Onion sets from seed?

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Queen Bee
Dec 14, 2008
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East Yorkshire
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Hi All

I bought some onion sets from B&Q and planted them at the start of the season, they are doing great now.

Unlike my seeds I started at the same time! They are only about 3" tall and as thin as un-cooked spagetti

But I am thinking can I turn them into onion sets ready for the new year?

Any advice?
Ha ha, Yes Jim, stick to the beekeeping! Just joking.

I planted two rows of iceberg lettuces many years ago, pretty much at final spacing and in fold of newspaper. My neighbour who had a few rows of lettuce seedlings dense packed took pity on me and gave me eight inches of seedlings, which I planted up into three rows. They got set back a week and by the time my huge icebergs had been harvested, the extra three rows were fit only for the compost heap. I'm sure that your onion seeds will make good sets for next year.
I think commercial sets are heat treated to deter bolting but I find they still bolt anyway. Pickling onions? I tried onions outside from seed once but found they did not make enough growth.
I prefer to grow onions from seed. I don't think I get any bolters. i buy the seed from Moles and sow Jan or Feb on a windowsill. Onions don't need much heat. i prick them out 40 to a seed tray so you can easily work out how many trays you need. Plant out April and you get bigger onions than sets....and more choice of variety. i always go for an F1 hybrid.
I used to grow onions for show and sowed in December. Same technique but pricked out into soil blocks. They grew into monsters and one year I showed i coud do it without the use of artificial fertilisers. However there is only so much you can do with several dozen monster onions that don't keep. i now grow for taste and keeping quality.
if you try to grow them as setts they will bolt every single time sets are heat treated in storage to deter bolting, to grow onions from seeds is very simple but many people make the simple mistack of planting either to late or to early for when they want them

for onions at this time of year you should plant japanise onions in august september last year, but rember they will not store , use or loose

to grow onions from seeds try this way, stick a spare brood box on a patch of well dug ground( i had to get something bee in this thread somewhere) and sow all the seeds you want allow for 40% wastage for the frosts and cover the top with a piece of glass to keep them warm, ready for this ?

then go back inside your house and enjoy BOXING DAY!!!!!!!

you can of course sow them in the green house poly tunnel and when they are the size of a whisp of grass150mm tall then we plant them out in there permanate posisions in march, dont forget to feed and water and by this time of year they should be around the size of a spring onion 15mm round and a foot high, dont forget we have planted storage onions here , sturton, then they will be ready to harvest late september time