


You actually noticed?? Then why not allow them ALL room to get that large and you can plant half as many. You never get too old to learn something new.
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Re: How to grow onions

Postby cowgirl8 » Tue May 06, 2014 5:32 pm

TexasBred wrote:
cowgirl8 wrote:The first will be smaller than they will be later on. The last i pick will be big because they have the room to grow bigger. I try to store around 50 or 60 large onions. I use most of my onions in cooked things, so its not necessary to store the onions if you have the freezer space. Frozen onions cook just the same as fresh and if cut up already, it omits a step in preparation. There have been times i wanted to add onion to a dish but didnt want to get out a cutting board or go to the storage area to get an onion. Now i open a bag and grab what i need. And, the times i just stored the onions, by late winter i've lost around 1/3rd of what i stored. This year i bought 2 onions from the store. We use a lot of onions so this year i planted more.


You actually noticed?? Then why not allow them ALL room to get that large and you can plant half as many. You never get too old to learn something new.

Because in my little garden i also grow enough carrots to last me a year, we eat 2 a day. I grow enough potatoes to can and dehydrate for us to last a year. I grow more corn than i can shake a stick at in a space as small, over 80 ears bug free ears last year and i plan to plant twice as much maybe 3xs this summer... I also grow pickles, peppers, garlic, greenbeans, pinto beans(hopefully enough to can a years worth of pinto bean soup, my first year to try that) I have a big space for lettuce, we eat 4 cups a day each. I also grow all my spices, the homemade dehydrator works perfect for them. Dries my cilantro and parsley in 2 hours, really stoked at that. That leaves enough room for tomatoes. I can up enough pizza sauce for us to have 2 pizzas a week. I can up enough salsa to last us a year, that takes lots of tomatoes. Now, why the heck would i waste space to grow 60 large onions in a space where i can grow 800 just to have bigger onions when i'll get those in the end plus a years worth of cooking onions? I'm never too old to learn, are you????? And out of 800 half would be 400. Still not enough room for them to get big in that space. If i went by skylowtrees garden plan, maybe. ;-)
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Re: How to grow onions

Postby cowgirl8 » Wed May 07, 2014 7:34 am

The idea behind planting them like it is. Onions like competition. There are going to be the guys who bulb early way before the others are ready. Yeah, you can just let it keep growing and pick all your onions at the same time. I need to point out that unless you're selling your onions, why do you need to harvest them all at once. And, no one is harvesting onions now, but wouldnt it be nice to have fresh onions early and get a jump start on storage and crowding them makes them compete, thus, you get those early guys. Harvesting them early for the freezer and not dry storage is great because you dont lose out on those outer layers that need to dry to help with storing. Chopping them fresh out of the garden for the freezer yields more onion because you get all the layers. And picking daily, you arent spending hours preparing your onions for storage. I spend around 15 minutes chopping a gallon bag for the freezer a day.
Once you start pulling the most competitive early onions, the guy next to him takes advantage and bulbs up bigger. Every picking, my onions will be bigger and bigger.
I do carrots the same way. Unless you're canning them, why plant your carrots to be picked all at once. I love going out in the garden in the morning and picking 2 carrots for lunch. Carrots will sit ready to grow when they get the room. But there will be the eager beaver carrots that grow big enough to pick before the others and once picked the guy next to him grows. I will have fresh carrots for a full year. And, i'll have enough to can up for stews for the year.
Corn loves being crowded, but there is no way around picking them all at once. Ask any corn farmer and if he didnt have to get tractors in his fields i guarantee they'd fill in those rows with another row or two of corn. Theres no way around it though for the farmer, they have to get big stuff in there and need the rows.
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Re: How to grow onions

Postby Nesikep » Wed May 07, 2014 9:59 am

We used to grow onions commercially, and we did have nice rows of them... Now, we just plant in our home garden. We've paid a lot of attention to the variety and improved it through the years.. Our onion store for 8 months quite easily, Potatoes store for a year in a cellar, and carrots about the same. We haven't bought a carrot, onion, potato, garlic, or onion since the beginning of time. We had a butternut squash store for nearly 2 years on our mantle.

You're doing what you can with the space you have... you've become an urban farmer!
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Re: How to grow onions

Postby M5farm » Wed May 07, 2014 10:13 am

Farmers do plant and twin rows and 30" spacing and the tractor does not enter the field again on irrigated land all of the pesticide an fertilizer is liquid applied thru the pivot. They don't do this because corn loves to be crowded they do it to maximize yield. Dry land corn is spaced because the field has to be worked. 80 ears would just pisz me off. We put up 250 to 300 a year .the ears average 10 to 12" long and about 3" radius
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Re: How to grow onions

Postby Limomike » Wed May 07, 2014 10:40 am

I love onions, but they dont love me. But I still plant them every single year.. about 150 of them .. in ROWS.. that way my wife can have something to do when she goes into the garden with her hoe.
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Re: How to grow onions

Postby cowgirl8 » Wed May 07, 2014 11:39 am

Limomike wrote:I love onions, but they dont love me. But I still plant them every single year.. about 150 of them .. in ROWS.. that way my wife can have something to do when she goes into the garden with her hoe.

Rows are fine, just wanted anyone interested to know they dont need to be.
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Re: How to grow onions

Postby Craig Miller » Wed May 07, 2014 2:03 pm

Maybe i missed it but how do you keep the weeds out? Cause around here the weeds will come up before the veggies and if you planted that close i see no way to get them out without walking on your plants and pulling them one by one
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Re: How to grow onions

Postby cowgirl8 » Wed May 07, 2014 2:31 pm

Craig Miller wrote:Maybe i missed it but how do you keep the weeds out? Cause around here the weeds will come up before the veggies and if you planted that close i see no way to get them out without walking on your plants and pulling them one by one

Once i plant them, i cover them with pine needles, but not a whole lot. Since its just 4 ft wide, its easy to reach in and pull anything that sprouts. But once the onions are like in the picture, its too shaded for much to grow. With my carrots, they fill in great and nothing can grow though them. But i use pine needles over my whole garden. The only weeds i'll get are when i bring in new compost, sometimes there will be things in it if i dont get everything covered whether it be with pine needles or just dense planting.
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Re: How to grow onions

Postby cowgirl8 » Wed May 07, 2014 3:17 pm

Nesikep wrote:We used to grow onions commercially, and we did have nice rows of them... Now, we just plant in our home garden. We've paid a lot of attention to the variety and improved it through the years.. Our onion store for 8 months quite easily, Potatoes store for a year in a cellar, and carrots about the same. We haven't bought a carrot, onion, potato, garlic, or onion since the beginning of time. We had a butternut squash store for nearly 2 years on our mantle.

You're doing what you can with the space you have... you've become an urban farmer!

Stuff doesnt store down here as well. I can get onions to go around 4 months before they start growing. I have them in a closet in a garage with no window. They are in a closet with the AC, so the closet stays cool and dry. Around Nov, most will have sprouted and then they shrink. The best way down here is to freeze the ones used for cooking. I'm planning to can all the potatoes i harvest. What variety of onions do well were you live?
So i'm the urban farmer in the boondocks :lol2:
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