Friday, December 17, 2010

Growing onions

In general, plant onions in autumn – early spring 10-15 cm apart in well drained soil. Plant in a different place each year, preferably on a 5 year rotation around the garden or the patch. Onions like a limed soil, so if you haven’t limed the area in the last year or so, sprinkle around some dolomite or garden lime. If you sow onions from seed they should come up within 2-3 weeks. Seed germinates readily between 2 and 27 deg C. Be careful not to overwater!

It’s best to not fertilise onions at planting, rather to plant them in soil that was fertilised for the last vegie crop. Too much manure or blood and bone in the soil can encourage maggots and rot, not very yummy! It’s ok to add some wood ash or potash though.

If this doesn’t happen, too much fertiliser can result in loose and soft bulbs which won’t keep for very long. Salad onions, like white Spanish, are grown to eat fresh rather than store so a bit more fertiliser is OK for them.

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