Onion Confusion

I planted onions in the spring…

So apparently I’ve been having a blond moment for the last several weeks now. I’ve been excited to collect seed from whatever garden plants I can. My onions sent up nice big flowers that now have thousands of seeds in them. I thought great, yippee, I get to save some onion seed. Ummm, no. Well, yes, I get some onion seeds. But no freakin’ onions!! I pulled them up today and the aren’t much bigger than the sets I planted.
Duh, I guess I should have thought about that. Apparently onions are not supposed to flower in their first year and if they do the bulbs will be very small. The bulbs also won’t store well since they have been pierced where the flower stalk pushed up. The only explanation I can find for this is extreme temperature fluctuations during the growing seasons. Yep, we’ve got that going on here in Michigan.
So what do you think? Has this happened to you? Am I missing something? Is this more likely to happen when you grow from onion sets? I’m so bummed.


5 thoughts on “Onion Confusion

  1. Farmer's Daughter

    Never grew them, so I'm no help. But I did grow leeks from seeds with little work and much success. You should try them next year!

  2. Marilyn

    You don't want them to flower and make seeds because then they won't make bulbs….

    When they send up the flower stem you step them over so they don't develop.

    I haven't gardened for awhile but if I remember right I never got very big bulbs when I started out with onion sets. From what I understand is you get the biggest bulbs when you start out with seed. Guerneys sells onion seed I'm pretty sure. 🙂

    P.S. I found you from the Ravelry post about Blogger blogs!

  3. Crystal Davis

    So….I found your blog because I too was having a blond moment. I was so excited about the pretty little flowers and the seeds. I rushed up to my computer to find out how to use the seeds and quickly found out the same thing you did. Flowers = pretty. BUT… Flowers = little onions. BUMMER! Next year I’m taking Marilyn’s advice and growing them from seed.

  4. Janet

    Although I knew that your wouldn’t get large onion bulbs from flowered sets…….I am hoping to get some seeds from the flowers..Have you harvested the seeds from your onion flowers, and grown them on to make sets?


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