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General information and discussion about cultivating onions, garlic, shallots and leeks.

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Old January 31, 2014   #1
Itoero
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Default fertilize onions and shallots

Hi,
In about a month I will plant onions and shallots.
Do they like extra fertilizer during their growth?
Or is it better to fertilize with dried cowdung a week before planting?
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Old January 31, 2014   #2
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Hi,
In about a month I will plant onions and shallots.
Do they like extra fertilizer during their growth?
Or is it better to fertilize with dried cowdung a week before planting?
Depends how much of a crop you want. Tubers can be heavy feeders. You can start with amended soil, and then once a month supplement with an acidic form of nitrogen and a source of soluble phosphate. If you want to be "organic" I would recommend Fish Emulsion for the Nitrogen and Bone Meal for the phosphate -- but apply the bone meal about 3 weeks ahead of schedule. If you don't mind using water-solubles then I'd recommend using 21-7-7 Acid Forming formula with 11-45-8 Tuber Enhancer.
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Old February 1, 2014   #3
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Can I use bone meal and blood meal (=organic nitrogen)?
And don't they need potassium?

For my garlic, I will add a mix of compost, volcanic rockdust and organic fertilizer (dried kelp, nettle en alffalfa) with npk 2-2-2.
Can I use that for the onions?
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Old February 1, 2014   #4
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Originally Posted by Itoero View Post
Can I use bone meal and blood meal (=organic nitrogen)?
And don't they need potassium?

For my garlic, I will add a mix of compost, volcanic rockdust and organic fertilizer (dried kelp, nettle en alffalfa) with npk 2-2-2.
Can I use that for the onions?
Volcanic rockdust has no fertilizer content that will be released on a time scale relevant to plants or your lifetime. Fish emulsion is a better source of acidic organic nitrogen.

But if you want to stick with what you have, then amend the soil with the compost and organic fertilizer and afterwards provide monthly supplements of bone meal and blood meal.
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Old February 1, 2014   #5
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Ok,
I found fish emulsion (5-2-2) and bone meal in the same webshop.
The fish emulsion doesn't have a brand, I hope the quality is OK.
Why do you think acidic nitrogen from fish emulsion is better?
And do you use it also for garlic?

I'm a bit restrained to use liquid fertilizer on top of onions(or shallots or garlic)...can't it harm them?

Last edited by Itoero; February 1, 2014 at 11:24 AM.
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Old February 1, 2014   #6
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I'm a bit restrained to use liquid fertilizer on top of onions(or shallots or garlic)...can't it harm them?
Blood meal is water soluble. It will be liquid the first time it gets wet.

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Why do you think acidic nitrogen from fish emulsion is better?
And do you use it also for garlic?
To produce good crops of tuberous vegetables, you need repeat applications of nitrogen and phosphate.

Controlling soil-borne pests of tuberous vegetables is problematic. Keeping the pH near 6.0 -- particularly in the nitrogen source will discourage them.

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I found fish emulsion (5-2-2) and bone meal in the same webshop. The fish emulsion doesn't have a brand, I hope the quality is OK.
If you are concerned about the quality of Fish Emulsion, then I think you'd be horrified at the pharmaceuticals in blood meal and the metal content of volcanic ash.
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Old February 1, 2014   #7
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OK, thanks for the replies
one more question

The fish emulsions I can get have npk 7-5-7, 5-2-2 or 5-1-1
The one with 5-1-1 is Alaska fish fertilizer, it has 25% Ammoniacal nitrogen, 75% is from the fish(amino acids I suppose).
And There is also de biobizz fish mix (5-3-4)
Which one should I buy?

Last edited by Itoero; February 1, 2014 at 05:06 PM.
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Old February 1, 2014   #8
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I'm going to answer something without answering your last question.

For every new onion leaf is another layer of onion on the bulb.
This means the faster it grows the bigger the onion.

And I think too acidic soil will cause a hot onion.
I like the hot onions for cooking.
Too much sulfur will make them hot.

When you see the first one start to bolt pull them all as they will keep longer.
Leave some for seed.

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Old February 1, 2014   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Itoero View Post
OK, thanks for the replies
one more question

The fish emulsions I can get have npk 7-5-7, 5-2-2 or 5-1-1
The one with 5-1-1 is Alaska fish fertilizer, it has 25% Ammoniacal nitrogen, 75% is from the fish(amino acids I suppose).
And There is also de biobizz fish mix (5-3-4)
Which one should I buy?
The 5-2-2 and 5-1-1 are from fish, the others are fortified. You don't want the latter.

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And I think too acidic soil will cause a hot onion.
That's correct, but we're not talking about pH 5.
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Old February 2, 2014   #10
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Ok
The BioBizz fishmix, is a fishemulsion, of several fish, with vinasse.
Vinasse is mainly potassium, from the sugar beet industry in Holland.
Do you know why it is said that potassium helps Allium's to survive freezing temperatures?
Does potassium help to create some sort of anti-freeze?
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Old February 2, 2014   #11
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Ok
The BioBizz fishmix, is a fishemulsion, of several fish, with vinasse.
Vinasse is mainly potassium, from the sugar beet industry in Holland.
Do you know why it is said that potassium helps Allium's to survive freezing temperatures?
Does potassium help to create some sort of anti-freeze?
The organic fertilizer you are amending your soil with already contains potassium.

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I will add a mix of compost, volcanic rockdust and organic fertilizer (dried kelp, nettle en alffalfa) with npk 2-2-2.
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Old February 2, 2014   #12
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i used to come down on the side of alliums don't like too much fertilizing whether under lights or after going out. after some discussions with others i am going to fertilize my alliums like other plants. less is not better but don't over do a good thing either. bone meal, blood meal and compost at transplanting outside (standard) then chickity do do (started last year) 3 weeks later as a top dressing. spray with NH every 2 weeks vs 4 weeks (new). seedlings under lights will get more than just 2 dilute fertilizations with NH (new). i always knew bigger seedlings means faster and bigger plants which means larger bulbs but i had read that alliums don't need or like to be fertilized that much so i'd spray them once a month for 3 months. i don't think this is adequate tho i get respectable yields.

tom
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Old February 5, 2014   #13
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After several years of growing from seed, last year I ordered Copra onion plants from a place online. Dixondale Farms.

They recommend a fertilizer ratio of 10-20-10 to get the plants started, and then Ammonium Sulfate after the plants are established.

I'm trying to grow with organic methods, so I use Manure, Rock Phosphate, and Greensand, plus a lot of compost. I get onions that are 3 inches around.

Good luck all,
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Old February 5, 2014   #14
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I saw some website about a year ago where some guy was groing them the size of musk melons.

Let me see---- here it is.

They're huge.

http://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j...91738963556245

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Old February 6, 2014   #15
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hey yopper is that you in the picture? he uses a backhoe to dig his onions.

tom
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