Why Your Onion Crop is Flowering

What makes some onions bolt and others not?

How can you make them flower so you can collect seeds?

It’s all in the timing: when you planted your onion crop and what the weather was like can all play tricks on an onion’s natural life cycle.

How the weather can trick an onion into flowering early

If the weather is warm during the early stages, onion seedlings will grow vigorously until cold weather slows their development.

If a cold snap suddenly occurs, the onions will have grown to sufficient size to sustain flowering, and thus be forced into early dormancy.

As the weather warms again and then moves into winter, they may be confused into thinking they’ve already gone through two growing seasons.

Just like they’re programmed to do in their second year of life, they prepare to set seed the following spring for the next generation of onions.

Young seedlings that are less than the diameter of a pencil by the time temperatures drop aren’t affected by their first winter. Their size isn’t significant enough to realize the cold is upon them and they have to initiate flower stalk production.

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