How to plant onions


Plantin onions. Success demands selection of suitable varieties and adherence to proper culture procedures. Onions thrive in a wide range of soil and climate conditions, and some varieties may be grown at some season everywhere that vegetables are grown. The soil for onions may be of any type so long as it is fertile, moist, and in a high state of cultivation. In the South onions thrive during fall, winter, and spring; in the North onions are chiefly spring, summer, and fall crops.

The onion does best with ample moisture and a temperature free of extremes of heat and cold during the growing season. Soil should be fine and free of clods and foreign matter. A pound of manure per square foot and commercial fertilizer, high in phosphorous and potash, at the rate of 4 or 5 pounds per 100 square feet, is a correct application. Cultivation may be no more than the control of weeds. When the tops begin to die the bulbs should be pulled up and dried for a .few days in trays amid good ventilation; then the tops may be removed and the onions stored in crates in cool, dry conditions.

Onions may be started for the home garden by sets, seedlings, or seed; the usual method is by sets, which are small onions grown the previous year. The varieties generally used as sets do not form good bulbs during the short winters of the South, and only green onions may be expected. Where onions are sown in the fall for winter growth and spring maturing of bulbs, Bermuda type varieties such as Creole and Early Grano are recommended. American Silverskin, or White Portugal, the White Globe, the Yellow Danvers, Southport Yellow Globe, and Southport Red Globe are commonly used in the North as sets and seed and may be employed for green onions or dry onions.

Several varieties of multiplier onions may be used in the home garden for green onions. The Egyptian onion is planted in the fall for early green spring onions. Use of seedlings offers the most certain results, but onion seedlings are delicate and cannot start well in soil that bakes or crusts. Diseases, hot weather and insects cause frequent failures in crops from spring-sown seeds in the southern and middle regions. Spring sowing of seeds promises better results in the more northern regions and areas of high altitude. Whether using seeds or sets, plant them 3 inches apart in rows 16 inches apart. A quarter-ounce of seed or a quart of sets (400 plants) is required for zoo feet of row.

Get fresh onion seeds each year.

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