Onions are usually planted in early spring, as soon as the soil has been tilled. This means the best period to plant onions is between late March and early April. At least that is when professional onion farmers plant onions. The soil has to have good fertility, adequate moisture, and a cool temperature to ensure good development of the onions.
When planting onions, make sure that the rows are 12 to 18 inches apart. Plant the sets 2 to 4 inches apart. The closer you place the sets, the smaller the bulbs you will get. So, ensure adequate spacing of the bulbs to get a good sized crop.
Weeds hamper the growth of onions. You have to use shallow hoeing method to keep the rows free of grass and weeds that compete with the onions for nutrients from the soil. It might be necessary to use a side dressing of fertilizer to ensure a healthy crop.
Harvesting is done by pulling the onions out. Wait until the tops are 5 inches tall to harvest your crop of onions. Harvest is usually done in late July or early August. Pull the mature onions in the morning and allow them to dry in the sun until late afternoon. For complete drying and curing, full air circulation is necessary for 3 weeks after the harvest. You can hang the onions out to dry in a shaded area.
Winter onions are planted in August. You have to choose the proper onions for your region for them to grow well. Choose from long day and short day onions, depending on where you live. Onions are certainly a versatile vegetable to have in your kitchen and your kitchen garden.
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