GardenSMART Newsletter Signup
Visit our Sponsors!
Visit our Sponsors and win.


Anne K. Moore

Walla Walla, Texas Sweet, Vidalia, Sweet Spanish - Would an onion by any other name taste as sweet. Truth is the soil and moisture has everything to do with how sweet an onion will taste. Low sulfur levels in the soil and consistent watering during the growing season combine to make a sweet onion “Sweet.” The names associated with areas of the country where they are grown should give you consistent flavor when you purchase them.

Regional onion names, like Walla Walla and Vidalia, are protected through either federal or local orders that decree only growers in the named regions can market their crops by the regional name. Walla Walla onions can only be grown in a 15-mile radius of Walla Walla Washington. Vidalia onions are confined to a 20 county area in Georgia.

So, farm growers who sell their crops cannot use these names unless they grow them in their assigned areas. But, can you grow these specially named varieties and expect the same results?

The quick easy answer is no, you won’t get a Vidalia onion if you grow it in Cleveland. You will get a good, sweet onion if you select a variety suited for your area and growing conditions.

Vidalia onions grow from Granex hybrid seed. You can grow Granex onions in southern states, or anywhere considered short day areas.

Granex is a white onion with light yellow skin, averaging about 3/4 pound. Texas Sweet is also a short day variety with the same yellow skin. It is derived from the Sweet Bermuda Yellow onion. Texas A&M University has developed improved strains through the years. Texas Grano is known to withstand the early heat and drought conditions of the Deep South.

The Sweet Spanish Hybrid is a very mild onion. It is best suited for northern gardens because of the longer growing days. The bulbs often can reach a pound and store much better than southern grown sweets. Yellow Ebenezer is another long-day variety with a somewhat stronger taste. It will also store a bit longer than the short-day onions.

Check with your local University Cooperative Extension Service or seed catalog descriptions for the best type of onion for your area. Generally, short-day varieties are best for southern areas and regions that receive about 12 hours of daylight. Long-day onions do best in northern gardens, or anywhere daylight lasts about 14 hours.

For information on How to Grow Onions, go to this GardenSmart page:



All articles are copyrighted and remain the property of the author.

Article URL:

Back to Articles List                               

GardenSMART Featured Article

By Natalie Carmolli, Proven Winners ColorChoice, Photographs courtesy of Proven Winners

There are few things more satisfying than seeing your beautiful garden in full bloom...and it's especially thrilling to see it abuzz with the activity of butterflies and bees. Want to bring more activity to your garden? Here's a guide to choosing unique, colorful, easy-care plants that provide a much-needed place for pollinators of all sizes to do their work. Read more...

Jump into Spring with savings up to $2200 on this Exclusive Cruise of the Rivers of Holland & Belgium with Eric Johnson Host of GardenSMART from PBS

Sail right into the pages of a storybook on our European garden tour through Holland and Belgium.

MAY 6-16, 2018

As low as $3799 per person/do, Price includes airfare from New York, Atlanta, Seattle, Chicago. CALL FOR OTHER CITIES THROUGHOUT THE USA

> Click Here For Details <

Watch filming and be part of the fun, telling your favorite...and not so favorite Dirty Tales. 2 Nights Amsterdam & 7 Nights River. Visit Amsterdam, Holland, Belgium, Kinderdijk, Antwerp, Bruges, Keukenhof Gardens, Rotterdam and More!

This Exclusive, Five-Star, Cruise & Garden Tours Vacation Includes:

  • 2 nights in Amsterdam including gorgeous hotel, wonderful tours and daily breakfast
  • 7 nights on the new, flagship Amadeus Silver III river cruise ship Incredible excursions in Arnhem, Kinderdijk, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Ghent, Bruges and Utrecht
  • All of your meals on board the ship, including wine with dinner
  • Deluxe motorcoach transportation
  • Transfers and luggage handling in Amsterdam
  • Hosted by Eric Johnson of PBS' GardenSMART
  • Fully narrated so you won't miss a thing!

Reserve space now by calling toll-free 206-935-6848 or make a reservation here.

  Click here to sign up for our monthly NEWSLETTER packed with great articles and helpful tips for your home, garden and pets!  
Copyright © 1998-2012 GSPC. All Rights Reserved.