How To Care For Your Red Onions
Red onions are an ideal winter crop. They produce great onions and are very hearty. The larger variety, the larger ones, is also used during the cooking process, as a garnish or in salads. Red onion growth best is best in rocky, loose soil. amend the soil with fine-grained sand and compost before planting for proper nutrients.
Sow red onion seeds inside 8 to 10 weeks prior to your frost date. Frost hardy varieties should be sown in the fall, while hardier ones should be sown in early spring. Choose a sunny location for planting, as exposure to heavy frost may damage other varieties. They are sun loving plants, but thrive better with partial shade during summer. When the soil is warm, it will be more apt to absorb moisture from the sun and hold onto moisture.
Keep the area clear of debris, as the roots may rot due to low light levels. Plant the seedlings six to eight inches deep. During the winter season, red onions grow at a faster rate and produce larger leaves. As they mature, they stop growing and produce smaller leaves.
When the weather warms up in the spring, move the seedlings to a shaded area outside. Once the crop is harvested, it will continue to grow even when watered. If the seedlings do not get enough sun, they can burn, so it is important to know the correct time to harvest them.
The Red Onion bulbs should be stored in an airtight container. Do not store them in the cold as they will become soft and wrinkled. The Red Onion should be frozen when it is harvested. Once thawed, they will be more easily harvested.
In late summer or early fall, there is typically an extended period of warm weather and rainfall. If the Red Orchards or the White Stem Orchards are not sown during this period, they will not grow properly during the growing season. Sowing late in the fall or before the start of the new year will ensure the plants have room to grow.
Do not fertilize the seedlings until after they are about two to three inches tall. Fertilizing late can stunt growth. For the best results, fertilize every third month during the growing season and just once a month afterward. When the plants are fully developed, the best time to feed them is in the early morning after full sunlight has already been obtained.
The Red Orchards and the White Stem Orchards can be planted in traditional garden soil, which can be purchased at your local nursery. But if you choose not to use soil, then the best choice would be a prepared organic soil mix. Organic soil will provide the proper nutrients needed for growing onions. And there is no need to use natural compost because the onions will break down the organic material in the soil as the plants grow.
There are different ways to plant your Red Onions, depending on the number of plants you want to grow. Growing them in groups of four or more will result in smaller container sizes, allowing you to keep your plants in a confined space so they will not bump into each other. When planting larger plants, be sure to allow at least six inches between each one. This will give each group of plants a chance to get the proper amount of sun, nutrients and water needed to survive and thrive.
If you have a small garden space, planting your red onion sets in pots can be very beneficial. Just remember to spread them out evenly so they will not have a compacted look. The taller plants will also receive the benefit of extra light, while the shorter ones will be able to get by on less energy. It is important not to over-fertilize, however, because the roots will absorb too much nutrients without enough room for the expanding roots to absorb.
If you live in a dry climate, you might consider alternate growing seasons. Plant your red onions in your garden when the soil is moist and when the soil is warm. They will grow better in this type of weather, which will ensure that they get the moisture they need to thrive. For best results, plan your planting so that the majority of the plants receive shade and the rest of the garden gets sunlight.
As soon as spring comes, it is time to thin out your red onion plants. Thinning helps prevent downy mildew, which will make the plants tough to grow by robbing them of their nutrients. You can choose to simply remove some of the lower-growing branches or you can try a treatment with a herbicide. The choice is yours.