by Amy Gordon
(last updated July 15, 2015)
If you do not cook at least some of your food with onions, you are missing out. Onions are a great vegetable and can add a lot of great flavor to a variety of meals. Onions are especially great when used to add to the flavor of meat, but the number of combinations you can make with onions are nearly limitless. If you want to make your onion cooking experience even better, try growing your own onions in your home garden. Things grown at home always taste better, so go on, give it a try.
When you are growing onions, you have two choices: you can either grow from seed or you can transplant from another plant. Either way will work well, but it is a little more difficult to plant from seed. If you transplant, just get the plant in the ground right away. If you are growing from seed, you will want to plant around mid October.
Sow the seeds directly into the garden, burying them with about a fourth an inch of soil. These seeds will begin to sprout within 10 days, and can be harvested for green onions in 8-10 weeks. If you want to grow bigger onions, you will have to thin the plants as the grow to be about 2-3 inches apart to allow the bulbs to grow. You will have to wait until about February before you have any type of bulb. You will be able to used the thinned onions as scallions in the meantime.
When you are planting your onions, make sure to have your soil prepared first. This means clearing out debris and rocks. It also means mixing in a fertilizer rich with phosphorus. This is especially important if you are transplanting the onion. If you transplant, dig trench about 4 inches deep where you plan to plant your onion. Distribute the fertilizer, then cover it up and plant the transplanted onion. This will give you the best results.
With this upper part alone you should have some good onions. There are a few other things to watch out for. If the weather is too rainy, or the area too wet, your onions will probably become diseased and die off. Make sure the area is well drained. Another worry is an insect called the onion thrip. These little creatures love eating onion, and can only be killed off with insecticides or insecticidal soap. Just do not apply any insecticides within seven days of harvesting.
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