Onions

I am new to gardening and have a lot of basic questions. When should I plant onion sets? I live in Maryland. Safe from frost after May 15. (rule of thumb)
Also, after pulling the onions, is there something else that I can plant in that spot so not to see it empty all summer?
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You already answered your own question.
See how easy that was!!
Empty all summer? Aren't you going to allow the onion bulbs to grow to maturity?

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Not true, Cactus Flower. You can plant them before the "frost-free date." I am just not sure how before I can plant.
According to my source, onions will mature around late July/early August. Is there another crop that I can plant after the onions are harvested? Sorted of like farmers plant winter wheat after fall crops are harvested.
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Arugula can be direct-seeded in August, and will big enough to harvest for salads in 3-4 weeks. In late July or early August, start lettuce, spinach, kale in 6-packs, in a shady spot. Transplant wherever there's empty space later.
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Radishes & endive can also be planted in August. Matter of fact, if your area, you can plant a late crop of bush bean in early to mid August, if you get the onions out of the way.
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Onions we plant before winter, it sleeps under the snow and goes normaly after, so I don't see any problem for it, but your choice
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You might try radishes, they tend to mature very quickly. I've often used them in areas that will later be taken over by some sort of vining squash or other late leason plant. I'm not sure how radishes do if you start them late in the season though.
Just a thought.
Thad
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Here in Maine, ( zone 5) I plant onions as soon as I can push them into the soil, as with peas. Might be late April, and they may get snowed on, once or twice. I've had grand luck with onions from SEED even.. Start seed here indoors around Feb 1 and get the grassy little things in the ground as soon as I can push a pencil into the ground even if there are ice crystals.
Don't wait til your frost free date. If you do, you'll not have to worry about the second question. ( gently kidding!).
If you can have transplants ready, I would make a good case for broccoli to follow the onions ( I truly do not believe that you'll be pulling onions before mid august.)
I've had excellent luck with late summer into fall broccoli. Even if the weather is HOT, the daylength is shortening and they do not bolt as quickly with the shorter day. Broccoli will produce their first big "head", you cut that then you'll have lots of little brocolli trees coming for a LONG time afterwards. I've been out harvesting broccoli for supper with a flashlight in November, it is another super hardy customer that shrugs at frost on either end of the season.
The other wonderful thing about Fall Broccoli -- most of the garden pests that attack the Brassicas are gone by late summer, so there is little need for any pest management.
ONE downside for me-- pushing the broccoli way late (into November) brings the deer into the garden space

If you don't like Broc, then consider short season, short vine sugar snap peas, or the lovely French Haricot Vert bush green beens . Your Maryland location will give you quick seed germination in August, and your frost free days into late fall ( by my standards) may net you some bonus harvests.
Breeze Western Maine
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