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Onion bottoms!


 
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clare
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
Rank attained: Hazel Tree


Joined: 26 Mar 2007
Posts: 15
Location: Roscommon

PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 7:20 am    Post subject: Onion bottoms! Reply with quote

Last year I grew onions from sets with great success so I've planted again this year. However, last year all my onions had concave bottoms! Why was this please? Were they too far burried in the ground? Did I let them get too big? Or, was it something else? I'd like to avoid it this year. It made no difference to the taste or useability of the onions but made them more difficult to prepare than if they'd been rounded at the bottom. Can anyone help?
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James Kilkelly
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Joined: 30 May 2006
Posts: 2142
Location: West of Ireland

PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2008 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Misshapen bulbs sounds like a soil problem.
Poor hungry soil or soil not suitable for onion production due to exaustion of certain elements (lack of rotation).
The possible element which you are low in is potassium, which is vital in bulb formation.
This can be applied two weeks before sowing or planting out.

Ideally you should have light, sandy, well-drained, deep loam, which has been well manured in the previous autumn preferably.
If the land has a low lime content this will also affect the growing of onions.
They prefer a PH level of 6.0 - 7.0.
Hydrated lime can be used to make the soil more limey/alkaline, with an application of 500g per metre squared commonly increasing ph by one point.

I suggest you buy a simple PH and fertility test in your local garden centre and see what your levels are.
The test will let you know if lime or potassium are needed.

Let us know how you get on. Smile

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clare
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
Rank attained: Hazel Tree


Joined: 26 Mar 2007
Posts: 15
Location: Roscommon

PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 7:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks GPI. Never gave any of that a thought. I'll check it out. I'm sure the soil is 'good' however what the pH level is I wouldn't know, nor if it's deficient on potassium. I'd wondered if the onions were simply buried a bit too deep but you seem to be advising that this is unlikely. I haven't planted them in the same bed as last year.
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