Garden And Gardener

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Onions going to seed?

by Sarah - June 17th, 2010.
Filed under: garden.

Your onions shouldn’t go to seed but they they will if they’re stressed! Plants can be stressed by lack of water or sudden temperature changes. Going to seed is natures way of trying to ensure there’ll be plants to grow next year – so they put their energy into producing a flower and seed rather than growing.
Obviously this is useful sometimes – when you want to collect the seeds of the plant – but during a gardener’s normal harvest it’s not sensible to allow plants to go to seed.

If you remove the seed head then the plant should carry on growing as normal – without making seeds.

Onions send out bud shoots that can flower – the flower can be quite pretty but does sap the onion of it’s bulb!
Rhubarb can send out a flower stem when it’s stressed. You should remove this too!

Some types of onions can be more prone to going to seed. Sometimes red onion sets or the japanese onion sets are worst.
In theory you can buy heat treated sets that shouldn’t go to seed.

Going to seed is also known as bolting! Some gardeners think that bolting is caused by fluctuations in temperature rather than water problems.