Onions are one of the earliest and easiest crops to
grow in your garden. Start with fertile, loose, well drained soil,. Work
some aged compost into the top 2" of the soil, and you can avoid
applying too much nitrogen. If you compost is well rotted, you
will provide everything your onions need to grow, even though they are
heavy feeders. Soil pH. should be 6.0 or higher. It is difficult
to grow onions in acidic soil.
While onions can be started from seeds, it is easiest to use onion
sets, which are small dried onions. generally, four varieties are
offered. Yellow Spanish, white, purple, and Dutch yellow storage
onions. While the first three varieties will keep 1-2 months, Dutch
yellow storage onions are the best for long term winter storage.
Planting should occur early in spring t take advantage
of the moist soil and the cool weather. Onions can tolerate
some frost. Prepare a weed free seed bed with loose soil to 6-8". Plant
sets 3-4" apart, or i a grid pattern, leaving sets 4-5" apart.
Plant onion sets in the loose soil with the top half of the set exposed,
Plant with the pointed end up. Discard sets that are already sprouting
As the season progresses, keep onions weed free and moderately
well watered. A top dressing of aged compost is beneficial if applied
during the first month or so. As Summer begins, the onion tops will yellow,then
begin to fall over. When most of the tops have fallen over, pull
out all the onions and put in a dry, airy place to cure. Make certain
all tops have shriveled up to a dry papery condition before storing.
Sort our damaged bulbs for immediate use, and clip
off the tops of the onions to be stored, leaving 1/2 to 1" of stem. Onions
with small necks store the longest. Pack the cured onions in net
bags and hang in a cool, dry. dark place. Check them weekly to
remove any rotting onions that may spoil the rest.