Thursday, January 1, 2015

How to Grow Onions in Your Garden

One of the best ways to remain healthy is to watch what you eat. There is no better way to watch than growing your own vegetables in your garden. These vegetables will not only enhance a dash of health but because they are the result of your efforts and will taste a lot better. You can grow many vegetables in your garden such as onions, pumpkins, potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant etc. It is easier to grow onions than many other vegetables because they are low maintenance plants. Onions can lend taste to most of the dishes. You can get farm fresh onions right at your home. All you need is just a little extra effort and the right tips.

Onions belong to allium family and their other family members are chives, leek and garlic. Many varieties of onions are available including bulb onions, multiplier or perennial onions, tree or Egyptian varieties, welsh onions or spring onions, yellow onions and sweet onions. Depending on the variety, onions can be pungent, tangy, mild or sweet. Onions are basically categorized as long and short day varieties. Long day onions are predominantly grown in North America and Europe.

photo credit: en.wikipedia.org
Methods to Plant - Many types can be grown by planting seeds, by using onion sets or by transplanting onion plants into the garden. It is advisable to grow onions by transplanting onion plants and through onion sets because it require long day light hours approximately 15 hours to grow onions by planting seeds into the garden. Onion sets are like small bulbs less than 1 inch in diameter, which are grown in a year before actually growing the onions. These sets can grow into mature bulbs the following year. Transplants or seedlings are preferred in areas with shorter seasons where the seeds are planted indoor, watered regularly and transplanted back in the garden when it is right season.

Knowing the Soil - Onions are cool season plants hence grow well in a loose soil that drains well. Add manure to your soil and fertilize it almost a week before planting the onions. Keep watering the soil occasionally for the steady growth. They need a weed free area, because the presence of weeds around the bulbs hampers its further development. Tilling the soil will not only keep it weed-free, but also help soil retain the moisture.

Planting - The best time to grow is the spring season usually mid March to April. Onions fight well against frost and onions can grow well in any climatic conditions. If you are planting the seeds then set them 1 inch apart and 2 cm below the soil. Sow them in rows with 30 cm spacing. When planting sets, leave them around 10 cm apart, then dig a small hole and place the set with neck upwards.

Harvesting - Green versions can be harvested when they are still young and green to get milder flavor. Dry onions sometimes become red, white, or yellow in color. They are harvested once their tops are withered completely and skin becomes dry like a paper. Storage - Though green onions cannot be stored for a longer period, but you can keep them green and fresh for few days by putting them in water jar. Dry onions can be stored for months in a cool, dry and ventilated place with temperature ranging from 35 degrees F to 40 degrees F. A great way to ensure a healthy crop is by using an Indoor Greenhouse which will prevent weather fluctuations from affecting the crop.


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