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Late sown onions

I sowed some onion seeds on Oct. 28th as an experiment, not really expecting them to do anything. 
I felt ridiculous, sowing them singly, in tiny modules, covering them with Vermiculite and plastic fruit trays. I shall be removing the plastic trays within the next few days to avoid damping off.
I have just checked them and every single seed has germinated!
Now comes the hard part, keeping them going until Spring. At the moment they are in my unheated, double-glazed conservatory, and we have been blessed with unusually mild weather, temperature-wise, lately. I plan to keep them where they are until they are larger and therefore stronger, I hope. I think they will need potting on at least once, but single sowing should mean virtually no root disturbance.
I will then move them into my unheated greenhouse to begin hardening off.
The theory is they will have a head start over the seeds I sow in January, and will be ready for cropping earlier, so freeing up ground earlier.
This is a first for me, I have always followed the advice of a venerable, expert, Show veg., grower, exhibitor friend who told me to sow my onion seed on New Year's Day. I have never failed with my onion seeds since starting to do this, sowing them when I sow my chillis. I assume they both need a long growing season, and chilies seem to take an inordinately long time to germinate. 


  • nick615nick615 Posts: 1,500
    Interesting, Joyce.  Are you effectively replicating the onion 'sets' method, but on a non-stop basis.
  • it is not reall onion sts method.
    also that method is common here where people 
    replant onion plants. it has several advantages over planting sets.
  • nick615nick615 Posts: 1,500
    ... which are, War Garden 572?  
  • I have no idea.

    war garden 572. Where is "here". It doesn't sound like the UK.

    I suddenly had a whim to try autumn-sown onion seeds as some varieties say on the packet, Can be sown in the autumn. 
    I have tried growing from sets in the past and they have always rotted off so gave up and always grow my onions from seed now.
    I didn't think sets were potted on or moved, I thought they just went into the ground and were left to their own devices. perhaps that is why my efforts failed.
  • nick615nick615 Posts: 1,500
    As I understand it JG, sets are onions grown from seed that are then stopped from growing at the size we buy them in spring.  We who grow them then start them off again by giving their roots something to renew their growing in.  The actual process I don't know.
  • Interesting.
    I have never thought about what sets are or the difference between them and regular onions. I suppose they must be different varieties as they split into several onions instead of remaining a single bulb. Ordinary onions sometimes divide but not into as many bulbs as sets.
  • nick615nick615 Posts: 1,500
    Again, interesting.  My sets, usually 'Sturon' have never divided.  Pic attached.
  • Impressive show. Well done.
    I only grow a few as I am on my own, but do use quite a few onions in my cooking, also enjoy them raw with cheese and pickles.
  • nick615 said:
    Again, interesting.  My sets, usually 'Sturon' have never divided.  Pic attached.
    What are the unopened cans in there for?
  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 10,120
    In case Mr. Onion gets peckish?
    Or more likely for scale (good-sized onions there @nick615 )
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
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