How to Grow Onions
How to Grow Onions
Thefor should be deep, well-worked and crumbly. It should be prepared as early as possible in advance, preferably in the autumn, so that it may be broken up thoroughly by winter frost. Well-rotted farmyard or stable manure, worked in deeply, will improve the quality of the crop. Wood ashes can be mixed generously with the top soil. Seed can be sown in January or February under glass in a temperature of 16°C. (60° F.); in March outdoors, where the plants are to mature; or in late August or early September in sheltered nursery beds outdoors.
Seedlings from early sowings under glass are pricked out when 1-1/2in. tall and later may be placed singly in small pots. In these they are hardened off forabout the middle of April. Seedlings from April sowings are thinned out where they stand. Seedlings from autumn sowings are transplanted in March. In all cases the bulbs should be” 6in. apart in rows 1ft. apart unless they are required for exhibition, when a little more space should be allowed.
An alternative to sowing seed is to plant onion sets in March or April. The soil is prepared in exactly the same way as for and the bulbs are planted 6in. apart in rows 1ft. apart. For the amateur gardener who has difficulty in raising plants from seed this is the answer to his problem.
Hoe frequently during the summer, water freely during dry weather, and during June and July feed every 10 days or so, either with very weak liquid manure or with a general all-purpose fertiliser.
Bend over the tops when growth slackens in summer if the plants do not do so of their own accord. This will encourage the swelling of the bulbs. Lift when fully developed and lay the bulbs out to dry in the sun, preferably where they can be protected from rain. I space mine out in a garden frame and cover this with a light. When they have ripened off, store them in a cool, airy, frost-proof place.
Varieties:These include Ailsa Craig, Autumn Queen, Giant Zittau and Sutton’s Long-Keeping.