2014-02-04 / Columns

Garden Scene

Peggy Bolton

First-time gardeners and long-time plant growers will find onions an almost no fail crop. Onions are easy to grow, both from seed and bulbs. As long as they are planted with adequate drainage and kept weeded they will provide for an excellent crop.

If started from seed, the final bulb will be a bit smaller than those started from a bulb. When purchasing onion bulbs, you are actually buying an onion that has been grown from seed for several months, then harvested and dried.

Seed onions may be planted indoors to speed the process along. They germinate easily and will look tall and spindly. Onions grow relating to the length of our days, and almost like magic start to produce a bulb on the bottom with long sunny days. During extremely rainy periods, onions may never bulb. If sowing seeds out of doors, plan to do it in late April or early May.

Typically, onion sets are available in red, white, and yellow. Usually the yellow are the best keepers and the largest bulbs when harvesting.

Weeds are the worst enemy of an onion bulb. Do not make the small seedling compete for growing room. Make sure not to overwater, as it is easy to rot the small bulblet.

Besides the common onions there are also more perennial plants in the form of Egyptian onions. They are commonly referred to as repeater onions. Plants form new tiny bulbs at the top of the onion greens. They will provide a mild small onion year after year.

Send specific questions to: Country Grown Perennials LLC, Peggy Bolton, 4801 Pines Brook Road, Walton, NY 13856. Please enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope if you wish to receive a personal reply.

Return to top