Onions and day length

Have you ever looked through a seed catalog, deciding which onion seed or plants to buy, and been perplexed by the words “long-day” or “short-day” attached to each variety? Or sometimes “intermediate-day” or “day-neutral”? You might just give up in confusion and order by a familiar name or tasty-sounding description, but really, this is something you need to pay attention to, because onions are… photothermoperiodic!

Yeah, right, you say. Read on to find out what this means and why it’s important, though not as important here in Maryland as it would be if we lived in Mississippi or Minnesota.

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