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Trimming onions

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
by luv2garden&quilt on July 09, 2006 02:18 PM
Hi All. Been lurking around here and looking for an answer, but since didn't find it, I thought I'd join and post it! Here's the question, we have onions that the tops are going gangbusters and getting taller and taller. Bulbs are also growing. Someone at work said that we need to cut the stalks back so that the onion's energy is directed at growing the bulb rather than the stalk. I've looked in several books and can't find info on this. Has anyone done this? Did it work? How short to cut back??? Any help appreciated. . . . . BTW--tons of glorious info on this site!! [Smile]
by Greenthumb newbee on July 09, 2006 04:55 PM
I grow onions and to what I`ve read with my experience is to bend over some but not all the greens and mostly don`t let them go to seed. You will know when you see a big ball growing on top of the greens.

When ALL the greens fall over the onions stop growing and time to harvest reguardless of size.

Great thing is you can tie them in a bunch afterword to let them cure (outer layer get flacky). Kept in a cool\dry place they`ll keep for several months.

You can put off a green onion without hurting the plants and are tastey but a bit on the hot side.
Hope that helps.
by woodchuck on July 10, 2006 11:30 PM
I have read about topping the onions, but the authors don't indicate how much to cut off. There are enough in my garden to experiment with so I will try different cutting lengths. Since plants use the greens to perform photosynthesis, leaving the majority of the height would make sense, and would prevent the shoot from developing the seed ball.

It's a theory. Let us know what you try and what happened as a result.
by joegardener on July 12, 2006 03:29 PM
My father in law told me to bend them half way down the green. basically you break them and they will not stand back up. I had big onions so it must work. I do it that way every year. hope that helps. [grin]
by limey on July 16, 2006 04:10 PM
I talked about cutting onions back to 4ins.This was onions from seeds that I start in the basement under lights.After there a couple of inchs high I transplant them to 3ins pots Then I keep them trimmed to about 4 ins high until I plan them outside.Then I let them grOWW.When you think they are big enough you can bend them down but they will bend on there own.
by elkwc36 on July 17, 2006 08:36 AM
In the past I have broke them over. This year someone on a forum gave the internet address to Dixondale Farms. It is just ( . I found some good information under the FAQ's section and also how to grow. They say bending them over decreases bulb size. Will let everyone be their own judge. Just thought some might find the site interesting reading as I did. JD
by luv2garden&quilt on July 18, 2006 02:25 PM
Thanks, Everyone. We're kind of doing a mix 'n match of all suggestions so we'll see what happens. We are getting to the point of the greens flopping on their own and some turning brown so we're getting close. Can't wait to see what's hidden down there/how big the bulb is! Sometimes it's the most simplest of pleasures that bring the most joy. . . . . .
by Tamara from Minnesota on July 19, 2006 07:54 AM
I don't cut or bend them, just fertilize, water and keep weeded and they get quite large. I don't think (but this is just an opinion) that it is ever good to cut off part of a plant that is still growing because doing that takes energy away too. Like bulbs- you never take the leaves off until they wilt.
Can't wait to see what's hidden down there/how big the bulb is!
Ok I have a question about this: Can't you see the onions above the ground? I can see almost all of mine. There is no mystery how big they are. So maybe they are planted at the wrong depth? What is right?

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