Onions are classified as superfoods since they contain high nutrient levels. There are three main onion categories; red, yellow and white onions. Red onions are most nutritious followed by yellow onions and white onions that contain the least amount of antioxidants and quercetin. However, sweet white onions that contain a high water percentage are delicious while some yellow onions such as; Texas legend offer great taste and higher nutrient values.
Onions are a major ingredient in almost all food recipes. Hence, home gardeners have no reason not to grow this versatile plant. Onions are easy to cultivate and grow. You start by choosing the type of onions you want to grow; red, yellow or white onions. Despite the onion type you wish to grow, they can be cultivated from seeds, sets or transplants.
Transplants are seedlings that are started during the current growing season and transferred to the main garden in bunches. Transplants can be purchased from nurseries or organic gardening stores. Unlike seeds and sets, transplants usually develop good and healthy bulbs within a short period of about 65 or fewer days. However, they are subject to opportunistic gardening diseases and need extra care because you never know the nature of their nursery soil.
Sets are immature bulbs sourced from the previous growing season; hence, they are quite limited. They are least susceptible to diseases and pests, easy to plant and are harvested earlier. Ideal onion growing sets should be at least 1 inch wide bulbs to reduce the chances of bolting. On the other hand, growing onions from seeds offer advantages since you have the choice of choosing the type of onions you wish to grow. However, your crops will require about four months to mature fully.
Onions thrive when well weeded and taken care of. So, practice mulching or regular weeding to discourage weeds. If living in dry areas, ensure that you water the onions adequately at least twice daily.
Just like all other herbs and kitchen supplies, homegrown onions tend to be sweeter and natural if grown organically. Hence, the need to store your onions accordingly to ensure that you have enough supplies to last you until your next harvest season. Onions should be stored in a cool, dry and well-ventilated areas that do not have direct sunlight. Your garage or unheated room is ideal for storing onions.
Ensure that you sort the onions before storing them. Use soft bulbs and thick-necked bulbs first since they can go bad easily. Place dry and hard onions in a net bag, vegetable storage nets, or nesting sacks. The bags should be stored off the ground. Check your onions as often as you can and always get rid of bad onions.
Gardening is seasonal yet; food is consumed daily. For this reason, it is advisable to choose a long storage onion variety that you can store from one season to another. You not only save money but also enjoy the sweet and natural tasting onions.