Announcement

Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.

Growing Amish Bottle Onions

Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Growing Amish Bottle Onions

    I received some Amish bottle onion seeds from a generous fellow member.

    When should I start the seeds and how long till they can be harvested?

    How can I save seeds for the future?

    thanks,
    Dean

  • #2
    I plant them in Jan. or Feb. and harvest latter in the summer/fall . They sometimes flower the second year ( a few). but sometimes not until the third or fourth year. I usually get the best flowering the third year. Also many of them split into two bulbs like shallots. The place I bought them listed them as Italian Bottle onions. They look and taste great.

    Comment


    • #3
      I plant them in Jan. or Feb. and harvest latter in the summer/fall.
      To clarify then, if I plant the seeds and grow under lights here in Iowa in February, I will have full sized onions by fall?

      If saving seeds, I just need to leave them in the ground for an additional year or two? How many seeds would two plants produce if I left them to seed, enough for myself and a few exchanges?

      thanks,
      Dean

      Comment


      • #4
        Amish bottle onions ARE NOT Italian bottle onions. The only similarity is their shape. They ARE NOT planted in Jan or Feb nor transplanted as seedlings or you will have flower stalks in July.

        Propagation and storage are identical to Ebenezer and Stuttgarter varieties which are those commonly available as sets. As with any other type grown for sets, time to plant is critical. If too early, the sets become too large and will bolt to seed when replanted. If too late, the set may be too small to survive winter storage. Since the growth and beginning of dormancy is determined by the length of day, the seed must be planted at the proper time in order to grow during that critical time. Rule of thumb for producing set onions is 4th of July but my best results were from a 21 June planting. Those bulbs are the perfect size for storage and for planting back. Previously, a planting on 6 June resulted in sets which were too big and many bolted to seed almost immediately. But just as many simply divided into 2 or 3 long thin bulbs neither suitable for cooking nor storing. Thus timing is everything in order to get their potential 8-ounce bulbs.

        Ideally, among the Amish one would obtain a starter kit. That would consist of several hundred seeds, 50 or so sets, and a dozen or so bulbs. Seeds are planted to obtain sets, sets planted to obtain bulbs, bulbs planted to obtain seeds.

        Number of seeds per head would vary according to head size. From roughly 70-80 heads I got about 7 ounces of seed. At 7,000+ per ounce, there's at least 50,000+/- on hand along with about 10,000 sets. No clue yet as to how to best distribute them to worthy gardeners.

        Comment


        • #5
          WI LO M,
          • If I plant the seeds at end of June, when should they be harvested for sets?
          • When the sets are harvested, do I hang them to dry and then store them in a basement for the winter?
          • When should the sets be replanted in the spring?
          • When are they finally harvested to be eaten?

          Thanks,
          Dean

          Comment


          • #6
            They are planted by seed here in Southern CA. bcause that is when I plant them. And I do harvest bulbs by late Fall. Ital. bottle onions are daylength neutral. Also they ARE NOT consistant at flowering the second year. And I have never seen even one plant bolt the first year.Ever!
            And being that onions are inbreeding you only need one or two but I always wait until the second or 3rd year as I like larger amounts of seed.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by DeanRIowa View Post
              WI LO M,
              • If I plant the seeds at end of June, when should they be harvested for sets?
              • When the sets are harvested, do I hang them to dry and then store them in a basement for the winter?
              • When should the sets be replanted in the spring?
              • When are they finally harvested to be eaten?
              Thanks,
              Dean
              When seeds are planted according to normal set production procedures, they will tell you when they are ready as they will go dormant. It's based on the shorter amount of daylight.

              The sets could be hung but the tops will have shrunk to virtually nothing. Think of normal onion sets except that they are long and narrow rather than a round ball. I dry them on screens and store in mesh bags.

              Sets are then planted From mid-April into May. Since these can get to 8 ounces, rich soil and 8" spacing is a must. Despite their seemingly vertical growth which may withstand crowding, their roots are normal and need space.

              Harvest is late August, the same time that the sets would be going dormant. Again it is determined by length of day rather than size. 15 April may net an 8-ounce bulb while 30 May may give you only 4 ounces.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by zebraman View Post
                They are planted by seed here in Southern CA. bcause that is when I plant them. And I do harvest bulbs by late Fall. Ital. bottle onions are daylength neutral. Also they ARE NOT consistant at flowering the second year. And I have never seen even one plant bolt the first year.Ever!
                And being that onions are inbreeding you only need one or two but I always wait until the second or 3rd year as I like larger amounts of seed.
                Get it through your head that Amish bottle onions are NOT Italian bottle onions. You're no doubt growing torpedo onions which are something entirely different. Just about everything that applies to one variety does not apply to the other.

                Comment


                • #9
                  "Seed to Seed" and JLHudson both state that it takes 2-3 years to procure seeds from "Amish Bottle Onions". So you really don't have to worry about them bolting in the first year.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by zebraman View Post
                    "Seed to Seed" and JLHudson both state that it takes 2-3 years to procure seeds from "Amish Bottle Onions". So you really don't have to worry about them bolting in the first year.
                    Suzanne Ashworth does not mention "Amish Bottle Onions" in her book and probably had not even heard of them when she wrote it. J.L.Hudson does not carry them nor does any other commercial or non-commercial seed company anywhere in the world.

                    Onions started early from seed indoors often consider the transplant shock as a period of dormancy since they have no sense of time other than hours of daylight. Certain varieties of onion plants purchased from such companies as Dixondale Farms will react in that manner and produce seed stalks in the same growing season. It's especially true if they were allowed to become nearly as thick as a pencil. That's often been reported by many who have purchased plants and then think that they did something wrong to cause it when it's merely the onion plant doing what is normal for the variety or type.

                    For the record, and to avoid further contradiction on the above, those offered by J.L.Hudson are Red Bottle Onions. Amish Bottle Onions are NOT red nor are they the same variety which had previously been listed in the SSE Yearbooks. In fact, I've rogued out some pure white ones which I now realize would have been almost unique.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      WI LO M said:
                      Sets are then planted From mid-April into May. Since these can get to 8 ounces, rich soil and 8" spacing is a must.

                      What should the spacing be between the seeds to produce the sets?

                      thanks,
                      Dean

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Can't wait!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by DeanRIowa View Post
                          WI LO M said:



                          What should the spacing be between the seeds to produce the sets?

                          thanks,
                          Dean
                          In 2008, with between 3 and 4 thousand seeds, they were planted in an area about 3'x6'. Seeds were simply sprinkled like grass seed and came up looking "as thick as grass". However, not real even since it's hard to see black seed on black silt soil. Where they were too crowded, the stronger killed out the weaker to develop into the proper set size of 1" tall by " thick. Where not crowded, some sets were an inch longer over " thick. They have proven to be more apt to divide into as many as 3 or 4 skinny bulbs rather than produce a single bulb or flower stalk.

                          This year the plot size was about 6'x8' and the soil was 50/50 sand/silt and the 10,000 or so seeds were a bit more visible. This time they were too crowded all over the plot and that resulted in sets almost all perfect size. They were absolutely solid in places and crowding each other upwards but most survived. I suppose that if one wanted to be meticulous and seek perfection, he could place a piece of " hardware cloth over the ground and place a single seed in each square.

                          The same-year seed stalks came about from a germination test. Since I was sharing seeds with a number of other dedicated allium gardeners, I wanted to be certain of what I was sending out. 55 seeds planted in early May and 52 produced a seedling. Not wanting to waste them, they were planted as normal seedlings in early June even if only for scallions. It wasn't surprising when there were decent bulbs forming but was so when at least a quarter of them sent up seed stalks. Apparently it's a latent bad trait in certain varieties and why "Seed to Seed" specifically recommends to not use them for seed stock.

                          As I've said, the Amish Bottle Onions do not fit into any apparent "one size fits all" category and probably why they don't match the description or growing instructions of any other known onion. Jeptha Yoder's may be close but wrong color and growth pattern. Even the "English" person who discovered them gave up trying to keep them going. Thanks to the Internet, a database can be more readily formed so that how to grow them isn't lost.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            http://www.jlhudsonseeds.net/VegetablesE-R.htm
                            (you need to scroll down to Onions)

                            ONION Red Bottle, VONI-BB, Packet:$2.00
                            "Amish heirloom, bottle-shaped onions with a unique mild yet spicy flavor. White-flesh,sometimes tinged with red, with red-brown skin.
                            Good Keeper, adaptable to a wide variety of conditions. Plants take 2-3 years to produce seed, so is rarely offered.


                            Where is states that it is "adaptable to a wide variety of conditions" this means it's day length neutral.

                            The part where it says "Plants take 2-3 years to produce seed" is the reason it is hard to find.
                            So you are talking about another "Amish Bottle shaped onion"?
                            This variety is listed as an Amish heirloom, but somehow it's diferent than the one you have?
                            The original poster has seeds only so doesn't know what he has.
                            I didn't even want these but have ordered them now.
                            Last edited by zebraman; 10-24-2009, 03:53 PM. Reason: Additional information

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by zebraman View Post
                              so you are talking about another "amish bottle shaped onion"?
                              Bingo! Bingo!

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X