Onions


Onions can be used to add an abundance of flavor to a variety of dishes and they are high in vitamin C and are a good source of fiber. Onions fall into two categories, long-day and short-day onions. Long-day onions grow better in the northern states where they see 14-16 hours of daylight and short-day onions grow better in the southern states where they see 10-12 hours of daylight.


Fact: In one day, more than 450 semi-truck loads of onions are consumed in the United States.


Types of Onions:
Green Onions:

Also called scallions or spring onions are harvested early, if they are not they will grow into regular onions. Green onions have a similar flavor to yellow onions, but they have a milder taste.


Shallots:

They have a mild flavor and smaller bulbs, but if you plant shallots early in the growing season they will grow into larger bulbs.

Yellow Onions:

The most common type of onion.

Red Onions:

The red onions are not as common as the yellow onions. They are often used in salads because of their color.

White Onions:

These onions have a white skin and a strong taste, when they are sautéed they turn a deep brown color.

Sweet Onions:

A non-pungent, sweet tasting onion that has more water and less sulfur than other onions.

How to plant:
Onions should be planted approximately one inch deep and four inches apart. They have a shallow root system, which makes them sensitive to fluctuating water levels and should be planted in highly fertile soil.


Common Problems:
Blight and purple blotch are the two main diseases that can affect onions. If your plants are affected you will see yellow or purple lesion on the leaves. Dew and foggy weather spreads these diseases, make sure your soil is well drained to help prevent them. If spreading continues you can spray the leaves with a multipurpose fungicide.


Harvest Time:
Green onions should be harvested when the tops are six to eight inches tall and the bulbs have begun to swell.

When the tops of the onions have fallen over, they are fully matured and are ready to be harvested. Allow the onions to dry and the skin to become crinkly before you store them and cut the tops down to one inch. Store onions in a dry and cool place.


- Burpee Home Gardens