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Post  OhioGardener on 2/13/2019, 5:45 pm

Planted two trays of Bridger Onion seeds today to get them ready to transplant into the gardens in mid-April. Put the seeds in 72-plug trays inside of 1020 trays - that will give us 144 sets to put out. 

The light color on top of the trays is the medium vermiculite covering the seeds.
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 2/13/2019, 6:41 pm

Cool!!!!  I am getting there, I have had abysmal luck with onions from seeds, will be interesting to hear how they do.  cheers


Last edited by Scorpio Rising on 2/13/2019, 6:42 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typo)
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Post  OhioGardener on 2/13/2019, 9:05 pm

SR, I usually have pretty good success with onion seeds - about 80% to 90% germination.  I have learned over the years that onion seeds don't keep well. If they are marked for season 2017 or 2018 and I plant them this year, they will only get about 40% or 50% germination. But, if they are marked for season 2019 and I plant them this year, they will get very good germination.  Usually any seeds I have left over, I just sow in an open space in the garden and use the young onions for salads, and then next spring start with fresh seeds.
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Post  Dan in Ct on 2/14/2019, 9:38 am

OhioGardener, okay you have gotten me fired up and will be starting seeds also as soon as I finish this post. Thank you. I helped/assisted with a cold stratification workshop last Friday, I volunteered in hopes of learning. Sadly the educational portion was absent because of illness and puppies. The one that was ill was in my Master Gardener class'18 and she has a PhD in Chemistry, the other who I did office hours with as an intern is a Master Gardener, '14 and she is a veterinarian who delivered 10 puppies by C-section. Master Gardeners never cease to amaze me and the good ones know that they are and will always be students who care enough to share. We did pot up about a 110 pots with various flower seeds that need cold stratification to germinate for sale at plant sales that take place in May. Long story short, I was wondering if onion seeds need cold stratification because like Scorpio Rising I have had various degrees of success in germinating onion seeds but less since I got a thermostat for my germination mat.

Scorpio Rising, I am including a link that shows three different ways to start onion seeds, one of them being the way OhioGardener does his. I may try sowing some onion seeds in Dec. outside now that I have read the article.

 https://underwoodgardens.com/3-ways-to-grow-great-onions-from-seed/
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Post  OhioGardener on 2/14/2019, 10:07 am

Dan, Onion seeds do not need cold stratification, they just need to be fresh. One of the biggest mistakes that I have seen with staring onion seeds is planting them too deep. Most packages, sites, etc., say to plant them 1/2" deep, which is way too deep for such small seeds. I don't cover them with soil at all - I put them on top of the soil, press them in to ensure they make good contact with the soil, cover them with about 1/8" vermiculite, and then use a spray bottle to dampen the vermiculite. I cover the trays with a plastic dome, and sit them on a heat mat set to 80°F -- onion seeds germinate best with a the soil temp between 75°F and 85°F.

The biggest mistake I ever made in starting onion seeds was heavily scattering the seeds on the soil in a 5" x 10" x 3" deep tray, covering them with plastic, and sitting them on a heat mat. Nearly every seed I put in that tray grew, and I was proud of the success of growing them.  But, then came the time to separate the the onion sets to transplant them, and the error of my ways caught up with me -- the roots of those onions were so intertwined that it was impossible to separate them without damaging the plants. After I finally got them all transplanted, they had to recover from the damaged roots before they could start growing.  Never made that mistake again!  Evil or Very Mad
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 2/15/2019, 6:24 pm

All good info, thank you.  I had fresh seeds, but might not have had hot enough mat temps.  I have no memory of how deep I put them???

I think I will forego the seeds and go with sets for a square of onions, since I have never grown them.  Beginner’s luck, maybe?  Seed Starting Has Begun... 3170584802
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Post  Dan in Ct on 2/16/2019, 5:37 pm

OhioGardener, if we are lucky enough to be paying attention we do get to learn from our miscues. I too have learned to be more focused when I am sowing seeds. My previous post should have been less problems getting seeds to germinate once I got a thermostat for my germination mat. Celery I found out last year needs a fluctuation in temperature to have a higher degree of germination so comes off the mat at night. Previously celery popped up no problem but last year it failed to do the customary germination. Rosemary needs 70 F, I never got germination until someone gave me the 70 F tip, hundreds of seeds lost and failure year after year. I have had tomato seeds that I gave up on and just put outside in my mini-greenhouse, pop up after a couple of weeks on their own, more than once. I am still amazed and in awe when any seed pops up and feel like doing the germination dance every time which looks a lot like the dance Elaine did on Seinfeld. So I am getting ready to dance.
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 2/16/2019, 8:58 pm

Me too!flower
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Post  CapeCoddess on 2/18/2019, 2:50 pm

Time to think about starting peppers here.  I always wait and do them in March with the tomatoes but then they don't fruit up til fall. Sad
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Post  Dan in Ct on 2/19/2019, 4:03 pm

CapeCoddess, peppers and eggplant get started here two weeks earlier than tomatoes around March 1st and tomatoes around the 15th. Peppers and eggplant get started earlier but set out later. I am going to get very serious about soil temperatures this year because plants can be set back by being set out too early and sometimes in my haste to get earlier produce, just about got any. The rule will be 3 days at minimum temperature at dawn and a good week ahead of favorable temperatures. Maybe I will postpone some of tomato plants a week to 10 days to see if there is a difference. Plant out date is around May 15 being pushed back from Memorial Day weekend. There is a timing to germinating, potting up and planting out. Starting earlier to have bigger plants is not necessarily a good thing. Have seen smaller plants pass the bigger plants and out produce them by season's end. It is similar to the clothing my mom bought me as a child and I would grow into them. Plants are just like people without the pants but if they had pants, they would grow into them. Your last frost date is a week earlier than mine but I will have warmer temperatures over the gardening season even though you have at a higher USDA hardiness zone. Have heard of salt being a cause of stress for plants and thus lowering production. I know you know all this but sometimes in talking about something a subtle difference will become apparent. To a bountiful harvest and best gardening year ever.
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Post  OhioGardener on 2/20/2019, 1:56 pm

Had a very good germination rate on the onion seeds that I planted one week ago today - nearly 100% germination.  I planted two seeds in each of the 72 cells of the 2 trays, and nearly every cell has two young seedlings growing - a few cells have three plants in them, don't know how that happened! Shocked   About mid-April I'll be very busy transplanting onion sets in the beds.



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Post  countrynaturals on 2/20/2019, 3:46 pm

I started kale seeds a couple of weeks ago on a heated mat. They sprouted, so I added lights. Along came the snow and the power went out. I put the flat on the floor next to a southern-facing patio door to get some light. Chessy ate the seedlings. End of story. (I'll try again, tonight.)
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Post  OhioGardener on 3/6/2019, 1:50 pm

My seed starting continued today.  Planted Kale, Swiss Chard, and Pepper - Jalapeno, Bell, and Banana - seeds in CowPots, put a clear plastic dome over them, and set them on heat mats.  In a couple weeks, after these are up and growing I'll be starting the Tomato seeds, and that will complete the indoor seeds starting - everything else will be direct-sowed in the gardens.

Can't wait for the early spring that the groundhog promised....  Rolling Eyes
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Post  CapeCoddess on 3/6/2019, 3:41 pm

@Scorpio Rising wrote:Cool!!!!  I am getting there, I have had abysmal luck with onions from seeds, will be interesting to hear how they do.  cheers
  Me too....I'm a terrible onion grower.

Look at  you go, OG...you're an inspiration...of which I'm desperately in need this year.

CC
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 3/7/2019, 5:04 pm

OK I am inspired!  Will start some stuff this weekend!
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Post  OhioGardener on 3/7/2019, 5:17 pm

^
  rock on
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Post  countrynaturals on 3/7/2019, 6:18 pm

I started another batch this morning, mostly for the balconies. Most of them came from a company I didn't know before -- Rennee's Garden. I got the seeds half price when OSH went out of business here, so this will be my first experience with them. I like all the detail on their seed packets, and that inspired me to check out their website. There's lots of good info there, so I'm gonna do some reading while I look out at the rain. Mad  

I'm a little late on these babies -- except for the sunflowers, but I have plenty of seeds, so I can try again in the fall.
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Post  OhioGardener on 3/7/2019, 6:47 pm

@CapeCoddess wrote:
@Scorpio Rising wrote:Cool!!!!  I am getting there, I have had abysmal luck with onions from seeds, will be interesting to hear how they do.  cheers
  Me too....I'm a terrible onion grower.

The onion seedlings are doing great so far. Today I trimmed the top 3" off of them, and turned them into salad greens.  The seedlings will soon be ready to start hardening off, but it is still to cold to start putting them outdoors.  Usually, we are ready to start planting them outdoors the 1st or 2nd week of April, but I'm not sure what is going to happen this year - it has been a very strange winter so far.
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Post  countrynaturals on 3/8/2019, 10:52 am

@OhioGardener wrote:The onion seedlings are doing great so far. Today I trimmed the top 3" off of them, and turned them into salad greens.

AWESOME! I can't even grow chives -- never mind "real" onions. Sad
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Post  sanderson on 3/8/2019, 6:49 pm

Suz, I only grow perennial walking onions that Audrey gave me. They just keep reproducing and the little bulbils can be planted to start a new cluster. They also fall over and take roots. I love them sauteed with pork chops, steaks, chicken in wine, etc. Their taste is more like round onions than green onions.

I have 5 trays of seed pots under the T8 lights. I sowed them March 26-28. Yesterday, it dawned on me that I forgot to start the cantaloupes! silly me Back to the drawing board.

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Post  countrynaturals on 3/8/2019, 7:51 pm

@sanderson wrote:Suz,  I only grow perennial walking onions that Audrey gave me.  They just keep reproducing and the little bulbils can be planted to start a new cluster.  They also fall over and take roots.  I love them sauteed with pork chops, steaks, chicken in wine, etc.  Their taste is more like round onions than green onions.

I have 5 trays of seed pots under the T8 lights.  I sowed them March 26-28.  Yesterday, it dawned on me that I forgot to start the cantaloupes!  silly me  Back to the drawing board.

Bob does the cooking in our house, and he'll only use sweet onions. According to my research, none of the sweet onion varieties will grow here, because we aren't a "long day" region for onions. Sad If anyone knows of a variety I can grow here that's as sweet as Walla Walla's, please let me know.
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Post  RJARPCGP on 3/8/2019, 7:53 pm

@OhioGardener wrote: One of the biggest mistakes that I have seen with staring onion seeds is planting them too deep.

Sounds just like my marigolds, LOL And I think marigolds need at least (roughly) 75 F to 85 F for the soil as well.
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Post  OhioGardener on 3/8/2019, 8:13 pm

@countrynaturals wrote:
According to my research, none of the sweet onion varieties will grow here, because we aren't a "long day" region for onions. Sad  If anyone knows of a variety I can grow here that's as sweet as Walla Walla's, please let me know.
CN, don't know if they'll grow in your area, but and excellent short day sweet onion is the Texas Super Sweet 1015Y.   Check out Dixondale Farms onion page (https://www.dixondalefarms.com/category/onion_plants) for good descriptions of various short day onions.

Sustainable Seed Co. has seeds for them as well (https://sustainableseedco.com/)
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Post  sanderson on 3/9/2019, 4:01 am

OG, Thanks for the info and link.

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Post  countrynaturals on 3/9/2019, 10:36 am

@OhioGardener wrote:
@countrynaturals wrote:
According to my research, none of the sweet onion varieties will grow here, because we aren't a "long day" region for onions. Sad  If anyone knows of a variety I can grow here that's as sweet as Walla Walla's, please let me know.
CN, don't know if they'll grow in your area, but and excellent short day sweet onion is the Texas Super Sweet 1015Y.   Check out Dixondale Farms onion page (https://www.dixondalefarms.com/category/onion_plants) for good descriptions of various short day onions.

Sustainable Seed Co. has seeds for them as well (https://sustainableseedco.com/)

OMG! I'll love you forever for this! I love you When I started my garden -- 3 years ago -- the only thing my husband asked for was sweet onions. It has been my biggest failure. I've been reading this thread sadly, wishing I could do what you do, but not even considering it. Now, you not only give me hope, but recommend my favorite seed company -- Sustainable. I will place my order today, and follow your planting instructions as soon as they arrive. THANK YOU! You have turned this bleak spring completely around for me. Seed Starting Has Begun... 3170584802  cheers  happy hi  rock on thanks
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