Monday, April 13, 2015

Growing Onions #GardenCuizine

Growing Onions
We're growing onions for the first time this season! Rather than growing onions from seed, we ordered a bunch of Ailsa Craig onion sets (seedlings). Mom planted a batch for us today while Harry took a short video of us, which hopefully we'll post for you in the future. 

Onion Nutrition
As I tweeted earlier today, onions add flavor and healthy nutrients to foods; including dietary Fiber, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Quercetin (anti-inflammatory, flavonoid) and plant sterols.

Types of Onions
As you start shopping for onions you will come across many varieties and descriptive terms such as: "long-day, intermediate, short-day (10-12 hours of daylight)" onions. Here in NJ where day length can reach 14 hours, we're able to grow long-day onions, such as Ailsa Craig - a large yellow onion. 
Where can you buy Onions for Growing?
Our Ailsa Craig open pollinated, English heirloom onion sets were ordered from Territorial Seed because someone I know grows that variety and orders their onions from them. There are many other reliable garden suppliers online too that sell onions. Shop around and have fun. Ours were back ordered, but arrived just in time for planting in early spring as promised. 

I opened the box as soon as it arrived yesterday so the dormant onions could breath. Even though the suppliers planting guide said to keep the seedlings dry, I moistened a paper towel and wrapped it around the roots overnight. 
Onion Sets
Today, I removed the paper towel and cut the rubber-band that held the group of onion sets together. Then sorted them - putting aside the smallest sprouts and grouping the larger sprouts in groups of 6. The smallest were planted in cell packs that I am keeping outside so they can grow a little more before transplanting them to the garden. 
All the larger sprouts got planted in a raised bed 4 to 6 inches apart and about 1-inch deep. The raised bed is located in full sun and provides compost-rich, loose soil and good drainage. We opted not to use a pre-emergent herbicide as the supplier recommended because we grow all our produce organically.

Stay tuned for more updates on growing onions.
Thanks Mom!

Related Links
Phytochemical and Health Properties of Onions
Benefits of Quercetin (in onions, apple skins, tea and red wine)
Blog post and photos Copyright (C)2015 Wind. All rights reserved.

No comments: