How To Grow Onions
How To Grow Onions
Professional garden designer and vegetable grower Linsey Evans teaches VideoJug viewers some basic gardening tips for growing a bountiful crop of delicious, mouth- and eye-watering onions.
Growing your own onions couldn't be easier, if you follow a few basic rules. Here are my tips for growing great onions. The most important thing to remember about onions is that they need a sunny, well-drained soil.
Drainage is very important; their soil is a little bit heavy. Dig in some sharp sand before planting. In fact, I always do this anyway just to be on the safe side.
They can never have too much drainage. Don't add manure to the soil just before planting onions. They don't like it; it adds too much nitrogen.
Onions grow best in a soil which is either neutral or even slightly alkaline. You can test the pH of your soil with a simple kit that you can buy from the garden center. If the soil is a little too acid, you can raise the pH by adding some lime.
If you're going to dig in manure into the plot, dig it in several months before planting. So, prepare the ground well and leave it. As I said before, onions do not like being planted into freshly-manured ground.
A week before planting, add a little bit of general purpose fertilizer like fish blood and bone or Gro-Mor, and just rake it lightly into the surface of the plot. I'm going to plant onion sets; I find these much easier than growing onions from seed. You buy the sets in little bags from the garden center and you plant the little immature onions.
You plant the sets 4 to 6 inches apart; the wider the spacing, the larger the bulbs will be. And you plant them with their shoulders just showing, just the tops of the bulbs sticking out of the ground. It can sometimes cause problems with the birds pulling them up, but if this happens, just push them back into the ground again.
Onion sets can be prone to bolting, so using the smaller onions from the sets will help to avoid this. Bolting means when the plant sends up a flower and starts flowering, rather than making nice big onions, if you see a flower spike, just cut it off and use these onions first. Once the onions are planted, weed them regularly but don't over-water them as it also causes bolting.
Feed them occasionally, but be careful: do not use a high-potash fertilizer. Too much potash reduces the sulfur uptake of onions, and it's the sulfur which gives them their strong flavor. So, make sure you're using a fertilizer which is low in potash.
If you follow these few simple rules, you should have a lovely supply of tasty onions. .