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Growing and Caring for Onions, Varieties of Onions, Trouble Shooting Onions, Preparing and Preserving Onions.

Growing Onions

Planting Guide for Onions

When planting onions choose a garden site that is in full sun and has a well-drained soil. A soil pH of 6.0 to 6.5 is ideal for growing onions. Apply lime and fertilize according to soil test results.

Onion Companion Plants

"Companion Planting is the growing together of all those elements and beings that encourage life and growth; the creation of a microcosm that includes vegetables, fruits, trees, bushes, wheat, flowers, weeds, birds, soil, microorganisms, water, nutrients, insects, toads, spiders, and chickens." - John Jeavons

Onion Seed Saving Onions can be grown from transplants, seeds or sets. Sets are whole small dormant onions that will produce a new plant. Transplants are from seeds that have been germinated and produced some top growth readily available to plant in the garden. Seeds can be purchased or saved from previous season onions.


Hydroponic Onions. Onions are fairly easy to grow in outdoor hydroponic systems. They can also be successfully grown in an indoor set up. They can be started from either seed or set. An onion set is an immature small onion bulb planted instead of seed. I prefer to start mine from seeds in oasis cubes and later transfer them to a hydroponic setup.




Trouble Shooting - Onion Problems

Onion Pests and Diseases Onions and related crops such as garlic, shallots, chives have similar growing requirements, and naturally they share similar maladies. Problems associated with growing Onions and other Alliums can be categorized into cultural, pest, nutrients and disease

Pink Root Pink root is a fungal disease [Phoma terrestris] that attacks alliums such as onions, garlic and leeks. Grass and grain plants are at times carriers, but are not as severely effected. The fungus can lay dormant in the soil for years with no host crop, but rapidly emerges from its dormancy once it finds a suitable host. Weakened and stressed plants are naturally more susceptible.

Plant Nutrient Deficiencies Most garden plant issues arise from insect and disease problems, nutrient deficiencies should only be treated when the disease and insect possibilities have first been explored. So long as the soil is relatively fertile and a proper soil pH is maintained Nutrient deficiencies are generally not a major problem.


Onion Varieties

Onion Varieties. There are a number of ways in which Onions are grouped. Grouping onions by taste is one way . You have only Sweet or Pungent using this method. The pungent or strong-flavored varieties and the milder ones. Milder varieties include Slicing varieties that we use for onion rings and sandwiches, like 'Sweet Spanish', and big red onions. Grouping onions by Storage qualities is another method and Marketing & Culinary purposes are a third.

Walking Onions - Egyptian walking Onions are the most common name for this very prolific and unusual Onion variety. Other names include Tree Onion because of their tendency to produce a branching stalk from a cluster of onion sets at the plants top giving them a tree-like appearance. Top-setting onions because they set onion clusters at the plant top as opposed to the common subterranean onions that other varieties produce. Winter Onions because of their Cold Hardiness. Perennial Onions because so long long as you leave the subterranean bulb / root undisturbed they will continue to come back and produce more top onions season after season. The 'Egyptian' accolade was errantly assigned by seedsmen years ago, but these Onions probably didn't originate in Egypt and are believed to be a hybrid of common onions and welsh onions.



Preparing and Preserving Onions

Onion Recipes Onions are an ingredient in many many dishes. They are a flavoring, a spice and at times a secret ingredient. They titillate our taste buds when blended into delicious meals and adorn our burgers and steaks. Onions can also be the main dish, or at times an appetizer all by themselves.

Pickled Onions. Onions have been preserved via Pickling since pre-history. Some of the first foods Humans ever pickled were more than likely Onions.