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Onion leaves yellowing already... is this OK?


 
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gusto66
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 2:33 pm    Post subject: Onion leaves yellowing already... is this OK? Reply with quote

Hi Folks

I planted onion sets in early March and they have grown beautifully so far. Now their leaves are beginning to yellow (the bulbs have not started to swell yet). Is this a little early? Do they need feeding? Or is all fine and dandy?
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michael brenock
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

if the leaves are yellow all over then they are short of Nitrogen usually because they have run short of humus. if only the tips of the leaves are yellow then this is probably a disease. The yellowing means that no more leaves will grow and the bulbs will be small and mature earlier than normal. Either you have a very poor soil that is low in Nitrogen or it has run short of moisture. Both are related to each other as a sandy soil which is low in humus is usually low in moisture also
michael brenock horticultural advisor (retired)
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Sean Ph'lib
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with everything Michael says.
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posiedon
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

following in my fathers footsteps, and growing my own onions for the first time. some of them are turning slightly yellow so i would think its a moisture problem. what is the next step in helping them to swell up. i seem to remember my father bending the leaves over to force the growth into the bulb. is this correct and if so, when is the best time to carry out this task
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Liparis
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bending the leaves over is done to start and help the ripening process, it won't swell the bulbs any more. If your bulbs are suffering from drought your only course of action is to water.
Mulching with garden compost or farmyard manure should prevent excessive moisture loss, except in the driest of years. Mulch should be laid pretty thickly after a good prolonged wet spell early in the year.
Bill.

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sharonl
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Our onions are the same, the tips of the leaves are yellowing. We planted them the last weekend of April. I scattered some chicken manure pellets and fed with seaweed extract and it seemed to improve them slightly. I dug a couple up to see if it could be anything else but didn't find any sign of rot, onion fly maggots, leaf miners or anything else unusual, the tips are just a little yellow. Onions on everyone elses plots in the allotments are the same so I figured with the soil on the site so sandy they must just be short of nutrients. The allotments are right on a river bank so I assume the soil is sandy and low in humus because of that. Should I just keep feeding with seaweed extract and hope for the best? Our beans also went yellow, but the seaweed extract seems to have sorted them out and they are growing strong again. Would it be enough with the chicken manure pellets on the onions and if I mulch them with compost in addition to a regular feed with seaweed extract? Sorry for hijacking the thread Shocked

sharon

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sharonl
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Our onions are the same, the tips of the leaves are yellowing. We planted them the last weekend of April. I scattered some chicken manure pellets and fed with seaweed extract and it seemed to improve them slightly. I dug a couple up to see if it could be anything else but didn't find any sign of rot, onion fly maggots, leaf miners or anything else unusual, the tips are just a little yellow. Onions on everyone elses plots in the allotments are the same so I figured with the soil on the site so sandy they must just be short of nutrients. The allotments are right on a river bank so I assume the soil is sandy and low in humus because of that. Should I just keep feeding with seaweed extract and hope for the best? Our beans also went yellow, but the seaweed extract seems to have sorted them out and they are growing strong again. Would it be enough with the chicken manure pellets on the onions and if I mulch them with compost in addition to a regular feed with seaweed extract? Sorry for hijacking the thread Shocked

sharon

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michael brenock
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the swelling rate and size of bulb will depend on size and vigour of leaf during the middle of June14- 21st. if leaves are big the bulbs will be big. if leaves are small bulbs will be small, however if leaves are over vigorous or were planted late the onions will develop into thick necks that are hard to dry and are generally poor keepers. This is why the gardeners resorted to twisting the necks to stop vegetative growth and start the bulbing process. The yellowing of the tips can be due to a number of causes, shortage of moisture, shortage of Ntrogen or trace element.
michael brenock horticultural advisor (retired)
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posiedon
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mine were planted lateish, so i wonder should i so something to start the bulbing process now?
i did water the regularly in june during our "summer" so if its a nitrogen shortage, is it something that can only be addressed for next year at this stage?

the onions are in raised beds,so i can rotate to the next bed next year and make up the nitrogen shortfall that way.

what would be the best way to achieve this?
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