Onions are one of the most irreplaceable and aromatic ingredients, without which practically no dish can do. In addition, it has a host of health benefits: it strengthens the immune system, regulates blood sugar, and helps control cholesterol levels. And it is not at all surprising that many gardeners-gardeners are engaged in the annual planting of onions in order to always have them at hand. But if you are new to this business, do not rush to despair. By following a series of simple but helpful tips, you can grow onions yourself without too much trouble.
Onions come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and colors. The white, yellow or red bulbs range in size from small oblong to large Spanish varieties, and they can be globular, apical or fusiform. From almost every variety, you can grow a bunch of onions (aka green), both at home and in the ground.
Bulb varieties vary depending on the amount of daylight required to form the bulb. Some varieties require twelve hours of light each day to form bulbs (called short days). Other varieties require thirteen to sixteen hours of daylight to form bulbs (called long days).
If you live in the north, where summer days are long, grow a long-day variety. If you live in the south, where daylight doesn't change much all year round, grow a short-day variety. Grow short-day varieties where winters are mild, where you can grow onions in fall and winter.
It is best to grow long-day onions where winters are cold. Onions are not sensitive to mild frosts either in spring or autumn. It may be worth noting that long day onions tend to be round, while ball and short day bulbs tend to be flatter.
How to plant
Onions are usually grown from sets, which are small, unripe onions. This is the easiest and fastest way to grow them. The kits are readily available in early spring and late summer at garden centers and online vendors.
Onions need a sunny, sheltered area with fertile, well-drained soil (they will not grow in acidic soil).
Fertilize the soil with compost before planting.
Plant the onions in rows five to ten centimeters apart, or twenty five to thirty centimeters apart, from mid-March to mid-April or September. Gently press the kits into soft, well-prepared soil so that the tip just pops out. Strengthen the soil around them and water well.
Remember that birds can only harm planted bulbs, so cover them with fleece until they take root.
Sow onion seeds indoors starting in January-February so that they germinate enough to be planted in the spring. Typically, seeds are sown in a pot or tray with wet seed compost, about one centimeter apart. When the seedlings are a few centimeters long, dig them up and transplant them into fresh, peat-free, all-purpose compost. After rooting, the seedlings are transplanted to a garden bed at a distance of ten to fifteen centimeters from each other.
How to care
Water if the weather is dry and feed with general liquid fertilizer from time to time.
A light top dressing with potassium sulfate in June will help the ready-to-store bulbs ripen.
Stop watering and feeding as soon as the onions swell in the middle of summer.
Weed weeds regularly, as onions do not grow well if they compete with other plants.
Be careful not to damage the bulbs if using a hoe. Ideally, manually remove the weeds.
Remove all flower stems as soon as they start to form.
Continuing the topic, read also about what vegetables and herbs can be planted for seedlings in March.