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Old October 4, 2013   #1
Itoero
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I'm planting onions, but I was wondering how deep I can plant them.
I read you should plant them so the top is just visible.
Isn't it the very easy for birds to see them?

Can I plant onions an inch bellow surface?
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Old October 4, 2013   #2
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no! plant transplants as deep as they were growing in the containers you have them in. i bury the roots amybe 3/4 to 1" deep but i place the tiny bulb at ground level. when onions grow just about the entire onion bulb is above the ground, lamost nothing is below the ground but the roots.

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Old October 5, 2013   #3
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ok,
I've just planted some onions...can they survive the winter like garlic?
I live in Belgium.
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Old October 5, 2013   #4
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no idea.

here you plant garlic now but not onions, they are planted in the spring. i guess it depends upon how cold it gets but beyond that it's the longest days of the year that trigger bulb formation in onions. so with that in mind i can't imagine how this will work unless they survive until next summer. i think some onions are over wintered here but in more moderate climates. you need help from someone in your area.

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Old October 5, 2013   #5
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Are you planting onion sets (little bulbs) or onion plants (green plants with roots)? Onion sets are planted below the surface with the tops just underground or slightly above. Onion plants are planted as Tom describes above.

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Old October 5, 2013   #6
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Right Tom, never planted onions in fall either, I always start mine from seed indoors in January and plant out in the spring. Frozen wet ground would kill the onion sets normally I think. I've stored full grown bulbs dry in an unheated garage over winter and most survived that way. I replant those in the spring as a summer seed crop for the following season.
If the winters are more moderate they would have to be planted early enough to allow them to grow a good root system before winter.

Itoero, since your trying it I would plant the bulb with just the tip poking out of the soil and mulch heavily before winter after you see some growth and see what happens.
No idea if it'll work in Belgium winters, but it's an interesting experiment.
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Old October 5, 2013   #7
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It depends on the soil.
Contactable clay like soil the bulbs should grow on top of the ground.
Real loose sandy or sandy loam soil they can grow underground.

If the soil is hard and the onion is in the ground it will become elongated.
If the soil is loose or the onion is on the top of the soil it will become the beautiful round flat ones we like so much.

For a sweet onion keep the soil on the neutral or a wee bit above side, moist and well fertilized with nitrogen.

You will want to grow the onion as fast as possible.
For every leaf it puts out is another layer of onion.

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Old October 5, 2013   #8
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Onions are legumes. Who knew?
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Old October 5, 2013   #9
Itoero
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OK, thanks for the advice.
I got the onions(little bulbs), and garlic, as a gift from a friend who was on a holiday in France.
I've planted garlic, next to the onions.

I have a good garden soil, with a good amount of clay.
I did mix it with compost.
In February, or March, I will add some dry fertilizer.

So the bigger the onion is, before winter starts, the bigger the chance they will survive winter?

Last edited by Itoero; October 5, 2013 at 04:56 PM.
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Old October 5, 2013   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saltmarsh View Post
Onions are legumes. Who knew?
They aren't that's just where Itoero happen to post it.
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Old October 5, 2013   #11
Itoero
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I thought 'legume' was the same as 'vegetable'...I dion't anymore
Onions are Alliums.
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Old October 5, 2013   #12
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sets, which is what you have, are already 1 year old - they are small onions harvested for replanting. planting them now, if they survive winter, they would be in year 2 come spring and after the cold winter they would probably think they are in year 2 of growth and bolt in the spring.

if you plant sets in spring they never had that cold storage in the ground over winter and would be more prone to grow and not bolt tho sets can and do bolt to some degree ie a % of them can be expected to bolt.

sets are not a good way to grow onions imo. either start from seeds or buy plants. sets are the worst but easiest way to grow onions.

tom
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Old October 5, 2013   #13
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Tom, did you ever get onion plants that flowered their first year? I did, three plants flowered this summer. I never had that happen before.
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Old October 5, 2013   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Itoero View Post
I thought 'legume' was the same as 'vegetable'...I dion't anymore
Onions are Alliums.
Legume is any plant that gets nitrogen from the air and stores it in the roots.

A bean is a legume as are peanuts, clovers and many other plants like some trees.

An onion is of the Genus allium as is garlic.
Onion Species A cepa.
Garlic Species A sativum.

Real exciting stuff.
Anyway it is easy to get mixed up in this section of the forum.

Now I gotta go out and find seeds for 2 years from now.

Worth
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Old October 6, 2013   #15
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Regarding the onions planted in Belgium, they will do fine. They may perhaps go to seed the following spring, but they should produce very nice shallots, quite early in the spring. I am not aware of any onions that cant be fall planted.
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