How to grow onions

No kitchen in the world can live without onions and, as such, its cultivation is essential to give color and flavor to the most varied culinary preparations. Learn how to grow onions and make your dishes eat and cry for more – unlike onions.

The origin of the onion and its main species

The onion originated in central Asia and the Middle East and has been grown for over 5000 years. Its scientific name is Allium Cepa L and belongs to the family of Lilacs. Currently, the cultivation of onions is divided into two main species. Are they:

Dry bulb onions: these are onions that vary according to size, color and aroma. They have different varieties, since they can be white, yellow, purple or red and guarantee a sweeter flavor to cooked food.

Onions of other types: such as leek , shallots, garlic and chives, which offer a totally different taste than traditional onion. On the other hand, it should be noted that this species of onions plays a very important role in the preparation of the most varied meals.

The best climate for growing onions

Onions are resistant vegetables not only in appearance, but also during their growth, because, despite being considered a vegetable that does better in winter, they can resist any type of temperature. The best temperatures for growing onions are between 13 and 25 degrees centigrade. In a preparatory phase, cool weather helps to produce higher quality bulbs and, with rising temperatures, onions end up reaching their fullness. In full growth, onions, like lemons , need a daily sun exposure of approximately 6 hours, so that their bulbs are dry and tasty.

Best time to plant onions

Sowing and planting of onions during the frost season should be avoided, so that they can grow without setbacks or setbacks. The planting of onions has better results after the fall of frosts and morning dews (these burn the plants), which means that they will grow in the middle of summer and harvest before autumn. In warm and mild areas you can plant onions in summer and then harvest them before winter arrives.

However, the different types of onions determine the time when they should be planted. You should go to a specialty store to purchase the seeds that best adapt to your garden and the atmospheric conditions that are felt in your locality.

Keep in mind that the onion bulbs start to form when they spend a certain number of hours in the sun and, therefore, the choice of onion type must take this into account.

The planting of onions

There are several ways to plant and grow onions, but it depends on the results you want to obtain, your dedication and available time. You can plant onions in your garden using the following options:

Sowing: initially organic seeds can be used and they can be grown in a tray or in a greenhouse (using a heat lamp). They take about two weeks to germinate and, for that, the temperature of the earth should be around 10 degrees centigrade. Later, you will have to transplant the seeds abroad and place them at a depth of 2.5 centimeters and in double rows of 50 centimeters. Then, you will have to wait a maximum period of 5 months for the onion bulbs to mature before the harvest is carried out.

Seedlings: seedlings can be purchased at a specialized store and this saves you a lot of time and labor in growing onions, as you only have to put them on the ground (properly fertilized) and wait for them to bloom.

Onion clusters: these are small bulbs that must be planted 15 centimeters apart. This is the most difficult and expensive cultivation method, but it is also the one that produces the onion in the fastest way.

Soil preparation

Onions have soft roots and therefore do not do well in dry, heavy soils. The soil must be well drained and with a pH of 6 to 6.8 for the onions to grow normally. You should use organic fertilizers to make the soil as fertile as possible and to prevent weeds from appearing. Keep in mind that onions need uniform moisture throughout their planting, so that the bulbs have all the necessary nutrients.

Harvesting and storing onions

When onions are slightly out of the ground and have yellowish leaves (about 50%), it means they are ready to be harvested.

For long storage, the tops of the onion must be pulled out manually to accelerate the drying of the neck before harvesting. The back of a rake is the ideal tool for doing this job. At least 50% of the onion tops must be pulled out before harvest and storage. Onions can be left outdoors and exposed to sunlight for a few days, in order to dry the tops and your neck. However, this is a step that should not be carried out in areas of red-hot sun, as the onion bulb can be damaged when it comes in direct contact with the sun’s rays. In these situations, it is preferable to choose a shady but airy place.

You should be aware that onions must be completely dry, since moisture is the main enemy of the health of stored onions.
If they are not completely dry, it is likely that fungal
diseases and rot will occur.

Onions should always be stored in a cool, dry and ventilated place, preferably on flat trays or shelves; they can also be hung in a braid or in mesh bags.

The importance of curing onions

Before storing onions, a curing process has to be carried out. The main objective of this process is to guarantee the drying and dormancy of the onions. Once harvested, the onions must be cured and this only happens when they are exposed to temperatures of 35 degrees centigrade and a relative humidity of 50%.

The advantages of using onions

The onion is one of the vegetables whose presence in a vegetable garden or vegetable garden is mandatory. It is very important in food, as it is used as a regular condiment in practically all contemporary gastronomic schools, varying only the amount and regularity of its use. It is one of the most important foods in a kitchen, as it is present in almost all stews, stews, roasts, stews and soups. In summer it is also widely used in salads and combines very well with cucumber , lettuce and tomatoes .

According to nutritionists, onions are rich in sulfur, vitamins B and C and also in minerals. On the other hand, its consumption helps to prevent various types of cancer, protects against various cardiovascular diseases and inhibits the action of fungi and bacteria.

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