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West Yorkshire, United Kingdom Gb

Can anyone suggest what might be the problem with my onions. I planted onion sets about a month ago, they look healthy and seem to be doing well except they are very soft. I've checked the roots of one and there's nothing wrong there. I wondered whether it's the very dry weather and I should be watering more.



Hello Anne! Sorry about the delay. I was hoping someone in the UK could answer, since I grow them in a completely different climate, but maybe my general knowledge of onions can help. When you say soft, what do you mean? Does the base of the leaves feel soft and mushy? Are the leaves falling over? Are they bending over at the tips? That sort of thing.

3 May, 2011


Hi Tugbrethil

The leaves of the onions are really healthy, not falling over or soft, but I think I may have found the answer from another source which says that the bulb of the onion goes soft initially because it is using up stored energy and that they will turn out ok.

Have you experienced this with your onions at all ?

3 May, 2011


Ah! So the bulb was going soft! Your other source is correct--the bulb you planted isn't the same one that you harvest, later. The plant uses up that bulb to start growth, then a new bulb forms inside the leaves that have grown, usually shortly after the summer solstice in the varieties sold as sets. The bases of the leaves become the skins surrounding the new onion.

4 May, 2011


Thanks a lot for your help

4 May, 2011

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