Every season, many customers contact us regarding plant size. Optimal plant size at the time of transplanting is about that of a pencil, ≈1 cm or slightly less than ½ inch in diameter, which usually translates to the plant having 4 leaves. If an onion plant has more than 5 leaves, it’s more prone to bolting, or going to seed, than a smaller plant. When we ship onion plants, each plant has a certain amount of carbohydrates stored in the bulb. The larger the bulb on the plant, the more carbohydrates the plant contains. The drier the bulb, the more carbohydrates are stored since this solid fiber has not been diluted by water.

As our loyal customers know, some onion plant’s size in the bunch are smaller than others. Within a given bundle of plants, there may be a range of sizes of plants. Onion seed is planted and generally 85% of the seeds germinate within the first 14 days after planting. That means that some plants right next to each other may be two weeks apart in age and therefore in size. Some growers may wish to take all the smaller plants and plant them in a separate area where they will harvest them as spring green onions.

Your job as the onion grower

Your job as an onion grower is to transplant the bulb, help it establish a strong root system, and allow it start generating more carbohydrates before it uses up all it has stored in the bulb; a simple explanation for a critical period in the life of your onion. It takes about two weeks for the onion to fully establish a root system. After that, it should start shooting out new leaves once every two weeks or so.  The final size of the onion bulb is more effected by nutrition, climate conditions, and the variety planted than with the size of the transplant. As always, we try to ship you plants that are as close to the optimum size as possible.

Our guarantee promises that you receive healthy plants that will transplant successfully! For questions regarding plant size or any other onion plant questions, contact us at 1-830-876-2430 or customerservice@dixondalefarms.com.