Q: I purchased ‘Sweet Spanish Yellow Utah Jumbo’ onion seeds from a big box retailer. After planting I found out this is a “long day” onion. Will they bulb next summer? If not, why would this store sell them in Georgia?
A: Onions are stimulated to make bulbs in response to the length of daylight in summer. Some are “short day”, some are “long day” and some are “intermediate day”. Dr. George Boyhan, University of Georgia onion specialist, says our summers are too hot for long day onions. They will succumb to heat and diseases long before they size up. If they are planted in the winter, they will only form lots of green leaves (scallions). Good bulbing onions for Georgia include ‘Walla Walla’, ‘Yellow Globe Danvers’, ‘Grano’, ‘Granex’ and ‘Juno’. As their name implies, your onion seed are better suited for Utah. Do you know the phrase “Caveat Emptor”? I can only speculate that the person doing the ordering at your store had no idea what they were buying.