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ONION

Allium spp.

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Onions are an easy to grow vegetable crop in the colder seasons because of their hardiness. They can also be grown in any soil type as long as it is well-draining and they receive a lot of sun. These are great vegetables for beginner gardeners as they do not require a lot of maintenance. The onion is most frequently a biennial or a perennial plant but is usually treated as an annual and harvested in its first growing season. Onions also repel harmful insects from other plants and can be used to create a natural insecticide spray when paired with cayenne pepper/red pepper​ and garlic.

Planning

Difficulty
Easy
Fruiting time
Summer, Winter, Spring

Harvesting

Bulbing usually takes place after 12 to 18 weeks. The bulbs can be gathered when needed to eat fresh, but if they will be kept in storage, they should be harvested after the leaves have died back naturally. In dry weather, they can be left on the surface

Propagation

Seed
Seeds are thinly sown directly at least 5 cm apart, in rows 30 cm apart. Onion sets are produced by sowing seed thickly in poor soil and the small bulbs produced are harvested and planted the following spring and grow into large bulbs

Special features

Repels harmful insects
Onions repel harmful insects from other plants
Crop rotation
Onions are light feeders, so crops should be rotated annually.

Geography

Origin
Asia and the Middle East The onion is believed to have originated in Asia, though it is likely that onions may have been growing wild on every continent.

Environment

Light
Full Sun
Soil moisture
Dry
Soil type
Loam, Sand
Soil PH preference
Acid, Neutral
Frost hardiness
Tender

Uses

Medicinal
They are good for the heart and keep cholesterol in check
Edible
The bulb is edible, either cooked or raw.

Personality

Family
Amaryllidaceae
Flower colour
White
Scent
Mild

Problems

Onions suffer from onion fly, stem and bulb eelworm, thrips, onion maggots, white rot, and neck rot. Diseases affecting the foliage include rust and smut, downy mildew, and white tip disease.

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