Monday, July 11, 2016

How to Grow Onions

Vegetable Garden Tips

How To Grow Onions

How To Grow Onions
When I grow onions they take up a lot of room in the garden but the excellent taste of home grown onions is worth the trouble.

There are three ways to plant onions. Either buy onions sets, seeds or plants. I always buy and plant the sets. The sets grow quicker and are disease free.
Onion Sets

Planting and Growing Onions

They are an easy crop to plant because the bulb sets are easy to handle and plant. There is little time needed to take care of them as they grow so this vegetable is ideal for beginner gardeners.

When to Plant Onion Sets

Always in the spring as long as there is no chance of any more frosts. I live in Ireland so our spring is in early March to April. In this article I explain how to grow from onion sets. Buy a packet from a garden centre or store.

How To Plant Onion sets

The best place in your garden to plant these is in a sunny spot. But they can grow just as well in a place that only has partial sun during the day. If like myself you only have a small garden then you will probably need the sunniest places for other vegetables. 

I prefer to grow all of my vegetables in rows. This is because it is easier to look after them and the garden looks better. But you can plant the sets in small groups around the garden if you want.

Onions starting to Grow 

Step by Step instructions for Planting your Onion Sets

  • Make a hole along the soil about two inches deep and water very well..
  • Place the onion sets about 5 inches, 10 centimeters apart.
  • Make another row around 12 inches, 25 centimeters apart.
  • Plant more onions. Then cover with soil leaving the stems showing .
  • Push down the soil firmly around each onion.
  • Water again.

It may look like there is too much space between each one but this will be needed for the onions to grow large.

How To Protect the Onions from Birds

The birds will have great delight in picking up the light onion sets and flying away with them.

So you need to cover your newly planted onions with a light netting. After a couple of weeks the onions will have rooted so the birds can not remove them.

How To Grow Onions

Looking after the Onions as they Grow

The long green leaves will grow first. Keep watered and weed when necessary. Do not let the soil go dry as the bulbs will get damaged and split.

Once the hotter weather comes you will see the bulbs growing bigger. They grow on top of the soil so you can see them grow wider and larger.

When to Harvest Onions

Once they have grown to the size you want you can pick them to use in the kitchen when you need them. Always pick the largest ones first and allow the smaller ones to grow bigger.

Use the onions during the summer when you need them. You will eventually see the green leaves turn yellow and wither. This is the time to pull all the remaining onions from the garden.

Onions Ready To Eat

How To Store Onions

  • Pull whats left of your onion crop up from the ground.
  • Do not wash or cut off the leaves at this stage.
  • Lay them in the sun for a few hours either on the grass or a garden table.
  • Turn them over after a few hours.

Dry the Onions in The Sun
  • Using a paper towel remove the dried up soil from the bulbs.
  • Place them on a table in a shed or store house for a few days . Do not allow any bulb to touch another one or they will rot.
  • Once they are completely dry you can tie them up onto a string by the leaves for storage.
  • Or you can remove the leaves and place them in a dry box.
  • These remaining onions will store fresh for a few months

All Images are the copyright of L.M.Reid 

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