Onion Envy


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Growing Gorgeous Onions from Seed or Sets

How to grow tasty onions from either seed or sets. Most people are familiar with onions (allium cepa), the edible bulb in the allium family which also includes leeks. Their strong flavor makes them a favorite of chefs in various international cuisines. Onions are a kitchen staple and despite taking a long time to grow compared to many fast cropping vegetables, as their flavor makes them a favorite in various dishes and since they’re easy to grow – it’s worthwhile popping some in the veggie garden. Onions will grow in most cliimates and are frost resistant. If you have ground that grows good onions, this is a most satisfying crop – get the kids involved! Choose a type of onion to grow. As with most fruits and vegetables, there are many variations of the onion that are appealing for different reasons. Onions come in three general colors – white, yellow, and red (purple) – each with their own distinct taste. A bed that grew tomatoes or courgettes (zucchini) previously is ideal as they aren’t too keen on a bed high in nitrogen.

How to Grow Onions

For early onions, sow thinly in drills. Onions like good soil, so to prepare the bed for sowing, rake the soil over very fine, then make it as firm as you can by treading. Rake it and cross rake it to get a fine tilth; the bed is now ready for sowing. If you sow early, there is less chance of the crop being attacked by the onion fly. When the onions are large enough to eat green, thin out and bunch up the thinnings for delicious salads or stews. Hoe often between the rows. Onions respond well to an occasional dressing of fertilizer hoed in before rain. When the onion-tops begin to die off the crop has finished growing. The onions should then be taken up and dried in the sun until no green shows in the tops. Tie up in bunches, and hang in a cool, dry place ready for use. Early onions well harvested will keep in splendid condition all through the winter. If you are growing for pickling, do not thin out too much ; you will thus obtain rows of onions of the right size for pickling. A crop grown this way yields great bulk. Pickled onions are in demand all the winter and especially at Christmas.

Tips for Growing Onions

  • Buy onion sets, theyre easier to space and growing onions from seed takes much longer
  • Onions bulb up based on day length. So select the right variety for your area
  • Plant in a bed that previously grew tomatoes or courgettes (zucchini)
  • Growing really big onions by early earlier seasonal planting, with extra fertilizer or compost
  • Keep growing bulbs watered or they will split or double if the soil dries out while the bulbs are still forming

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