Growing Onions


Latest Update 19th January 2019.

Onions.
  • In February each year, 60 onion seeds are multi-sown as clusters of 4 seeds in each of 15 small fibre pots in an Eco-Propagator, and when ready, the pots containing these seedlings are transplanted into a prepared row in an Ecobed.
  • Onions are a useful addition to our diet used with garlic in vegetable based soups and casseroles.  We like them when used with organic sage and breadcrumbs to make a tasty stuffing for poultry dishes, and we love their sweetness when used in combination with suitable vegetables roasted with beef, lamb or pork.
  • Black aphids are the main pests attacking alliums in our garden.  They appear as soon as the weather starts to warm in late winter/early spring.
  • Onions keep well for up to 9 months if dried and hung in bunches in a dry place in low light. 
 
Details.
  • Variety:                                                    Australian Brown.
  • Family group:                                           Allioideae.
  • Crop rotation group:                                   Light feeders.
  • Garden bed type:                                      Garden Ecobed.
  • Minimum sun per day:                               4 hours.
  • Plant spacings:  (centres x rows).                     100 x 150mm.
  • Weeks to harvest:                                     25 - 30 weeks.
  • Good companions:                                    Carrot, chamomile. lettuce. tomato. brassica. leek.
  • Poor companions.                                      Pea. asparagas.
  • Climate:                                                    Warm temperate.
  • Geography:                                               Southern hemisphere. 
Nutrition.  
  • This food is very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. 
  • It is a good source of Dietary Fibre, Vitamin B6, Folate, Potassium and Manganese, and a very good source of Vitamin C. 
  • More from nutrition data.self.com.
 
Maintaining Ecobed Productivity. 

  • Check out my blogpage which explains how I maintain productivity in my Ecobeds.  It describes how soil is prepared prior to planting, the importance of rainwater in Ecobeds, how to regulate the sun's intensity and how to feed plants through their leaves.
Propagation Plan.

  • Check out my blogpage which tells you when to sow seeds.
Growing Instructions.
  • Sow clusters of 4 onion seeds in each of 15 small fibre pots and soak the pots in a tray containing 15mm deep dilute seaweed extract.  After about 15 minutes, transfer them to an EcoPropagator and bury them up to their rims in the moist compost wicking medium.  When the onions are about 100mm tall, transplant them (in their pots) into a prepared Ecobed row 100 mm apart.
  • The soil should have been cleared of the previous crop's above ground debris and spent mulch.  Recycle this in your composting system.  A layer of about 60mm of fresh, sieved, homemade compost is then placed on top of the soil and covered with a generous layer of straw mulch.
  • Make a 50mm wide hole for each pot using a large dibber.  Make it deep enough so the lower 15mm of each pot will be in contact with soil.  Backfill each hole with compost so there is about 60mm of seedling stem visible, and water the seedlings in with dilute seaweed extract.
Harvesting and Storage
  • Harvest the onions when the tops start to dry and fall over. 
  • Pull them out of the ground and rinse off the soil with water.  Leave them to dry in the sun for a few hours.
  • String the onions together in large bunches using the dried stalks and some twine to tie them together.
  • Hang them in a cool, dry airy place until ready for use.
Organic Pest Control. 
  • Onions, like most vegetables, are vulnerable to attack from certain pests in my garden.  My blog on "Controlling Garden Pests" explains a little about these pests and what to do to protect plants from them.  For details click on the appropriate link below.
  • Aphids (blackfly).
  • Slugs and snails.

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