Grow onions at home have become fun. Onion is one of the most flavorful, delicious, and indispensable ingredients to cook. As they don’t need a lot of space, you can effortlessly grow them in your kitchen, home garden, in the balcony, on the terrace and in the backyard.
If you lack space, you can even plant them in small pots, bottles and containers. Apart from adding flavours, they offer a wide range of health benefits, like boosting the immune system, keeping cholesterol levels under control and also regulating the blood sugar levels. Onions are among one of the most common staple food and can be stock for winter.
Are you curious about how to grow onions at home? Don’t worry; you don’t need to go anywhere else. Here is a quick primer guide for you that will help you grow onions at your place.
Onions vary not only in shapes or sizes but also in colours. They can be spindle-shaped or globe bulb-shaped, they can be small in size or large, they can be yellow, white or red. With patience, plenty of water and time, you can grow onions with ease at home within 90-120 days.
There is either a long day or short day onion varieties. The long day varieties are better for cold climate; the short-day are better for the warm atmospheric conditions. So choose the onion variety according to your environmental conditions of temperature, humidity and weather. The first step is to pick the right cultivar.
Soil Conditions for Growing Onions
Onions can grow in almost any soil, either sandy loam or heavy soil. Firm soil is preferable. Don’t forget to add manure, organic fertilizers and sand to prepare the patch well so that it can maintain moisture in the place.
ou may even use your kitchen debris as natural organic fertilizer here. Onions need a bit acidic soil, so acidic pH is excellent. Spray the growing plants with non-toxic, eco-friendly insect repellent to protect them.
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Varieties of Sources to Grow Onions
There are different sources to grow onions at home. You can grow them from seeds, transplants or sets. To start with seeds take a bit longer than other available options. Onions will take nearly four months to mature. However, they are advantageous to offer a wide choice in variety.
Onion transplants are small seedlings and produce good onion bulbs in a shorter time. Sets are small, dry onion bulbs. The onion sets are the easiest to grow and earliest to harvest as well.
Planting Onions at Home
Onion seeds are short-lived, so always use fresh seeds each year. Soak the seeds for a day in the water; keep them for next two to three days for drying and later on sow them nearly half inches deep. Loosen the soil before planting and clean all the weeds. It takes almost four months for onion bulbs to mature.
For transplants and sets, dig 2 to 3 inches deep holes and keep them at least 4 to 6 inches apart. It will prevent overcrowding. Make sure to bury the stems up to the start of the bottom plant leaves. Monitor the plants regularly. The soil should be richer in fertilizer or manure.
Growing Onions in Pots and Containers
Choose your container carefully; it is because one pot one plant is not the rule that is applicable here. Small vessels don’t give good results; the ideal height is 10 to 12 inches. The opening of the pot or container should be wide enough to allow space to grow onion bulbs.
It is not an impossible task to plant them; you have to make sure that you provide them with enough sunshine, water and fertilizer. One onion plant at least needs 3 inches for proper growth. You can even use plastic tubs and buckets as they are economical. Don’t forget to punch holes at the bottom to allow suitable drainage.
Right Way to Water
Onions are quite simple plants and thus require little maintenance. They need plenty of water to thrive efficiently. To keep your growing onions healthy, check the soil regularly. Provide growing plants with water at least one inch per week.
If you are growing plants in the pot, make sure to provide 2 to 3 inches of water per week as these plants don’t have access to rainwater as plants in-ground have. If the top of the soil is dry, add water.
The Need for Nitrogen Fertilizers
Fertilizer is of utmost importance for onions. They need nitrogen-rich soil. So spray them with nitrogen-rich fertilizer at least twice a month if not more. When you see onion bulbs poking outside, it is the right time to stop applying fertilizer sprays. Laying mulch or other organic matter between the onion rows can keep them weed protected. Use ammonium sulphate or ammonium nitrate.
Harvesting and Storage
The ideal time to harvest is the end of summer. When approach final ripening stages, the onion tops turn yellow and fall over. You can pull the tops directly from the grounds. Pull or dig them out of the soil with the tops attached, hang in bunches and spread them out. Choose a warm, airy place that allows full bright sun.
Let them stay there for 2 to 3 weeks for drying; you can switch it up by using an electric fan. Acknowledge it that enough drying and curing affects the quality of onions to a greater extent. You can harvest head of green onions, if they grown more than 6 inches above soil. Usually onion grown in five months. For storage, always choose a cool, dry and dark place. Don’t store them with fruits or potatoes.
Things to be kept in Mind
Onions prefer pleasant and cold weather to grow, rich, fertile and porous soil. They don’t like rain and humidity much. The best time to plant them is between November to February. Open space is preferable if not available any container may be utilized to grow onion bulbs. For growing outside, the spring season is better but for indoor, any time of the year is admirable.