Onions are a staple in most peoples home and market gardens. They are relatively easy to grow but prefer a loose, loamy soil, with a pH of somewhere between 6 and 7. If you are planting onions sets, they should be spaced around 3-4 inches apart with the tip of the bulb at the soil surface.
It optimize your onion plantings and garden in general here is a list of companions that are recommended for onions:
- bok choy
- summer savory
Avoid planting onions next to:
Onions need to be kept free of weeds, as excessive weeds can inhibit growth. They should be watered only when it is gets pretty dry, but not before, as onions don’t do well in soggy soil. It is a good idea to add some compost or fertilizer to your onions but make sure if you add compost that you don’t cover the swelling bulbs, the exposure to the sun is important.
When your onions start to flower cut the flower head off to maximize bulb size. You want the energy of the plant to go into the bulb rather than into producing seed. That is, unless of course you are saving seed, then by all means let the plants flower.
When the top of the onion turns brown, and starts to fall over, your onions are nearly ready for harvest. At this time you can carefully bend the rest of the stalk over and let them set for about a week more in the ground. After a week or so, lift the onions from the ground and allow them to cure (develop a dry outer skin) for another week in a cool, dry spot. When they have cured, make sure you store them in a cool, dry and dark spot.
To find locally grown onions, check out Pick-A-Pepper.com!
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