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On the line between short day and long day onions

Long and short day onion mapWe live right on the line between good growing conditions for long day and short day onions, which I figured might be part of the problem we've had with the crop.  (In case you're curious, intermediate day onions seem to be all sweet varieties, not storage onions).  So this year I tried two new varieties.

Pumba is a short day onion, appropriate for people living in the southern U.S., while Pontiac is a long day onion for northerners.  I got the seeds from the same place Curing onions(Johnny's), started them inside at the same time, and transplanted them into alternating beds so location in the garden would influence each variety's growth similarly.

The onions I pulled out a couple of weeks ago were all Pumba onions --- this variety is supposed to be ready to harvest eight days before Pontiac, so the earliness was no surprise.   Pumba averaged 13.6 pounds per bed, and several of the onions had started to rot before I pulled them up.

Onion not ready to harvestThe leaves on Pontiac were still green in the middle of July, so I let them go a couple more weeks.  These long day onions beat the pants of Pumba in the weight department, coming in at 22.3 pounds per bed when I finally harvested them Friday.  A few Pontiac onions started trying to bloom, though, which might influence their storage potential.

The conclusion?  Despite straddling the dividing line, we're clearly northerners and should grow long day onions.  Total weight of our storage onion crop this year was 92.9 pounds, maybe enough to get us through until next spring?  Only time will tell.

Our chicken waterer is the POOP-free alternative to traditional filthy waterers.


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