Onions are grown around the world more than any other crop as rich and valuable food source.
Onions prefer soils that are light and free draining.
Well-aged stable or chicken manure, wood ashes, compost, and phosphate rock are ideal fertilisers.
Alternatively, spread 4-5 handfuls of general plant food or one with a 4-8-10 ratio over the bed and dig in lightly.
Plant autumn through early spring, spacing 2-5cm apart with 15-20cm between rows.
Bulb onions like Pukekohe Long Keeper or California Red demand more space between each plant than do the bunching varieties like White Lisbon Spring (green onions).
Seed can be sown direct into the garden and later thinned or raised in trays.
When transplanting, cut back the tops to 10cm and plant only the roots in the hole, leaving the tiny bulblet sitting on the surface.
If planting from "sets", small, dried, immature bulblets, simply press these into the soil until the top is just covered.
Avoid planting onions too deeply as this will lead to thick-necked bulbs that are poor keepers.
Keep moist, weed free and nitrogen feed regularly. Harvest when tops yellow and fall over. Allow to sun dry then store in mesh bags.
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