11 Nov 2013 2 Comments
Sweet onions are delicious when purchased from the store, but they are butter creamy delightful when pulled from your garden. You can eat them raw without the “bitter” taste, or sauté with to a sugary caramel glaze. How about baked onions? This recipe is easy and really brings out the flavor.
Hmmm good! Best of all? They’re easy to grow. EASY. But they take time. Six months’ worth. But take it from me, these gems are worth the wait.
However, now is the time to plant. Contact your local seed store and see if they have the seed “sets” in stock. If not, maybe they can order some for you. The kids and I planted this row over the weekend. One hundred and twenty-four sweet baby onions! YUM!
Yes, we’ll be sharing. Everyone is enthralled with a fresh sweet onion. In fact, we have a fellow in the neighborhood that can smell these delicacies for miles. Without fail, during onion harvest time, he comes driving by…. “Hey, Miss Dianne! You have any onions to spare?”
Of course I do. And with his big smile, he can help himself. He and his dad love them on their sandwiches and I wouldn’t even think to deny them. Remember, one of the joys of gardening comes in sharing the bounty!
So grab your onion sets and plant them about halfway deep, 8 inches apart. You’ll want to give them plenty of space to plump and round. We work in threes and plant all the way down the bed. For those of you who practice crop rotation, follow a squash family or perhaps a fruit. Do NOT follow any member of the bean family. Beans and onions don’t get along, not in rotation and not as companions. That includes peas. Speaking of companions, good friends of the onion include cabbage, beets, carrots, peppers, spinach, tomatoes and turnips.
For nutrients, we amended the soil with compost before planting. Onions are moderate feeders and like a moderate and consistent watering schedule. Come January, we’ll take the two hay bales from our front porch fall display (they also act as a hidden base for our winter Christmas display) and mulch around the onions. This helps to maintain moisture when the warm spring arrives in March.
But don’t get excited. Just because it warms up doesn’t mean your onions are ready. They won’t mature until about May, sometimes a bit earlier. So there you have it, an onion how-to that is definitely worth your time and effort. If you’re an onion fan.