Ultimate Guide to Growing Awesome Onions
Juicy onion feathers contain many useful substances for the human body. According to experienced nutritionists, among the most valuable phytonutrients in onion greens are vitamins (groups B, C, carotenoids, Tocopherols), minerals, trace elements, bioflavonoids, phytoncides, essential oils, antioxidants, organic acids, and dietary fiber.
This is why including fresh onion leaves and other garden greens in your daily diet is vital for maintaining all family members’ health, especially during the cold season, when we all suffer from hypovitaminosis. And in order to season my favorite dishes every day with fresh onion feathers, cut just before use, from autumn to spring, I work on forcing the onions on the greens, planting the sprouted heads in the fertile soil right on my windowsill.
How I grow green onions at home: all tips and time-tested recommendations
In my experience, bulbs located in a nutrient substrate rich in organic and mineral salts produce greens for one crop more than heads that are distilled in ordinary water. That is, I cut the leaves that have reached a height of 25-30 cm from the bulbs in the soil three times, and from those that take white roots directly in the water – only two. And the color of the feathers of plants growing in the ground and the thickness of the leaves themselves differ significantly for the better.
Mine mastered the secrets of forcing onions in practice for 2 seasons. Now, the insulated balcony’s window sill is filled with trays of green onions from November until the beginning of spring until seedlings of tomatoes, peppers, and other vegetables move there. Onions on a feather are not afraid of short-term frosts and easily withstand decreased night temperature to 0°C. Therefore, even during the Epiphany frosts, when the temperature on the loggia dropped sharply to +2°C, I did not have to bring plants into the room at night.
Since the bulbs are located on the moist ground, midges can get into them. To prevent an unpleasant neighborhood with insects swarming over the windowsill when planting, I immediately insert matches between the heads, immersing the sulfur in the ground to a depth of about 1 cm. Periodically, I remove matches with dissolved sulfur and replace them with new ones.
Universal soil for a mini garden
As a substrate for forcing onions, I use a mixture of fertile land from the garden and purchased soil based on lowland peat with neutral acidity (1:1). And to enrich the earth with nutrients and valuable trace elements for each liter of the mixture, I add 2 tablespoons of sifted grass ash or wood ash from the fireplace.
Replacing bulbs with new ones
Bulbs planted in the ground give an increase in feathers for three to four months. Some specimens may exhaust their resource earlier, for example, after the first pruning of the vegetative mass and wither. I immediately throw out such heads and immediately fill the vacant space with a suitable bulb from home stocks, preferably already sprouted or at least with swollen roots.
Features of planting onions on a feather
When planting unawakened bulbs with a dry root neck and a dry root bottom, I always cut off the tops.
Before the procedure, I recommend soaking the planting material for a day in any growth stimulator, for example, in a solution of aloe extract (1 ampoule per 0.5 liters of water) or succinic acid (1 tablet per 1 liter of water). I plant hatched heads with sprouts or long feathers without first pruning and soaking.
Watering and feeding onions on the windowsill
Once a month, I water green onions growing in a mini-garden on the windowsill of the kitchen and glazed balcony with ash infusion, which in addition to potassium, phosphorus, calcium, and magnesium contains a complex of trace elements (iron, manganese, molybdenum, zinc, boron, etc.). to prepare a liquid fertilizer, I dilute 1-2 tablespoons of sifted ash in a liter of water. I insist on the liquid for 4 days, shaking the sediment daily with a spoon.
Watering plants is often not recommended, especially during rooting. The adaptation of bulbs in the ground can take up to 4 weeks, especially for ungrown and with pruned tips. During this period, the root system awakens, and moisture consumption is prolonged. Excess water in the ground can lead to the development of rotting processes. I moisten the ground in planting trays after the top layer of soil clods dries up (once every 6-7 days).
The first time I cut it, when the leaves’ height in most bulbs reaches 30 cm, leaving a stump of no more than half a centimeter. In the future, I prune the growing greens 2 more times (height from 20 to 25 cm). I add the cut feathers to the vinaigrette and other cold appetizers and pour them into plates with chicken broth, borscht, fish soup, cabbage soup, and pea soup.
Let my experience inspire you to grow spring onions at home. I wish you success and a juicy harvest of greens in the mini garden!