Onion

Vegetables

Summary

The common onion is a biennial bulb that is closely related to garlic, shallots and chives. Onions have hollow, tubular blue-green leaves that emerge from a bulb that is actually a modified leaf structure with many layers. A shallow network of roots extend from the bottom of the bulb, and the onion bulb itself may push partially above ground as the plant matures.

Description

The onion plant has a fan of hollow, bluish-green leaves and its bulb at the base of the plant begins to swell when a certain day-length is reached. The bulbs are composed of shortened, compressed, underground stems surrounded by fleshy modified scale (leaves) that envelop a central bud at the tip of the stem. In the autumn (or in spring, in the case of overwintering onions), the foliage dies down and the outer layers of the bulb become dry and brittle.

Additional Info

In colder climates, onion sets are usually planted in the spring when the weather is still cool but not frigid—above 28 degrees Fahrenheit. In warmer climates, onion sets are often planted in the fall, where they will remain dormant through the winter and begin growth in the spring. It takes about 3 1/2 months for the sets to mature into full-sized onions.

Varieties

Candy, Ruby Ring Red, Scallions, Spanish Yellow


Details

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Habits

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Exposure
  • Full Sun
Moisture

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Sub-Categories
  • Vegetables
Growing Tips

Seedling transplants should be spaced 4 to 5 inches apart, also in rows spaced 12- to 18-inches apart. Seedling transplants tend to produce larger onions, since sets are still in dormancy, while transplants are already primed to grow vigorously.

Watering

Onions need regular water to support the swelling of the bulbs. Give them 1 inch of water per week, but don't overwater or allow the bulbs to sit in soggy soil, since this can lead to bulb rot.


Related Vegetables

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