Onion Varieties Which You Can Grow In Your Garden

The most common onion type that you are likely to come across in many a home garden is the Allium cepa, which is quite a favorite vegetable. The main reason why people grow onions is because of their adaptability, in that they can withstand the varying weather conditions associated with each region. You can also alter the growing conditions by having them grow in a wooden shed where you can provide them with the required nutrients, water, and sunlight. Another reason why people love onions is their versatility when it comes to meal preparation. From stews to salads, there is always something that one can do with these fantastic vegetables.

Onions come in different species which call for varying exposure to sunlight. In many plants, you will notice that exposure to adequate sunlight works to promote flowering. In onions, day length works to induce bulb development, and you will find that onions do well in temperate regions owing to adequate sunlight. The amount of light required by an onion will depend on its group. There are the short day onions which will thrive when exposed to about eleven to twelve hours of light. There are the intermediate-day onions which do well with thirteen to fourteen hours of daylight and the long-day onions which call for at least sixteen hours of sunlight. The type of onion you choose will depend on the amount of light in your region as well as your ability to provide additional light where necessary.

Growing Onions

Other than exposure to sunlight, it is also essential to pay attention to the site where you choose to plant the onions. The soil should not only have adequate nutrients, but it should also be well-draining as standing water can impede the growth of blooming bulbs. You are best off using soil in the ranges of sandy-loam to silt-loam with infused organic matter. The pH of the soil also matters as highly acidic soils can affect the growth of the onions. Get a test kit to figure out the range which should lie somewhere between 6 and 6.8 and make the necessary changes where needed.

Where the soils present are of the heavy clay type, you should choose an alternative site or modify them with organic matter as this will positively affect the drainage and aeration properties of the soil.

Available Cultivars

There are tons of onion species which you can grow in your garden, namely bunching onions, fresh onions, and storage onions. Let’s have a look at the most common types and their requirements:

Bunching Onions

This variety also goes by the names scallions or spring onions, and they are best eaten when fresh and tender. They take about two months to mature from the time of planting, and you can thus enjoy several harvests each year, especially when growing them in controlled conditions. They are quite versatile, and they do not call for much space, thus enabling you to grow them indoors or in your wooden shed. Examples include:

Crystal White Wax

These small bulbs are ideal for pickling, and they take about 90 days from the time of planting to mature. They boast of mild and sweet flavors, especially when they are fresh. For the best results, pick them when they are young and small.

Evergreen Long White

These long and tender stalks feature green ends with small white bulbs towards the root, and they can grow as long as nine inches when receiving adequate sunlight and nutrients. They take about 60 days from the time of planting to maturity, and they are best suited for planting in the autumn or the spring in the outdoors.

Tokyo Long White

These long white bulbs which feature blue-green tops are resistant to hot and cold weather, and can thus thrive in many climates, something which makes them a favorite in many gardens across the globe. They are also able to resist many diseases which would otherwise affect other onion varieties. Thus, if you want a type that is likely to survive in harsh conditions, this is the way to go. They take about 90 days to mature but could take less time in situations where there is adequate sunlight.

Fresh Onions

These onions take longer to mature as compared to bunching onions and their addition to food results in a sweet flavor. If you want more fiery tastes, you should consider growing the storage cultivars which boast of such characteristics. Examples include:

Walla Walla

These sweet and mild onions can be kept in storage for up to a month, and they thrive in warm and cold climates. They reach maturity in 90 days and can grow up to two-pound sizes if left in the field for long enough.

Red Burgundy

These fresh onions come in sizes ranging between 3 and 4 inches, and they have mild flavors which come in handy in many a dish. They feature dark red skins and are resistant against pink root disease.

Alias Craig

These large white bulbs do best in long-day regions, and they should be ready to harvest in about 100 days. They have short stalks and can remain fresh for a few weeks after harvest.

Utah Yellow Sweet Spanish

This variety produces large bulbs in about 100 days from the time of planting, and they are also suitable for storage.

Italian Torpedo

These pinkish-red onions feature an elongated shape and are often recommended in Italian cuisines owing to their sweet and mild tastes. Growing this onion should take approximately 100 days.

Storage Onions

These varieties can stay fresh long after harvesting and they tend to feature small and narrow necks, owing to their limited moisture. They are more pungent compared to the other cultivars. For storage to be efficient, you must adequately cure the onions and leave them to dry. Examples include:

Candy Hybrid

This variety features long and narrow stalks with a crispy and tangy bite. They mature in about 200 days from the time of planting, and you can enjoy them when fresh or keep them in storage.

Patterson

This cultivar is quite easy to grow and results in 3 to 4-inch bulbs which can be kept in storage for a year without losing flavor.

There are other cultivars which you can consider, based on your region, with the above being the most widely grown varieties at present.

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