History and Background of Onions
The onion is a leafy bulbous vegetable that dates back more than 7000 years from the present day. The onion was first eaten in the wild, and was known to have been cultivated in the Middle East first. It made an excellent vegetable because it stores well and produces very well from transplants. Onions vary from varieties of that are extremely pungent to sweet varieties. The onion has had a long history with modern man, as it is an excellent storage vegetable and is highly productive. Onions are from the Allium family. This makes the modern onion the relative of leeks, chives, garlic and shallots. Onion varieties include:
· Walla Walla
· Sweet Spanish
· Texas Glano, and
· Red Globe
Onion Growing Needs
Onions typically are planted in the early spring. Moist, well-drained soil that is slightly cool helps young onion plants grow. Place sets 1 inch deep with 2 to 4 inches between sets, and you should allow 12 to 16 inches between rows. Weeds should be kept back if at all possible in the presence of green onions, because they do not tolerate competition well as the roots are shallow. Hoe the onions often and keep weeds clear. Do not allow hilling around dry onions as this can promote rot.
Soil borne fungus and root maggots routinely attack onions. Root maggots can be taken care of with an insecticide. The fungus often attacks onions that were “hilled”. It is best to enjoy these garden onions soon after harvest if possible. Soil borne fungus often attacks onions injured by a hoe. Please be careful when removing weeds from your garden.