what the heck are "dry onions"?

I'm trying my luck with onions this year. I bought a bag of "red" onion bulbs. The planting instructions give me three choices: red onions , green table onions, and dry onions. I think I understand the first two choices, but I don't know what the third choice gets me. The directions say to 'harvest when fully matured and air dry.' I'm having trouble imagining an air dried onion.
Dawn
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Dawn wrote:

protects it during storage. Bill
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Bill Bolle wrote:

Thanks Bill. I think the directions had me confused. That's what I thought I was planting until I read the package. I don't know why they differentiate between planting the 'red' onions and planting 'dry' onions.
Dawn
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"Dawn" <> wrote in message

The directions are harvest when fully mature and (after harvest) air dry. I.e., you air dry your harvested onions.
I suggest that you wait until the tops fall over. This is a sign that the onions are mature. When the onions are ready, they pull nutrients from the tops into the bulbs and the tops fall over. Then, you pull them out and lay them in a sheltered spot to dry. We string ours together by the tops and hang from from the rafters in the garage for a few weeks to a month. Then you can bring them inside.
An alternative to hanging them is to spread them out on a surface, preferably with air holes. A fine screen suspended in air is ideal. Onion boxes have slats spaced closely enough together to keep the onions from falling out but wide enough to admit air.
Guy Bradley Chesterfield MO zone 6
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wrote:

The red onion bulbs.. I'm hoping were sets, about the diameter of a dime? That's the recommended size, those being too much bigger may just try to bolt and go to seed.
Technically they *are* dry onions. They're just small dry onions planted the previous year late enough in the year that they would not grow very large, and so would just go dormant, and grow the next year. So they've been packaged sold, and you plant them in your garden, poking into the ground up to the neck and soil firmed so just the tops of the sets are visible.
Once they're up, you may have some too closely planted. You can thin them out and use the thinnings as green onions aka scallions. Chop them up and put them in your salad or wherever you want some green onions. As the remaining onions grow, keep them well weeded, moist but not soggy and they'll grow happily. If you notice them starting to bolt.. grow a flower spike in the center that starts to shoot up, twist that out.. and figure on using that plant for green onions.
AS the onions grow they get larger and larger and seem to be growing above ground with just the roots in the soil and maybe a 1/3 of the bulb. Ones I grew one year were nearly just sitting on top of the soil by the time they were done.
Unfortunately there is an onion maggot that gets into them here, and I think it's a fly that lays the eggs, but I'm not 100% sure, just like the turnip maggot. I don't want to do diazanon drenches weekly in order to grown them, so I figure I'd just as soon buy them as pour that stuff on MY soil. They've already don that on THEIR soil. The other option is to use floating row covers, but I'd have to open it up to weed I figured, and that would give the flies access. However I think I'd try it again now if I were able, by laying down several layers of newspapers an cutting holes to put the onion set through, and cover the whole thing with remay. The newspaper should keep the soil damp to start with, and discourage the pigweed and grass seedlings which are the majority of the weeds in my yard, and that would decrease on the time I'd have to uncover the onions to weed.
There are potato or multiplier onions that are perennial that fill out the season before onions are mature, and there are egyptian onions whose tops are very sweet in the early spring. They get kind of hot and woody as they prepare to shoot up and grow the little bulblettes that grow on the tops. You can use the little bulblettes. They're also called Walking onions as the bulblettes get heavy eventually and the leave they're atop falls over.. planting their young the distance of the length of the leaf that fell over. I've had "happy" plants get 3 to 4 feet tall, but that was back when I was hauling home literally TONS of spoiled hay, horse manure and associated bedding, and steer manure, anything I could get hold of free. One year I got enough spoiled alfalfa to lay down over the whole yard a "leaf" or "flake" of hay deep.. about 3 to 4 inches thick. The front yard was 30 x 35 feet, one section of the back was 70' x 25 and the other around 25 x 30 feet. That was a lot of hay. It was stacked in the driveway and was about 5' tall and 9' wide and 15 or so feet long.. and wouldn't you know it, there were a bunch of out of town insurance execs in town and they chose *JUST* that time to drive by my house. Needless to say, they canceled my insurance LOL. There was a dip in the roof they didn't like too, and didn't like that I had some boarded up windows (dark room ) and that hay. The dip was a cracked rafter. I got it jacked up and fixed .. but found out that my old hovel has rough cut 2x4 rafters that aren't as close together as 2x6 ones should be. *sigh* Oh well, been that way since 1944, guess they'll last as long as I do. ;-)
Janice
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snipped-for-privacy@removethistoreply.yahoo.com wrote:

Onions also make a nice ornamental with a long-lasting flower -- I've seen shades of blue, pink, and white, with flower balls from an average of 3"-4", up to 6" in diameter. They are perennials if given a chance and will bloom every year. Plus the starving attack rabbits don't eat them! This is a good use for onions that have gone tough from long storage, or have grown too much of a top so the bulb is going soft. You can collect the seeds for regular planting, too.
Blooming onions are the only thing I can get to grow in the full-sun overheated ground behind my house, other than cauliflower (which sadly attracts too many mice). Does make people wonder what kind of nut the gardener is :)
~REZ~
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snipped-for-privacy@removethistoreply.yahoo.com wrote:

Missed this part ... that must have been what we had in the garden when I was a kid -- it was some random kitchen onion that had gotten too "growthy" so we stuck it outside in the flower garden. It came up every year, made a BIG blue flower ball, then a BIG clump of baby onions, which we'd plant and use later on. This is really the kind I wanted for my "onion flower garden" but didn't know the variety, so thanks for the mention -- what would I look for specifically in a seed variety?
~REZ~
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On Sun, 02 May 2004 19:05:33 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net (Rez) wrote:

The egyptian onions I have produce white flowers. Not sure what exactly you're asking about as to what to look for in a seed variety. There are all kinds of onions you can grow from seed. The only thing I know of you need to look for are short or long day specific .. depending on where you live. Now.. knowing which to get for where you live.. that's another story ;-) I dunno. You get one if you live in the south, and the other in the north. It's the day length that triggers the onion to bulb up and go dormant I think. Think I read something about it being day length more than temperature that makes spinach bolt too, but not too sure about that one. ;-) What do you want to grow? Where are you? south or north? At this point in the year, I think you'd be better off buying started onions or at least use sets, dime size or smaller or they'll try to go to seed...if they do try to bolt, pinch out the seed spike. Cover them up with remay if you have the onion maggot problem that I had.
Janice
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