Wild Gourd Farm

Organic Gardening in St. Louis City

The Onion Experiment: Germination

The day after we planted our tray of onion seeds, we sowed more onion seeds in a shallow pot. To maintain moisture and promote a greenhouse effect, we covered it with a plastic bag that wouldn’t touch the surface of the soil and placed it over a vent to keep it warm. Just in case our tray experiment failed, we wanted to have a back-up. Plus every good experiment needs a control group!

The seeds in both the tray and the pot germinated about a week later, but the seeds in the pot germinated at a higher rate than those in the tray.

The tray has been uncovered, taken off the warming mat, and put under a grow light in the bathroom. We’re planning to strengthen the seedlings by simulating wind using a small fan.

We put the pot in a south-facing window. The seedlings grow toward the sun so we’ve been rotating the pot, or we might put a reflective surface behind it. We expect the tray to fare better, but we’ll see!

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4 responses to “The Onion Experiment: Germination

  1. Sharon February 16, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    Like the idea of the fan to strengthen them. Mine are four weeks old and a little floppy, so I might have to break out the fan, too…

  2. We Will Work for Food February 17, 2012 at 9:19 am

    Yeah, that seems to be the question when growing onions from seed…to cut or not to cut. I say CUT! It helps promote strong root growth and thickens the seedlings up a bit. I would not cut them to less than 3″. The best part is you can eat the greens that you cut!!!

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