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GoDawgs June 13, 2019 04:12 PM

Onion Question: Fat Stems
This is only my third time growing onions and have a question about stem thickness. Some stems at soil level seem to be really thick, like up to 1.5" thick while their neighbors are pretty much about 3/4" wide. When I feel around in the soil for bulb size they all feel pretty much the same. An example is the fat one in the middle of this pic:


What does that mean? Is a good sign or bad sign? Will they cure right when ready? Storage problem? I'm on the verge of giving up growing onions as I don't have a root cellar or room somewhere in the house to store a lot of onions. Scallions are much more handy and onions are cheap at the store. :lol:

Worth1 June 13, 2019 04:58 PM

Fat stems could mean more leaves the more leaves the more layers of onion.
The more layers of onion mean bigger onions when they bulb up.
Count the leaves and compare.

AlittleSalt June 13, 2019 06:13 PM

I agree, it's a good thing. It won't have anything to do with storage or anything like that.

wildcat62 June 14, 2019 09:45 AM

Worth nailed it.

GoDawgs June 14, 2019 02:46 PM

Thanks, everyone, for the comments. I will count leaves and compare. They haven't started turning brown yet so it may be a while longer. I only have about three in the 18' row that have bolted. A good thing as hot and cold spells at the wrong time last year caused most all of those to bolt.

Worth1 June 15, 2019 08:32 AM

Onions as I think you know require a certain amount of daylight to bulb up.
They bolt after about the 6th leaf if they are going to bolt.
Heat is your enemy.
The bulbs can form on top of the soil so they dont have to be planted deep.
You can manipulate the plants with day length.
Long day length onions in the south will just keep putting on leaves until the heat gets to them.
If there was anymore of a plant that was more perplexing to grow than the onion in the garden I wouldn't know what it was.
There is so much you can do as a grower to make that onion grow and taste the way you want to.
There are also a lot of wives tails that simply are not true about growing onions.
One is cutting the tops off to make bigger bulbs.
Not true, the tops provide energy for the bulb and cutting tops off or breaking over just stops all growing of the bulb.
Or at least I think it does.
When I plant onions 'which I haven't in a while, just enough of the roots go in the soil to hold them up.
That is how you get those nice round onions.

I love onions.:lol:

svalli June 17, 2019 01:09 AM

I have read that deep planting could cause thick stems, but I am not sure about it.

Like Worth, I plant my onions so that most of the bulb is above ground. My MIL told me that his father used to plant deeper and when the onions started bulbing, he carefully exposed the top of the onions by removing the soil around the bulb without disturbing the roots.


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