Well, in this post we are going to learn how to grow onions.
I can tell you from experience that the taste difference is amazing. On top of that, there are the many different cultivars of this wonderful vegetable that you will never see in the stores, that are easy to grow with low maintenance. Year after year, I find that the simple method that I use yields consistent results and a decent crop, so today I am going to share.
Firstly, a little about this humble vegetable. Onions are from the Allium family which includes Leeks, Shallots, Spring Onions, Chives and Garlic. It needs loamy, well composted soil. It grows well from seed planted directly in the soil, however I have found that with minimum fuss, I get better results from planting out seedlings.
Preparing the bed
As with most vegetables, onions like friable soil, so it can lay down roots quickly. Add compost to the soil, and a sprinkle of dolomite lime (about a couple of handfuls per bed), however don’t use too much organic fertiliser in the initial preparation. Onions do not like being overfed as they tend not to form a bulb (lush tops and no bulb). During growth, I use a light application of homemade liquid fertiliser (worm wee or weed tea) once a month to keep them healthy.
They like the cool weather to establish themselves, warm weather for forming bulbs.
The seedlings will straighten up on their own accord. Plant the seedlings about 100 mm apart (4″ ). I use the width of my hand to determine the spacing.
Keep mulch away from onions because the bulb needs to sit on top of the soil, not in the soil.
When the tops start to dry out, it’s best to bend (kink) the top of the plant (the stem) over and tie it up with one of its own leaves. This will help the onion bulb to dry out quicker and form a larger bulb.