Row by Row Episode 73: The Best Onion Varieties to Grow in Your State

Onion Varieties & Types

The three types of onions are intermediate day, short day, and long day. They are separated based on the regions of the country they can be planted and it has to do with the amount of day length at which they start the bulbing process. The two phases of onions are the vegetative stage and the bulbing stage. During the vegetative stage, your goal is to maximize the leaves you are getting on the onion plant. Each of the leaves on the plant represents a ring on the onion. For root development, we supply the onions with a 20-20-20 fertilizer to ensure the plants get the phosphorus and potassium they need. Once the roots are established we will give the onion plants ammonium sulfate to ensure they get plenty of nitrogen. Then, during the bulbing stage, each of the rings is filling up with water and producing a nice big onion. When they reach the bulbing stage we do not need to apply any more fertilizer to the plants, just plenty of water using drip tape.

Short Day Onions

When preparing to grow short-day onions, the best time to plant is in November if you are in zone 7 and 8. We recommend planting in November because the onion plants will have a nice stand of vegetation before the cold weather comes and then be able to survive it. While in the long run, you will produce healthier and bigger onions in the vegetable garden. The short-day onions will start the bulbing process once day length reaches between 10 to 12 hour days. If onions are planted in November, then the bulbing process will typically start in February and last a month or two which means harvesting will happen in mid to late April or early May depending on the weather conditions. The three varieties for short day onions that we have available are Savannah Sweet, Sweet Harvest, and Texas Legend.

Intermediate Day Onions

With the intermediate day onions, the best time to plant is around late January or early February and the bulbing stage will happen around mid-April or early May when day length reaches 12 to 14 hours. The only intermediate day onion variety we offer is known as Candy which is a very popular variety to grow in the vegetable garden.

Long Day Onions

If you live in the northern region the long-day onions are the type of onions that you would need to grow in the vegetable garden. These onions start the bulbing stage once the day length reaches 14 to 16 hours. Therefore, planting short day onions happen around early April so the bulbing stage is around either May or June. The only long day onion variety we have available is Walla Walla which is a widely grown onion that produces really well in northern climates.

Show and Tell Segment

On the show and tell segment, Greg and Travis are waiting on the fall crops to germinate and weather temperatures to be just right in the vegetable garden. However, Travis has a good crop of Stonewall cucumbers coming out of the garden as of right now. Greg has got a few crops planted such as cabbage, kohlrabi, broccoli, and Tiger collards. The guys also discuss a couple of new varieties of vegetables. Three new varieties of radish such as Purple Plum, Helios Golden, and Cherry Belle. Then, the new okra varieties available are Cowhorn, Star of David, and Silver Queen. As well as, carrot varieties that include the Chantenay Royal and Black Nebula.

Viewer Questions Segment

On the question and answer segment this week, the guys answer questions about how many carrot seeds to plant on a 40-foot double row and growing carrots in a raised bed. Travis mentions that he probably uses 3 to 4 packets when planting a 40-foot double row of carrots. Greg says growing carrots in a raised bed is a great idea, keep an eye out for a potential video soon.

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