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1015 onion sets?!! May 20, 2009

Posted by ourfriendben in gardening, wit and wisdom.
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Mercy. Our friend Ben was stunned to see that two people had come onto our blog, Poor Richard’s Almanac, with the search phrase “1015 onion sets.” Now, our friend Ben and Silence Dogood love onions—we probably use one large sweet onion and several scallions (green onions) every day. And as I noted in an earlier post, “In praise of onion sets,” I love the foolproof ease of growing onions from sets. But 1015 sets?!! Our friend Ben devoutly hopes that if someone is planning a huge planting like that, they don’t need any help from me, ’cause I’m not going there. Plant 10 to 25 of a couple of types and see how you do, then plant as many as you want after your first successful season, that’s my advice. 1015! Sheesh.

However. Our friend Ben is not quite as dumb as a rock (and some of my best friends are rocks, or at least fossils, by the way). When more than one person comes on the blog with a search that at first blush seems incomprehensible, there’s usually more going on than meets the eye. And so it proved in this case.

A quick consultation with my good friend Google revealed the existence of the Texas 1015 Super Sweet Onion, which enthusiasts claim is the world’s sweetest onion that would put our own favorites, Vidalia, WallaWalla, and Candy to shame. The 1015 was developed in the Rio Grande Valley and was introduced on October 15, aka 10/15, 1985, hence the name.

Okay, so far, so good. Idiots aren’t coming onto the blog asking for help as first-time growers after purchasing 1015 onion sets. There’s a wonderful super-sweet onion going around. But our friend Ben wants to know, if this 1015 onion has been around since 1985, why haven’t I seen it in markets around here? Is it sold commercially under a different name? Surely it’s had plenty of time to get here. Since it’s a Texas onion, I probably wouldn’t be able to grow it, but I’d at least like to taste it.

Folks, if any of you grow or have eaten this onion, please tell me all about it! And from now on, just call me our friend Ben 1011.



1. Lzyjo - May 21, 2009

HA! 1,015 was my first thought too! A supersweet onion sounds delightful. Just the other day I was watching one of those weird food shows on the Travel Channel. I think it was Andrew Zimemern, he ate a sweet onion, whole like an apple. The grower claimed the volcanic soil created superbly flavored vegetables. I read a few interesting things about sweet onions 1015 Supersweet apparently Vidalias are a brand name for approximately 24 varieties of onion grown in Georgia, some are even started in Texas and other states and then transplanted in Georgia! Another interesting thing is that many sweet onion cultivars originate from Spanish Grano onions that have been crossed, specifically, Granex is a cross between Grano and the Bermuda onion.

Interesting, lzyjo, thanks!!! But, ahem, no matter how much I love onions, I don’t want to eat one raw like an apple. In a salad WITH an apple, maybe, but not all by itself! Eeeewwww.

2. Curmudgeon - May 21, 2009

Our local store has been featuring these 1015 onions the last couple of weeks, so Wing Nut brought some home. We hadn’t noticed them in previous years. Definitely sweet, and they don’t make me cry. I think they’d be great in salsa.

Yum! Maybe they’ll finally get here, too. And who doesn’t love no tears?!!

3. Nancy - May 27, 2009

They are wonderful onions, especially to eat uncooked. They don’t make you cry cutting them up and have a wonderful texture…crisp, but tender when sliced (I find most onions a bit rubbery). I like to eat them sliced thin and placed on top of some yogurt cream cheese (esp home made from scratch, then hung in a cheese cloth to drain the whey).

It’s good with pita bread, spread the yogurt on the bread, thickish, and salt and pepper the surface. Then, lay thin slices of the 1015 onion on top, drizzle with olive oil, wrap up and chow down. My mother prefers this dish with tomatoes on top, and I suspect the combination of the two would be good too

.The onion was developed by Texas A&M University…

Yum, that sounds wonderful, Nancy! A sweet, crunchy onion that doesn’t make you cry is ideal. And we love homemade yogurt cheese! Now, if we could just find 1015s locally…

4. Sonny Jones - November 4, 2010

8th of October 2010. My first and only experience with 1015 onions was at the Clear Springs Restaurant, in – where else – Clear Springs, Texas. I’ve loved onion rings for quite a few years, but eating those at the Clear Springs Restaurant was a totally new experieince and one that has spoiled me for onion rings forevermore. There just can’t be any better.

Yum, Sonny, now you’ve done it! We LOVE onion rings, as long as the outside is crispy-crackly and the inside is sweet and succulent. Give us lots of salt and a good dipping sauce and we’re in onion ring heaven! Sounds like you certainly found a great spot there in Clear Springs.

5. Kimberly Mead - January 9, 2011

As someone who actively purchased them for several years at the local farmers market, I can tell you these are lovely wonderful onions. I also purchased several “sets” for planting in our garden and my husband and I enjoyed scallions and small “relish tray” onions on our table all summer. The 1015’s are versatile and can be eaten raw without regret. I also use them in salsa and salads, but they taste too good to use in cooking. If I’m going to cook with onions, I use something with a bit more bite.

I can’t recommend 1015’s enough…if you enjoy onions at all, you will love them.

Yum, Kimberly! Thanks for the recommendation!!!

6. Lois - March 29, 2011

We have to purchase the 1015 onions to take to our family in South Dakota when we return. We want to take some onion sets back with us so they can plant them in their gardens, but we are not having any luck finding them. Any help would be appreciated in locating an outlet for them.

Hi Lois! Since 1015 onions are short-day onions, they probably won’t do very well in a South Dakota garden, since Northern gardens need long-day varieties. Of the well-known sweet onions, only WallaWalla is long-day; I’d suggest that you get those for your family’s garden. Good luck finding and growing them!

7. Lorrie kent - May 29, 2011

1015’s are the best. The sweetest onions we have ever tasted. Luckily my partents winter in the Rio Grande Valley, and share these onions with us when they bring them back to Canada.

Lucky, lucky you, Lorrie! We’ve yet to find a single 1015 to try, but everything we hear confirms that they’re the best!

8. Debbi - July 4, 2011

As a Texan, I’ve been lucky enough to have learned about 1015’s early on. And they are the best onion EVER!!! I haven’t ever mail-ordered them, however after seeing your site and that you still haven’t tried this variety, I felt obligated to find a place where you can get you some 1015’s. I found these two sites online. Try ’em (the onions…can’t vouch for either seller) and I promise you will be glad you did!




Bless you, Debbi! Thank you SO much!!!

9. Deb B - January 13, 2012

Alright Debbi! I just saw this and have been shocked as I was reading this that y’all (wherever you may be) still don’t have 10-15’s. I’m glad Debbi gave y’all a place to find them, cuz I was gonna go searching for you. I am not a gardner at all, ( I have a purple thumb), but my sister in law just gave me these things that look like scrawny green onions and said plant em, they’ll grow 10-15’s. I’ve heard y’all talkin bout onion sets, is that what I have? I live in the middle of Texas, we get temps down around freezing at night but higher in the day and it doesn’t last long, few days to a week at a time, other than that we’re in the 40’s – 50’s for our lows most of the winter. It was 75 here the other day then 45 at night. (Don’t throw things at me). Not bragging, just wondering if I can plant these in a pot in January? I rent, so I can’t dig up the yard to plant them, so they must go in a container. I realize you’ll probably need to give me onion in general advice, not 1015 specific advice.

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