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Post new topic   Reply to topic    Irish Gardeners Forum Home -> Vegetable growing, fruit and allotments in Ireland

Bolting onions.


 
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monkeynic
Rank attained: Rowan Tree
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Joined: 21 Jul 2009
Posts: 102
Location: Athlone

PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2010 9:47 pm    Post subject: Bolting onions. Reply with quote

We planted some onion sets this year, I fear we may have planted them a it late as some appear to have flowers forming on them. Any advice on what to do? Are they still edible if I break the stems and wait for the bulb to develop? Should I do this with all now to prevent further bolting and to produce edible onions? Thanks in advance for any help.
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michael brenock
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Joined: 12 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2010 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

very good and timely question. I have had numerous queries on this subject recently and some of my own onions have bolted in different varieties,
The bolting is usually caused by poor growing conditions at the start of the season, storing the sets in too warm a temperature and planting them in very cold weather and soil conditions. The bolters as they are called can still be used before they get woody but hey will not develop a proper bulb but it is futile just pulling off the flowering head,
michael brenock horticultural advisor (retired)
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monkeynic
Rank attained: Rowan Tree
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Location: Athlone

PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2010 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So if I pulled them up they could be used as big spring onions? Thanks for the advice. Hoping no more will start bolting now. Sad
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michael brenock
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2010 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

some of the more tender ones can be used as Spring onions otherwise put them in the compost heap. You are very unlikely to get any more bolters after time. keep asking the questions and keep my mind exercised.
michael brenock horticultural advisor (retired)
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monkeynic
Rank attained: Rowan Tree
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Location: Athlone

PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2010 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks so much for help. Down to the allotment this afternoon then to pull them and dig the next lot of spuds for dinner. First year is definitely a learning curve but at least we are getting stuff out of it. Very Happy
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sirpsycho
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This thread sprang into my mind last night while I was walking through my allotments looking at what others have done. Someone's onions have gone to seed and they must be 6 foot tall. Must take a pic tonight and post here. I never knew they could grow so tall!
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Lius
Rank attained: Silver Birch Tree
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Joined: 12 Mar 2009
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Location: Ballinteer, Dublin

PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had the same problem last year. I got good advice from this site which was basically that I planted the sets too early (28th March) and the resulting cold - cold - warm - cold - etc. before the summer confused them into thinking they were in their second year and they thought it was time to seed as they are biannual.

This year I waited until I thought the cold snaps were over and planted my sets on May 8th, they are doing great and no sign of bolting.

I use most of last years bolted crop because they were big enough when they started to seed but they would not keep. After I lifted them I tried to cut-off the seed stalk but another one grew back quickly which was wasting the onion bulb away. I had to use them up quickly before they rotted.
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