Garnets don't break dormancy well I've found. They were about a month or so behind my Purples and Beauregards last year, so I decided to start them in January instead of the beginning of March. They usually are very productive, but they got put in late last year and the other plants that had been in for a week over took them and pretty much smothered the poor things. This year I want to give them a chance.soil blocks. Sadly I used some seed from 2011 as my Redwing seed hasn't shown up yet. It is on backorder. I hope it sprouts. But if it doesn't I'll redo the blocks when the rest of my seed gets here. Typically I buy onion seed every year or two as the seed doesn't keep its viability long. Three years is pushing it.
One flat was nothing but Copra. It is my mainstay storage onion. Half of the next flat was Ailsa Craig a sweet onion, and the other half was the aforementioned Redwing, which is a good red storage onion. I ought to put more into Copra and less into Ailsa Craig. That onion can only keep for about 2 months. And 36 very large onions (and yes they get very very large) is doable, but hard to go through. Last year I got more poundage out of these onions than the other two combined in 1/3 of the space. I wish onions froze well, but I just don't like frozen onions.
The onions were put under some cool white fluorescent shop lights. Since these are long day onions I have the lights on for about 12 hours. That will keep them from bulbing up prematurely. I'll put them out in early April. Starting onions from seed is a PITA. They take a long time to get to a reasonable size. And I need a lot of them to fill a bed. I keep thinking our area needs a bulk buy from Dixondale Farms. If you buy in bulk it is pretty inexpensive. But I'd have to find enough people that want to go in on it. I think about 10 bunches would make it cost effective over growing them under lights (two months of a shop light costs about $7-$8 I think, not to mention seed and soil costs). With 10 bunches it would only be $4.28 for 50-75 plants. I'd want about 2 bunches myself. Though that would be splitting a couple of the bunches if I kept my sweet and red onion level at half my yellow onion level. Sadly I don't know of any place here that sells onion plants cheap.
Hmm Are there any other Bostonians out there that would come to East Arlington for a bulk buy (3/4 mile from Alewife subway stop, on the 77 bus line, and 1 mile from Route 2)? If so I'll collect names and emails and ask again come November to see if people are still interested. If so send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. And tell me about how many bunches you would want - as low as a 1/2 and as high as you need (this is not a commitment, but just to get an idea if it is feasible). It can't happen this year as I've already ordered my seeds, and I'm just thinking about it now. But oh it would be nice to not have to do onion starts every year.