Red onions are one of the most interesting of all onion varieties. You could plant them as an annual, perennial or bi-annual. They are also very good in salads. The great thing about them is that their edible parts (onions themselves) have a high water content which makes them delicious when consumed. You could also roast them for added taste. Here's how to grow and harvest red onions quickly and easily.
You could plant red onions early in spring, preferably right after planting out the seeds. These little seeds will not stand up to the harsh weather conditions of garden beds or big garden patches. Therefore, you should start them indoors in a small pot or container. Grab a medium sized container or pot of well drained soil from your garden supply and then put the seeds in. Add some compost to the bottom and gently press the soil down. Keep your fingers away from the young plants as they are still quite sensitive to touch.
Cover the container tightly with plastic and then let it grow into a couple of inches larger each day until it reaches about the height of a garden bench. Then you can remove the covers and move the pot around as the plant starts to develop roots. When you have reached the desired size for your pot, remove the soil from the pot and place it in a sunny window for the next few weeks. The soil will need to be replenished from time to time. This is step 1 in growing red onions indoors.
After the second week of summer is up, you should prepare the soil by removing any large pieces of leaves that might have fallen on the pot or window sill. You can clean the window sill using a soft bristled broom or even a toothbrush. If leaves are still remaining, you should place one-inch holes in the area so that air can get to the roots of the bulbs. Cover the holes in the dirt with plastic and then plant the seedlings in the holes one at a time. Cover the hole with a plastic bag to keep the roots moist until the weather gets warm enough to transplant them outdoors.
When the weather warms up, remove the seedlings from their plastic bags and place them in an area outside that receives a lot of sunlight. This should be a dry place with no weeds in the area. Wait two to three weeks and then transplant the bulbs into their new outdoor location. Keep the same location moist until the late winter months, when you can place the outdoor bulbs into containers and store them in the dark for the spring planting.
The third step for preparing the bulbs for planting is to prune the root systems of the bulbs. Cut about one-third of the onion bulb's root system off and discard the rest. Do this so you will not have clumps of root system on your garden soil. You can do this pruning after the plant flowers and the seeds have germinated. If you are expecting a multiple one-inch bulb, you should expect that it will take at least five years before the plant blooms.
After your bulbs have bloomed, you may want to plant additional seedlings so that your garden has an abundant supply of these tasty vegetables. Keep your bulbs well watered throughout the season. Be sure to dig the hole for the seedlings a bit deeper than you would for seedlings that came directly from your kitchen. After your bulbs start producing, you can transfer them outdoors to enjoy. Continue to do this process until your garden has grown red onions with plenty of healthy, delicious vegetables.
If you are trying to grow red onions in your garden beds, there are some things you need to keep in mind. It is important that your bulbs are kept away from pests and that they get ample, daily watering. It is also important that you protect the roots of these onions from frost. Frost causes the roots to harden and make them more vulnerable to disease. If you are prepared with the proper tools, you can easily grow as many bulbs as you want and provide tasty fresh-out-the-wedgies for all your guests to enjoy when they come over for dinner.