Pelleted Onions - Key Growing Information
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Allium cepa
CULTURE: Reduce time-consuming thinning and increase planting uniformity by seeding pelleted onions with a precision seeder. Our onion seeds are coated with a Natural seed enhancement and then pelleted with inert NOP-compliant materials. These pellets are size 13.0, are ideal for direct sowing, and can be planted with Stanhay seeders (belt size 13.0) or any of the precision seeders offered by Johnny's. For best results, we recommend consistent soil moisture during the germination period. Pelleted seed must be kept cool and dry prior to planting, and should be used within one year of purchase.
Onions require full sun and fertile, well-drained soil with a pH of 6.0-7.0. Sandy loam soils are ideal; raised beds or raised rows are recommended for heavier soils to promote soil drainage.
DIRECT SEEDING: In April or early May, or as soon as the soil can be prepared in early spring, sow in a 2" wide band, about 2 seeds/in., 1/4- 1/2" deep, rows 12-18" apart. Thin to 1 1/2-2" apart for highest yields in fertile soil. Thin to 3-4" apart for larger onions.
TRANSPLANTING: In short-season areas, sow seeds indoors in flats in late February to mid-March. Broadcast 1/2" apart and cover 1/4". Tops may be clipped to 5" tall. Transplant to the garden 4" apart, or sow 5 seeds in each cell of 1-1 1/2" diameter plug trays, thinning to 3 per cell. Transplant each cell 6" apart.
CULTIVATION: Keep onions well weeded with shallow cultivation.
WATER: Onions are shallow rooted and grow best with at least 1" per week of rain or irrigation, especially during the bulbing phase.
DISEASES: Adequate air circulation and crop rotation aids in reducing the risk of foliar disease
HARVEST: When necks become soft and tops are falling over, pull and sun-cure at least 2-7 days, depending on weather. Move to a protected location to finish drying.
STORAGE: When dry, clip off tops and roots and store in onion bags or shallow boxes at near freezing and 65-70% humidity.
DAY LENGTH: Onion bulbing is triggered by day length, and maximum day length during the growing season increases from south to north. Short-day onions are grown at lower latitudes in the South, while intermediate and long-day onions are grown at higher latitudes. Refer to "Adaptation" in each variety description for details.
DAYS TO MATURITY: From direct seeding; subtract 10-15 days if transplants are used.
AVG. SEEDING RATE: 464,600 seeds/acre @ 16 pellets/ft. ( 3/4" spacing) in rows 18" apart or 16,000 pellets/1,000' row.
SEED SPECS: SEEDS/LB.: Avg. 15,300-17,700 (avg. 16,500).