Onions like full sun and a deep rich, loose soil. Onions are heavy feeders and will benefit from having compost and composted manure tilled in to the row or bed before planting. The soil optimum pH is 6.2 to 6.8. However onions are adapted to a wide range of soil pH. Onions require plentiful, even moisture for good yields.
Onions need their soil to be continuously damp(Not wet). With hold water during the last week before harvesting your onion crop.
As I said before, onions are heavy feeders and will benefit from a light application of fertilizer N-P-K 5-10-5 or 0-10-5 every 2 or 3 weeks during their growing season.
Hint As with any root crop, fruit or seed producing crop. To much nitrogen will produce lush green tops(foliage) but small or no onion bulbs.
* If your garden soil is very rich, additional fertilizer will not be necessary.
Onions may be seed anytime after your soil temperature 45%F to 95%F. Plant seeds 1/4 inch deep and 1 inch apart. Thin seedlings to 3 or 4 inches apart for larger bulb producing onions. Keep your soil damp to speed seed germination. Seeds will germinate and emerge in 4 to 7 days. Don’t panic if your seeds take a few days longer to germinate.
Onion seedlings and sets are so economical and easy to plant I never hassle with planting seeds.
Hint Seed can be saved 1 year.
Plant seedlings and sets. Choose set bulbs no larger than 3/4 inch in diameter. Large set bulbs are likely to bolt. Plant seedlings/sets about 1 inch deep and 3 to 4 inches apart for large bulb producing onions. Many gardeners plant as much as 2 to 4 weeks before last frost date.
As for me I plant no more than 1 week before my last average frost date.
Early varieties can be harvested 60 to 80 days after planting. Long Storage varieties require 90 to 110 days to mature. Sweet or milder varieties do not store well, and should be consummed first.
Pearl onions have small bulbs (a good pickling onion) they mature in 60 to 70 days.
Green or bunching onions (sometimes called scallions) don’t form bulbs. Harvest them for their greens and small blanched below ground stem usually mature in about 65 to 75 days after planting.
Harvest when the tops of the onions turn brown or yellow and fall over. Pull the onions early in the morning on a sunny day. Dry the onions in the sun for two or 3 days.
Curing determines how long your onions will keep and depends on how you treat them after harvest. They must be dried thoroughly for 2 or 3 days. The entire neck (where the leaves meet the bulb) should be dry, all the way to the surface of the onion. The skin will take on a uniform texture and color. If rain is expected, you’ll need to dry your onions indoors. Once the onions are thoroughly dry, clip the roots and cut back the tops to one inch.
Store your onions in a cool, dry, well ventilated location, such as a garage or cellar.(Don’t allow them to freeze). Place them in mesh bags or netting to permit airflow.
Hint Grin … Panty hose work well for storing your onion crop.
A list of Onion varieties for your consideration.
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