Grow onions for your garden
Onions are one of the easiest and tastiest vegetable crops for your garden. The taste of the varieties varies from spicy to sweet. Onions not only serve to add flavor to your meals but also reduce cholesterol in the blood stream. Onions can be started as seeds or as “sets,” small plants that have already sprouted from seed. “Kits” have an advantage over seeds as they give you a head start on planting.
Onions should be watered frequently, especially during the warmest part of the growing season. They also need soil that drains well.
There are many types and colors of onions. They can be green, yellow, white or red. And they come in a variety of sizes from thin green onions the size of a pencil to larger bulbs 2 to 4 inches in diameter.
Green onions were one of my favorites to grow when I was a kid. Their hot, spicy flavor provides a burst of flavor when eaten raw with mustard or turnip greens. Long thin green onions should be planted about 2″ apart. Larger onions need 6″-8″ of space around the plants to allow room for growth and full development. Apply a good organic fertilizer to your plants every 3-4 weeks Add a layer of mulch around the plants to reduce weed growth and conserve water.
Onions are a hardy plant and can be grown in most parts of the world. They should be planted after the last killing frost in the spring. Other varieties can be grown in autumn. Check with your local agricultural council to find out when to plant and which varieties grow best in your area.
When your onion plants are mature, they will be thick and slightly raised from the soil. Green onions are best when harvested when they are young and bright green in color. When the tops of the bulbs start to brown, it’s time to prepare them for storage. Bend the ends with your hand at the neck to speed up the drying process. Once the tops are quite brown, the plants can be pulled up and placed in a mesh bag for storage. A clean nylon hose is also a good storage container. Store your onions in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight.
Onions are a favorite for your home garden. They are easy to grow and add flavor to sauces, soups and many of your other recipes. Onions mainly need water and fertilizer to produce a good crop. You can’t go wrong when adding onions to your garden plot.
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