Onions Flowering - Knowledgebase Question

Edison, NJ
Question by AlanGretsky
June 4, 1998
This is the first time I planted onions. I planted red hamburger onions, white onions and yellow sweet onions. I noticed that the onions are starting to form seeds at their tops and the onion bulb has not yet formed. Is this normal? I planted my onions in late March. I am having a time trying to find information on the stages of growth of the onions so that I know what is happening as the plants start to transform. I greatly appreciate your help.


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Answer from NGA
June 4, 1998

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Onions prefer to grow in the cooler temperatures of autumn and spring. When the weather gets too hot, they bolt (send up flower stalks), which indicates the plants are putting all of their energy into producing seed, rather than enlarging bulbs. You should always cut any stalks off of onions as soon as they appear. I'd suggest planting onion sets in late July or August for harvest in the late fall months, so your onions won't bolt.

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