Onions By The Bag, Box Or Bunch – Now Is The time To Plant Onions

This post is way to long, I just couldn’t seem to find a place to stop.
Source Texas AgriLife Extension Service, Texas A&M System
Texas Onions Onion transplants and onion sets are arriving at home garden centers and farm stores. It is time to work your onion beds, adding fresh compost and a 0-10-0 (0-20-0) fertilizer. Then fertilizing monthly using 21-0-0 until harvest.

Tips for Successful Onion Growth
Onion plants are hardy and can withstand temperatures as low as 20 degrees F. They should be set out 4 to 6 weeks prior to the date of the last average spring freeze. When you obtain onion plants, they should be dry. Do not wet them or stick their roots in soil or water. Unpack your plants and store them in a cool, dry place until you plant them. Properly stored onion plants will last up to three weeks. Do not worry if the plants become dry. As soon as they are planted, they will quickly develop new roots and green tops.

Before obtaining your plants begin soil preparation. Onions are best grown on raised beds at least 4 inches high and 20 inches wide. Onions need a very fertile and well-balanced soil. Organic gardeners should work in rich finished compost, high in Nitrogen and Phosphorus with plentiful minerals. Spread lime if soil is too acidic. If using commercial fertilizer (10-20-10), make a trench in the top of the bed 4 inches deep, distribute one-half cup of the fertilizer per 10 linear feet of row. Cover the fertilizer with 2 inches of soil. Plant onion set 1 – 1 1/2 inches deep.

Nutritional Information
1 medium Raw onion contains:
60 Calories
1 gram Protein
14 grams Carbohydrates
0 Fat
0 Cholesterol
10 mg Sodium
200 mg Potassium
11.9 mg Vitamin C (20% of USRDA)

Onions are high in energy and water content. They are low in calories, and have a generous amount of B6, B1, and Folic acid. When a person eats at least 1/2 a raw onion a day, their good type HDL cholesterol goes up an average of 30%. Onions increase circulation, lower blood pressure, and prevent blood clotting. Eating Raw onion will directly effect the number of ‘Close’ friend you have!

Onions From Seed Are best planted Mid to late October. Seeds can be sown directly into the garden, covered with one-fourth inch of soil and should sprout within 7 – 10 days. If planted thickly, plants can be pulled and utilized as green onions or scallions for salads or fresh eating in 8-10 weeks.

Fertilization of onion plants is vital to success. Texas A&M research findings indicate that onion growth and yield can be greatly enhanced by banding phosphorus 2-3 inches below seed at planting time. Once established, onion plants should receive additional amounts of fertilizer (21-0-0 – Ammonium sulfate or Ammonium nitrate) as a side-dress application every month.

Care Of Transplant Instructions When you receive live plants, they should be planted as soon as possible. Should conditions exist that make you unable to plant these plants right away, remove the onion plants from the box and spread them out in a cool, dry area.

Planting Set plants out approximately one inch deep with a four inch spacing. On the raised bed, set two rows on each bed, four inches in from the side of the row. Should you want to harvest some of the onions during the growing season as green onions, you may plant the plants as close as two inches apart. Pull every other one, prior to them beginning to bulb, leaving some for larger onions. Transplants should be set out 4 to 6 weeks prior to the date of the last average spring freeze.

Fertilization and Growing Tips
Onions require a high source of nitrogen. A nitrogen-based fertilizer (ammonium sulfate or ammonium nitrate) should be applied at the rate of one cup per twenty feet of row. The first application should be about three weeks after planting and then continue with applications every 2 to 3 weeks. Once the neck starts feeling soft do not apply any more fertilizer. This should occur approximately 4 weeks prior to harvest. Always water immediately after feeding and maintain moisture during the growing season. The closer to harvest the more water the onion will require. Organic gardeners should use a rich compost high in Nitrogen should be incorporated into the soil. As the onion begins to bulb the soil around the bulb should be loose so the onion is free to expand. Do not move dirt on top of the onion since this will prevent the onion from forming its natural bulb.

Flowering is Abnormal For Onions Most folks want to grow onion bulbs NOT onion flowers! Flowering of onions can be caused by several things but usually the most prevalent is temperature fluctuation.

onion harvest Harvesting And Storage Onions are fully mature when their tops have fallen over. After pulling from the ground allow the onion to dry, clip the roots and cut the tops back to one inch. The key to preserving onions and to prevent bruising is to keep them cool, dry and separated.
As a general rule, the sweeter the onion, the higher the water content, and therefore the less shelf life. A more pungent onion will store longer so eat the sweet varieties first and save the more pungent onions for storage.

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