Problems Growing Onions - Knowledgebase Question

Dallas, OR
Question by jarviper
January 24, 2001
I'm an experienced gardener but I always have trouble with onions. I start mine from sets. The greens grow really well above the soil but I just can't get the bulbs to grow. What can I do?

Answer from NGA
January 24, 2001


Onions can sometimes be tricky to grow because they are photoperiodic plants, meaning they regulate their stages of growth by the duration of the light/dark cycle. An onion plant will make top growth until the critical light duration is reached; then it begins to form bulbs. The amount of growth and development prior to bulbing will determine the bulb size. You need to match the onion variety with your locale -- there are "short-day" onions for southern areas, and "long-day" onions for northern regions.

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