How to Grow Onions

How to Grow Onions

Bulb Onions

How to Grow Onions A popular crop, much loved by ‘show bench’ gardeners. Easy to grow moderately well, but hard to grow to a high standard. Store well for out-of-season use.

Soil requirements

Onions prefer light soil that is well drained. Heavy, wet soil encourages large, soft bulbs that won’t keep. May be grown from seed or sets (very small onions). Must be firm and fine for best results.

Possible yield

About 81b (3.6kg) from 10ft (3m) of row.

Time from Sowing to harvest

August sown seeds mature in late June. Spring sown seeds mature in 5-6 months. Spring planted sets mature in 4-5 months.

Varieties

‘Sturon’ and ‘Stuttgarter’ are still as good as any if you want to grow them from March planted sets. ‘Senshyu’ for August-sown seed and ‘Red Baron’ and ‘Bedfordshire Champion’ for March-sown seed. For the biggest exhibition onions, ‘Kelsae’ still rules the roost.

Sowing

August or March/April. Sow thinly half an inch deep in rows 12in (60cm) apart.

Planting sets

Using the right varieties, plant in March/April 3-4 in (7.5-10cm) apart in rows 10in (25cm) apart for a maximum yield of medium-sized onions.

Cultivations

Thin out seedlings when large enough to handle to 2in (5cm) apart. Keep all onions free of weeds. If any bolt, snap off the flower heads.

Pests and diseases

White rot fungus and onion fly are their worst enemies.

Harvesting

When the leaves have bent over and are turning yellow, the bulbs may be raised with a fork to sever the roots and start the ripening process.

Once the leaves are yellow, the bulbs can be completely lifted and spread out on wire netting above the ground or in a greenhouse to ripen to a finish. Store in net bags or as strings.

 

Salad Onions

Looking rather like tiny leeks, salad (or green) onions are available throughout most of the growing season from August or spring sowings.

Soil requirements

As for bulb onions above.

Possible yield

About 2 lb (0.9kg) per I10ft (3m) of row.

Time from Sowing to harvest

10-12 weeks from spring sowing.

Varieties

‘White Lisbon’, ‘Summer 1sle’ and ‘Feast’. Good varieties produce hardly any bulb at the base.

Sowing

Sow thinly half an inch deep in rows 4in (10cm) apart. Sow in August/ September or spring and early summer to give a succession of produce.

Cultivations

If necessary, thin the seedlings to 1 in (2.5cm) apart. Keep weed-free and well watered for quick growth.

Pests and diseases

As for bulb onions.

Harvesting

Pull them up when ready and as required.

 

Pickling Onions

Not widely grown, but a favourite of some people.

Soil requirements

As for bulb onions.

Possible yield

4-5lb (1.8-2.3kg) per 10ft (3m) of row.

Time from Sowing to harvest

11-16 weeks.

Varieties

‘Paris Silver Skin’.

Sowing

Sow thinly in March/April in rows half an inch deep and 12in (30cm) apart.

Cultivations

Keep weed-free and well watered until foliage starts yellowing.

Pests and diseases

As for bulb onions.

Harvesting

Leave until foliage has dried then lift and dry to a finish under cover. For the show bench, they should be no more than 1 in (2.5cm) across.

 

16. March 2011 by admin
Categories: Organics, Vegetable Gardening | Tags: , , | Comments Off on How to Grow Onions

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