Did you know you can grow organic onions from seeds? This staple vegetable is easy to grow and, while it thrives in a vegetable patch in your garden, you can even grow onions in pots. Once you have used home-grown onions, you will not want to use store bought ones ever.
Organic onions are sweeter and have more health benefits because they are grown without pesticides and artificial fertilizers. When you use natural remedies to ward off pests and natural compost to add nutrition to the soil, you will get a better yield and you will know that your onions are safe.
How can Onions be Grown?
Onions can be grown from bulbs, immature plants or seeds. If you have onions at home, you can actually plant them in a pot and watch them grow. You would have to place them root side down and, in a few days, you will see stalks forming.
This would be just to see if your onion plant can grow. If you are serious about growing onions, you need to get transplants, sets or seeds. Transplants are available from your local garden or nursery or even online. Sets are the immature bulbs that were planted in the previous season – many people prefer to use them.
You can grow onions from seeds, like most other plants. In fact growing onions from seeds can be rewarding in its own way. Transplants and sets often don’t take and give mixed results unless you are very careful, though you do get faster results. With seeds you get a wider selection of onions to choose from and you have greater control. However, it can take up to four-five months for onions to grow from seeds.
The Many Varieties of Onions
Did you know that are many different varieties of onions? These come in different shapes, sizes and colors and also taste different. Some are sweeter than others, while some are more pungent. Some varieties of onions require slow cooking whereas others are best had raw in salads or other dishes.
Some of the onions available:
- Baby onions
- Spring or green onions
There are more than 21 varieties of onions and some may grow better than others, depending on where you are, the climate and soil in your area and other factors. They also have different growing requirements.
What are the Benefits of Growing Organic Onions from Seeds?
When it seems easier to buy transplants or sets, why do would you want to grow onion from seeds? Here are some benefits of doing this:
- You can get a selection of seeds of the numerous onion’s varieties available. So you can choose which kind of onion you want to grow. Seeds are available in more varieties than sets or transplants.
- It can be very satisfying to go through the whole process of planting seeds and seeing the actual vegetable and using it, something you have nurtured and take care of all this time.
- Using seeds is far cheaper than buying transplants or sets.
- Growing onions from seeds means that they are at reduced risk of developing any disease.
- Onions from seeds will store better as well.
If you grow your onions from seeds, the work and time may be extra, but the end result will be more rewarding.
How do you Grow Onions from Seeds?
Onions grow in cooler weather. You can plant them from December to February, starting the seed germination earlier. You do have to follow a process to grow onions from seeds.
- Use shallow containers with holes made at the bottom to drain out excess water. You can use plastic take-out containers with lids or use whatever you have. Just remember the lids should also have ventilation holes so that there is no excess moisture build-up inside.
- Fill with potting soil that is 3” deep.
- Put onion seeds into the soil, not too deep, just so that they are covered. Keep a ¼ to ½” distance between each.
- Water them and put the container in a shady place.
- You can leave the containers open when the sun is out and cover it at night.
- Water every few days.
- After 8-10 days, the seeds should germinate.
- When 3 leaves or shoots appear, then they are ready to be transplanted.
- Plant the seedlings 4” apart.
- Make sure that you have fertilized the soil and used organic and natural fertilizer and compost. Your soil should be nutrient rich.
- Pull out weeds as and when they come up.
- Use natural pesticides if required.
Between 80 and 100 days later, you should have your onion crop ready. When the greens are falling downwards, you will know that the onions can be harvested.
Don’t forget to dry the onions for 2-3 weeks after harvesting, so that they don’t rot and spoil – you don’t want all your effort to be in vain growing organic onions from seed.
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