The Q&A Archives: Small Onions

Question: I plant white yellow and purple onion sets in the same row. I have done so in the same row for a couple of years. They never seem to get much larger than a tennis ball and they start out the size of a golf ball. They are planted in sandy loam with added peat, manure and fertilizer. What do I need to do to get larger onions?

Answer: Generally speaking, onions grow tops in cool weather and form bulbs when the weather warms. Onions like cool weather in the early part of their growth, so plant them in the spring, about 4-6 weeks before the last average frost. Try planting only 1/2" onion bulbs - larger bulbs tend to go to seed before reaching a decent size. Finally, provide at least one-inch of water each week. If onions are over-fertilized (as yours might be), they'll concentrate their energy on growing lush tops, at the expense of developing bulbs. Hope the above guidelines help improve your harvest!

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