Growing Great Onions
Onions, so many uses, salads, sandwiches, soups, stews and simply to add flavour to a wide variety of foods. What can be better than cheese and onions together in an omelet or as a grilled cheese sandwich or just plain on a Kaiser? I enjoy a thin slice of Spanish onion with a good cheese on whole wheat bread or a bagel.
I also enjoy, on the rare occasion, onion rings and French onion soup, not necessarily at the same meal but both are their own taste sensations.
Onions are not all the difficult to grow. First off, you have two types of onions, summer onions and winter onions. Summer onions are fresh onions that come in yellow read and white and have a fairly thin skin.
These are the sweet onions, the ones that you are most likely to find in yoru sandwich or salad. It is their high water content that makes them sweet.
The winter onions also come in red, yellow and white but have several layers of thick and dark skin. These onions are ideal for storage and what you want on those cold winter nights when you want to add some zest to a stew or soup.
Now, as I said both summer and winter onions come in three colours, red, yellow and white; however, around 87 per cent of the onions that are commercially grown are yellow; white account for five per cent and red eight.
Yellow onions are very versatile and are used for just about all types of cooking and are what make French Onion soup so tasty.
The reds are great in salads and sandwiches but can also be delightful when tossed on a grill as part of a kebab for example.
While onions are identified with Mexican cooking, although I have to admit there have been times when a white onion was all that I had and it ended up in my cheese sandwich.
Now if you want fresh onions for your cooking needs then grow your own. You can grow them for both immediate use and for storage so that you do not run out of these culinary delights during those harsh and sometimes way too long winter weeks.
Growing Onions: Planting Onion sets
Onions, pickled 3.70 - 4.60
Onions, red 5.30 - 5.80
Onion white 5.37 - 5.85
Onions, yellow 5.32 - 5.60
The most effective way to grow onions is to plant onion sets. An onion set is a small bulb, to 1 inch in diameter. Onion sets are produced under conditions that rapidly produce a small bulb which, when planted, will grow a larger bulb. You can buy onion sets at the local plant centre.
Onions can handle some frost and, in general, do not mind the cool and wet weather of spring. They prefer a soil that is rich and that drains well.
You can plant onion sets from two to four weeks before the last frost. Buy bulbs that are less than ¾ inches (19 mm) in diameter.
Space the onion sets approximately 4-6" (10-15 cm) apart, depending on the size of the mature bulb. Make sure that you gently press the bulbs into the soil about an inch (2.5 cm) deep and make sure to plant them so that their pointed tips just break the surface.
onions & garlic
Selecting the Best Varieties for Your Area When onions are first planted, their growth is concentrated on new roots and green leaves or tops. The onion will first form a top and then when a specific combination of daylight, darkness, and temperature