Overwintering potential of onion in Kentucky

Timothy Coolong, Mark A. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Eight cultivars of onion (Allium cepa) representing, long, intermediate, and short-day types were evaluated for their ability to be overwintered in Kentucky. Onion seedlings were transplanted in Nov. 2007 and Oct. 2008. Plants were covered with spunbonded rowcovers or wheat (Triticum sp.) straw mulch in December and mature bulbs were harvested in June and July. Bulbing was initiated in ‘Yellow Granex’ (short-day) during transplant production, thus it was not planted in the field in either year of the experiment. The use of rowcovers compared with straw mulch increased survival rates in all cultivars. The intermediate-daylength cultivars, Candy, Superstar, and Expression, had greater percentages of bolting when grown under rowcovers compared with straw mulch. This resulted low marketable yields despite high survival rates. Rowcover/mulch treatment and cultivar interacted (P ≤ 0.05) to affect yields. The long-day cultivars, Olympic, Ailsa Craig, and Walla Walla had the highest yields when grown under rowcovers. ‘Olympic’, the highest yielding cultivar, produced a large percentage of jumbo-sized bulbs. The short-day cultivar, WI-131, had low survival rates and yields under rowcovers and straw mulch. Pungencies were lowest in ‘WI-131’ and ‘Olympic’. In general, long-day onion cultivars had high rates of survival, low rates of bolting, and higher yields compared with intermediate-day types. This suggests that they would be preferred for overwinter production in Kentucky.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)590-596
Number of pages7
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014, American Society for Horticultural Science. All rights reserved.


  • Allium cepa
  • Bolting
  • Pungency
  • Rowcover
  • Straw mulch
  • Vegetable production

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Horticulture


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