I think it depends on how big they get. Which is variable. If you taper off water too soon or don't water much till you have to (me) they can go dormant sooner. If you have less fertile soil. Or otherwise worse growing conditions they won't grow very fast. If you crowd them, again not as big.
So I think it's a function of growth rates, growing conditions and total size. It may also be a function of variety.
I think if they reach a certain size they will make scapes. If not, maybe next year.
Western Montana gardener and botanist in zone 6a according to 2012 zone update.
Gardening on lakebed sediments with 7 inch silty clay loam topsoil, 7 inch clay accumulation layer underneath, have added sand in places.
Usually, they will produce rounds. The next year, the rounds will produce full bulbs that flower.
Location: Fergus, Ontario, Canada
posted 2 months ago
Ahh that makes sense. I have some tight clusters of volunteers, and some that I spaced out. Sounds like I may get scapes from the ones I spaced, and the others will likely be smaller.
Do you often plant from bulbils? I’m trying to increase my stock of the variety that’s naturalized here (used to be a garlic farm over a decade ago). I did split a bunch of clusters up, super early in the spring. But didn’t get to all the clusters. Do you think I can plant some of the naturalized ones? Or do I need to split them and wait a year?
I’ve read that planting the biggest cloves leads to the biggest bulbs, but that hasn’t been my experience with onions so I’m dubious....
Rocambole and MPS bulbils that I’ve planted have yielded fully cloved bulbs with scapes within the first season but I prefer to harvest rounds because the following year’s bulbs are larger. I deliberately delay replanting the harvested first year rounds until spring in order to encourage a second season of rounds as the subsequent bulbs are much larger. Here are an assortment of second and third year rounds - the larger ones are the turbans
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