In my climate, most people start their onions inside in February. I have a couple of friends who start theirs in April, but it a variety that matures in 60 days.
I was wondering if anybody has had experience direct seeding onions in an area where the last frost is around mid-May and the first frost around mid-Sept with long summer days (15.5 hrs at the solstice).
I've ordered several varieties that i plan to direct seed here at Wheaton Labs. Most of the seed catalogs i looked at had directions for either transplanting or direct seeding of onions. Our climate is something similar to what you describe. I'll let you know how it turns out.
For my plot, I ordered Early NY, Crystal White, Clear Dawn, and Dakota Tears. Any of which might be saved for seed the following year. For basecamp I ordered Red Bull, Talon, and Patterson, all hybrids we will not be saving for seed.
We are hedging our bets with 100 transplants as well.
I did it once with decent success. They were grown in a raised bed, seed planted a week or so before expected last frost. A decent harvest was had, but the onions were smaller than I would have liked. I can't remember the particular variety, though I would say being at my latitude they were a long day variety. I've since gone back to starting my seed early and transplanting after danger of frost. I get bigger onions and a better harvest.
Tyler Ludens wrote:Perennial Leek aka Elephant Garlic grows easily from seed and is a super tough plant, surviving here with no irrigation. It will propagate by self seeding and division.
This is good to know because I saved seed from my elephant garlic last year on the off chance. There was no reference to saving elephant garlic seed in any of my seed saving books.
I planted the original elephant garlic cloves in August of Year 1 and over-wintered them in our damp, cold temperate climate under a mulch of autumn leaves (despite the books saying they were too tender to do so). They produced a fabulous set of seed heads by July/August in Year 2. I had to stake them as they were about 3 to 4 ft tall. When the individual seeds stopped being milky and turned black, I cut the heads off with a good length of stem and stood them in an old glass bottle to dry in a warm room for a couple of months before removing the seeds from the seed heads. The drying seed heads are beautifully ornamental too.
“Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit: Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad. “ Brian Gerald O’Driscoll
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.