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Edwin
Dec 23, 2015 12:35 PM CST
I want to grow large to jumbo size onions. I live in Hendersonville NC Lat 35 degrees. What variety is best I've tried different onion sets wit no luck at all. Three years in a row now and the sets don't get much larger than a large set. I'm about to give up and just go with ramps.
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
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woofie
Dec 23, 2015 12:56 PM CST
Onions want loose soil and good compost to get big. Also, the earlier you can plant them, the better. I have grown them here in the frozen northland and gotten decent sized onions (not huge, but 2 to 3 inches in diameter). When do you plant them, and which varieties have you tried?
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Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
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RickCorey
Dec 23, 2015 1:05 PM CST
Hi Edwin, welcome to ATP!

Which county are you in? The NC Cooperative Extension Service has county offices that would probably know good varieties for your exact area.
https://www.ces.ncsu.edu/local-county-center/

Or you could search the whole NC coop site for "onion". I got a few hits, but it would take time to go through them all.
https://www.ces.ncsu.edu/search-results/?q=onion

This article has some varieties listed for eastern NC:
http://content.ces.ncsu.edu/bulb-onions

Time to plant:
https://pender.ces.ncsu.edu/2012/09/time-to-plant-onions-and...
https://chatham.ces.ncsu.edu/2014/10/time-to-plant-onions-an...

Fall planting:
https://caldwell.ces.ncsu.edu/2014/09/planting-onions-in-the...


Edwin
Dec 23, 2015 1:07 PM CST
I've tried
Australian brown
Violet de galmi
Red creole
Sweet Spanish yellow Utah
Sets from box stores
My soil is nice in raised beds foot and a half deep compost and soil mix. Good sun exposure


Edwin
Dec 23, 2015 1:09 PM CST
Henderson county. Western NC
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Dec 23, 2015 1:21 PM CST
Here's your county office:
https://henderson.ces.ncsu.edu/

Here's a blog, maybe the author would respond to an email:
https://henderson.ces.ncsu.edu/2015/11/appalachian-mountain-...

They do have an "Ask the Expert" feature:
https://henderson.ces.ncsu.edu/ask-an-expert/

I tried searching our regional forums for "onion" but nothing jumped out at me.
http://garden.org/forums/view/midatlantic/
http://garden.org/forums/view/midsouth/
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Dec 23, 2015 7:32 PM CST
I'm not any kind of onion growing expert but I know there are long-day, intermediate-day and short-day types. To succeed you have to select the correct type of onion for your particular climate. There is a better explanation here:
http://www.dixondalefarms.com/category/onion_plants
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Dec 23, 2015 8:13 PM CST
Very good point, Greene.

I tried to figure which kind would be good for NC, but that link seemed to show a darker gray area between the Intermediate day and short day types. Or, probably, I'm reading it wrong.

Unfortunately, we may NEED an expert, or at least an onion-experienced NC gardener, to find an explicit answer. I'm kinda-sorta thinking that "short day" varieties would be a good place to start, also deciding whether a May/June harvest is planned, or a June/July harvest.

Too bad we can't just summon experts using "@onion"! But we would still want a regional onion expert.

Edwin, I'm hoping that, if you do research, or after trying new varieties, you come back and post what you've discovered. That's appreciated by everyone who wants to learn from someone ELSE'S trial and error, or trial and success.

It would also make a great tip or article (for which everyone gives thanks, and Dave and Trish give "acorns").

"Don't try this: (photo of dead plants)
or this: (photo of bolting plants)
or this (photo of insect-ravaged plants)
or this: (ice-covered dead plants).

Try THIS: (photo of healthy rows and bulging onions after harvest).


http://content.ces.ncsu.edu/bulb-onions

"Varieties that bulb in a 10 to 12 hour day (short day) are desired in eastern North Carolina for May-June harvest. ...
Some new varieties, classed as intermediate or long-day types (14 to 16 hours), have potential for harvest in June and July. Recently, long-day and intermediate-day-type onion varieties have been developed that are well-adapted to North Carolina conditions."

They also said that :
"North Carolina growers have an excellent market opportunity in June and July when very few onions are available. ... . A premium is paid for large onions during our harvest season."
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Dec 23, 2015 8:52 PM CST
Here is more information for North Carolina onion growers:
http://content.ces.ncsu.edu/bulb-onions

Note:
I am interested to see Edwin succeed. Thumbs up My husband and I were thinking of moving to Hendersonville and each time we ordered a telephone directory the phone company sent the wrong book...they sent the Henderson NC book - almost 300 miles apart and the climates are completely different. Rolling on the floor laughing
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Dec 23, 2015 9:25 PM CST
Welcome to All Things Plants @Edwin !

I can't recommend any specific varieties for you (being at the northern extreme of the US), but I believe you will have much better luck getting large onions from plants, either purchased or grown from seed yourself. If you decide to grow them yourself, I'd recommend starting them in flats or 6-packs or something, rather than directly in the ground, because they are very tiny when they first come up and can be easily overwhelmed by even small weeds. When the little plants get to around 6 inches tall, trim them back to about half of that and then let them keep growing; you will probably want to do that a couple of times, until they look big enough to handle and plant. Once they're planted outside, be sure to keep them weeded, and also make sure they have adequate water; onions are shallow rooted and don't do well with a lot of competition from weeds. And don't crowd them together; there should be a minimum of 4 inches between plants, if not 6 (although you can plant them closer initially and then thin and use the thinnings for green onions).

Johnny's Selected Seeds has a good variety of onion seeds and also has excellent information as to the suitable latitude range for each type.

Hope that's somewhat helpful -- I also agree with the advice to check with your County Extension Office Smiling
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Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Dec 23, 2015 9:52 PM CST
Hendersonville falls in both the short-day and intermediate-day range.

I found a site for Dixondale Farms (located in Texas); they recommend these short-day varieties:
1015Y Texas Super Sweet
Red Creole
Southern Belle Red
Texas Early White
Texas Legend
White Bermuda
Yellow Granex
They also sell a short -day sampler so you can see which varieties do best for you.

Looking in our ATP Green Pages there are 3 very positive reviews (one is from @dave) for this company; guess they know their onions!
Dixondale Farms
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Jim Goodman
Northeast Louisiana
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Jim41
Dec 28, 2015 11:42 AM CST
Ask for farmerdil's advise, he is very knowledgeable. I read something he had posted about onions several months ago.
Jim41

Edwin
Dec 28, 2015 4:33 PM CST
Thanks for all the great responses. I'm leaning toward short day and I'll try starts if I can find them. I'll definitely keep you all informed. I was hoping someone already blazed this trail but I'm willing. Have a safe New Years. I may start my own from seeds in my green house.
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
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greene
Dec 28, 2015 4:49 PM CST
@farmerdill
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Dillard Haley
Augusta Georgia (Zone 8a)
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farmerdill
Dec 28, 2015 5:47 PM CST
Seem to have heard my name called. I have grown onions from Virginia to Georgia, but skipped over North Carolina. I am confident that you can grow both long day and intermediate varieties with few problems. You should avoid the long storage type long varieties, But all the Sweet Spanish types should do well. The same would hold true for intermediate types like Candy. In each case, you need pencil size plants ready to go in the ground as the ground has thawed and is reasonably viable. Short day onions are best grown in Winter. I sow seeds around labor day and transplant in early December for harvest in May. Intermediate day plants and long day plants are transplanted in February.Harvest June -July. Long day onions are a problem for me some years because the cannot take some of our summer temps. Triple digits takes them down. In your area at higher elevation, summer temps should not be a problem, but winter temps may be a problem for short day types. They do not like to be frozen.
Thumb of 2015-12-28/farmerdill/992adc The third photo is Golden Grande long day sweet Spanish type. The others are short day

Edwin
Jan 2, 2016 7:06 PM CST
I decided to order from dixondale farms... This is a mixed bunch of the three intermediate day onions that we offer—Candy, Red Candy Apple, and Super Star varieties.

I'll let you know how things work out. Thank You! Thank You!
Name: Dillard Haley
Augusta Georgia (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Master Level Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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farmerdill
Jan 2, 2016 7:40 PM CST
good choice.

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