Friday, July 1, 2011

How to Plant Onions

Onions are easy to grow, and taste great in home made salsa. I also like them sautéed in butter, with fried eggs for breakfast, and in stir fires. Onions keep well, both dried and pre-chopped in the freezer. It makes sense for home gardeners to grow lots of onions.

Onions need to be planted very early - well before the last frost. See my slide guide for your local frost and planting dates. We plant both slips and little onion bulbs called starts. I have great results growing onions close together in raised rows/beds roughly (18) inches wide. This makes most effective use of limited garden space, as compared to single plant rows. Pile the soil into a flat topped bed about (4-6) inches above normal garden level, so that their feet are not wet all the time. Space onions about (3) inches apart, they don’t mind being close, and it helps to block weeds. Planting goes fast if you use a 2-person team as we did in the video-blog. One person opens the soil, while the other inserts the start…. it goes really quick. After planting, mulch between starts with straw, cut grass, or some other weed preventive covering. Pull seed pods off of onion stems to get the best bulbs. Harvest onions in early summer, just after the plants begin to turn brown and fall over. We have fun together chopping onions at harvest time, and loading them into freezer bags. The aroma fills the house. Just thinking about it makes me want to……cry.

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