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Old 19-07-2007, 07:43 AM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Onion Seeds versus Onion Sets

Every year I have bought onion sets and have had a reasonable success rate
but I am considering, for the coming year, growing from seed. Has anyone any
experience of this and can advise me of the advantages and the
disadvantages.- and, perhaps, suggest any particular variety? I have looke4d
at the on-line catalogues but can't really make up my mind which to go for.



My reasons or wanting to change this year is that, the sets always get too
many small onions that never seem to do very well and, though they grow,
they remain fairly small. Also, I have no idea what type of onion they are
(this is because I buy them from my allotment shop and they don't seem
certain as to the type they've bought!!!)

As regards the position of my garden (which may well make a difference as to
what varieties I can grow) I live in Sussex, not far from the coast.

Regards,

John





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Old 19-07-2007, 08:32 AM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Onion Seeds versus Onion Sets

In article , John Vanini
writes
Every year I have bought onion sets and have had a reasonable success rate
but I am considering, for the coming year, growing from seed. Has anyone any
experience of this and can advise me of the advantages and the
disadvantages.- and, perhaps, suggest any particular variety? I have looke4d
at the on-line catalogues but can't really make up my mind which to go for.


Growers of exhibition onions, who strive for ever larger bulbs would not
even consider growing from sets for the simple reason that on average
they do yield marginally smaller onions. Scientifically conducted tests
by eminent bodies confirm these old wive's tales to be correct. The
same studies suggest that average differences in size are marginal when
onions are grown for the table.

The reason for using sets is money for the commercial grower and
convenience for the amateur. I think onions grown from sets are fine,
if a little expensive.



My reasons or wanting to change this year is that, the sets always get too
many small onions that never seem to do very well and, though they grow,
they remain fairly small.


This will always happen regardless of whether you grow from seed or set
and it is one of the factors that contribute to my statement above,
although the manner in which you grow them, particularly crop spacing,
will also affect the final size. If you can find it get yourself a copy
of the now out of print Know and Grow Vegetables and use that as your
vegetable growing bible.

Size is not everything, is it not reasonable to assume that onions, in
common with most other vegetables, have a finer flavour when grown to be
smaller?


Also, I have no idea what type of onion they are
(this is because I buy them from my allotment shop and they don't seem
certain as to the type they've bought!!!)


Shame on you and shame on them. How can you possibly experiment with
different varieties to get the best to suit you if you do not know their
names?


As regards the position of my garden (which may well make a difference as to
what varieties I can grow) I live in Sussex, not far from the coast.


Onions are very tolerant of a wide variety of climatic conditions and
grow quite happily from Siberia to Sierra Leone. Look to your soil and
technique if you are less than successful.


--
steve auvache
A Bloo one with built in safety features
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Old 19-07-2007, 08:54 AM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Onion Seeds versus Onion Sets

steve auvache wrote:
In article , John Vanini
writes
Every year I have bought onion sets and have had a reasonable success rate
but I am considering, for the coming year, growing from seed. Has anyone any
experience of this and can advise me of the advantages and the
disadvantages.- and, perhaps, suggest any particular variety? I have looke4d
at the on-line catalogues but can't really make up my mind which to go for.


Growers of exhibition onions, who strive for ever larger bulbs would not
even consider growing from sets for the simple reason that on average
they do yield marginally smaller onions. Scientifically conducted tests
by eminent bodies confirm these old wive's tales to be correct. The
same studies suggest that average differences in size are marginal when
onions are grown for the table.

The reason for using sets is money for the commercial grower and
convenience for the amateur. I think onions grown from sets are fine,
if a little expensive.



My reasons or wanting to change this year is that, the sets always get too
many small onions that never seem to do very well and, though they grow,
they remain fairly small.


This will always happen regardless of whether you grow from seed or set
and it is one of the factors that contribute to my statement above,
although the manner in which you grow them, particularly crop spacing,
will also affect the final size. If you can find it get yourself a copy
of the now out of print Know and Grow Vegetables and use that as your
vegetable growing bible.

Size is not everything, is it not reasonable to assume that onions, in
common with most other vegetables, have a finer flavour when grown to be
smaller?


Also, I have no idea what type of onion they are
(this is because I buy them from my allotment shop and they don't seem
certain as to the type they've bought!!!)


Shame on you and shame on them. How can you possibly experiment with
different varieties to get the best to suit you if you do not know their
names?


As regards the position of my garden (which may well make a difference as to
what varieties I can grow) I live in Sussex, not far from the coast.


Onions are very tolerant of a wide variety of climatic conditions and
grow quite happily from Siberia to Sierra Leone. Look to your soil and
technique if you are less than successful.


Extra work from seeds of course, also gives the likes of me the
opportunity to make more mistakes. ;-) As regards large onions, if I
brought in those giants that I have seen in exhibitions the chef would
not thank me.
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Old 19-07-2007, 10:32 AM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Onion Seeds versus Onion Sets


"John Vanini" wrote in message
...
Every year I have bought onion sets and have had a reasonable success rate
but I am considering, for the coming year, growing from seed. Has anyone
any
experience of this and can advise me of the advantages and the
disadvantages.- and, perhaps, suggest any particular variety? I have
looke4d
at the on-line catalogues but can't really make up my mind which to go
for.



My reasons or wanting to change this year is that, the sets always get too
many small onions that never seem to do very well and, though they grow,
they remain fairly small. Also, I have no idea what type of onion they are
(this is because I buy them from my allotment shop and they don't seem
certain as to the type they've bought!!!)

As regards the position of my garden (which may well make a difference as
to
what varieties I can grow) I live in Sussex, not far from the coast.

Regards,

John



For many years I've just grown sets, usually Stutgarter. However this year I
have grown both sets and seeds for the first time. I planted the seeds last
year in seed trays of seed/potting compost with the intention of getting
them into the garden late autumn. However, the elements conspired against
that as the garden was too wet to work.

So the onion seedlings were planted this Spring around a month ahead of the
sets. However, the sets have established and grown faster than the
seedlings.

Despite the seeds being much cheaper than the sets, I will be reluctant to
grow seeds again. The main problem in my situation is weeds. The garden was
pasture land a couple of years ago and I am still fighting a battle against
every sort of dormant weed seed coming up. Onion seedlings quickly get lost
amongst rapidly growing weeds. The sets got off to a better start and made
hoeing much easier. Hoeing the weeds from around the onion seedlings was
very difficult - and often resulted in severed onion stems! In fact in one
particular weed infested area I gave up and rotovated the lot back in!

David.


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Old 19-07-2007, 01:07 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Onion Seeds versus Onion Sets

In article , John Vanini
writes
Every year I have bought onion sets and have had a reasonable success rate
but I am considering, for the coming year, growing from seed. Has anyone any
experience of this and can advise me of the advantages and the
disadvantages.- and, perhaps, suggest any particular variety? I have looke4d
at the on-line catalogues but can't really make up my mind which to go for.


If all else fails go for one with an RHS award, that usually means they
are fairly dependable. Or visit your nearest allotments and ask the
gardeners what they recommend.

Not sure where you are but Brighton & Hove Council do run several sites
though I know there aren't many around Saltdean way as my brother wanted
one.
--
Janet Tweedy
Dalmatian Telegraph
http://www.lancedal.demon.co.uk


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Old 20-07-2007, 10:03 AM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Onion Seeds versus Onion Sets

Thanks to all of you who replied to my question onion sets/seeds. I'm
new to vegetable growing and trying to learn as fast as I can.



I took on two allotments, two years ago, for health reasons and the first
year, full of excitement and enthusiasm, I grew everything I'd ever heard
of - and did they grow! This, last, year I calmed down a bit and planned
things better but still managed to grow things I really didn't need or even
like!



For this coming year, however, I'm now considering what I really do want to
grow, reading as much as I can, and asking lots of questions. I wish I'd
started vegetable gardening before but there was this thing called 'work'
and I spent too much time there - but now I've finally retired and I wish I'd
dobne that before as well - around the age of 23, perhaps!!!!



I've read all that's been sent and am very grateful, to you all, for your
advice of which I shall take notice - I promise!.



Thanks again.



John


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Old 04-08-2007, 12:25 AM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Onion Seeds versus Onion Sets

On Thu, 19 Jul 2007 06:43:45 GMT, "John Vanini"
wrote:

Every year I have bought onion sets and have had a reasonable success rate
but I am considering, for the coming year, growing from seed. Has anyone any
experience of this and can advise me of the advantages and the
disadvantages.- and, perhaps, suggest any particular variety? I have looke4d
at the on-line catalogues but can't really make up my mind which to go for.



My reasons or wanting to change this year is that, the sets always get too
many small onions that never seem to do very well and, though they grow,
they remain fairly small. Also, I have no idea what type of onion they are
(this is because I buy them from my allotment shop and they don't seem
certain as to the type they've bought!!!)

As regards the position of my garden (which may well make a difference as to
what varieties I can grow) I live in Sussex, not far from the coast.

Regards,

John


As David noted you must initially grow the seeds in seed trays (using
sterile compost ~ = 4 months) until you can clearly identify the bulb
because seeds planted directly into the ground will be overwhelmed by
weeds.

Sets must be planted, say in Febuary but harvested in late summer. Seeds
may be planted earlier in a greenhouse and can be harvested the next
year - so you can grow for much longer. Some people start seeds in
spring and plant in late summer or August to let the onion grow over the
winter. The advantage of sets is that you clearly know when the correct
time to harvest is - not always so clear-cut with seeds.
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Old 06-08-2007, 12:16 AM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Onion Seeds versus Onion Sets

Thanks for the info, Mark,



As a matter of interest, I'm planning on sowing T & M's Hi-Keeper F1 hybrid
onions instead of the usual "Japanese" variety that I have been planting in
October/November.



The instructions on the packet say, "Sow September outdoors", which is what
I intend to do so that I can let them over-winter, just like the Japanese
onions..



The packet then goes on to say, "Harvest June from over-wintered sowings",
which again is what I intended.



I can't see any problem with that but if you can. I'd be grateful for your
input.



I still haven't decided which seeds to buy and to sow for the Spring
sown/Autumn harvested onions.



Regards and thanks again,



John









"mark4asp" wrote in message
...

As David noted you must initially grow the seeds in seed trays (using
sterile compost ~ = 4 months) until you can clearly identify the bulb
because seeds planted directly into the ground will be overwhelmed by
weeds.

Sets must be planted, say in Febuary but harvested in late summer. Seeds
may be planted earlier in a greenhouse and can be harvested the next
year - so you can grow for much longer. Some people start seeds in
spring and plant in late summer or August to let the onion grow over the
winter. The advantage of sets is that you clearly know when the correct
time to harvest is - not always so clear-cut with seeds.





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