Late season, early season, onion sets, plant before the shortest day, plant after the shortest day and on and on it seems to go.
So I just do what works for me in a few simple steps.
- I tend to plant somewhere around the shortest day of the year. A bit before or a bit after.
- Soil preparation is a good dig over with the digging fork.
- Add blood and bone. I use Yates, Professional Blood and Bone. An organic based fertiliser suitable for all garden plants, including Australian natives. Provides nitrogen for healthy leaf growth and phosphorus for strong root development.
- Give the bed a good rake over.
- Grab a punnet of seedlings from my local plant nursery. I grabbed these about three weeks ago but today was the first chance I've had to bung them in.
- Separate the seedlings fairly carefully into individual little onion plants.
dig a small hole with your first two fingers or a small trowel, place
the seedling in the hole and back fill. Make sure you plant as close as
possible to same depth as the seedling was in the punnet.
- Plant around six inches apart with around ten inches between rows. You can plant closer but you'll get smaller onions.
- From one, seedling punnet, I get on average around eighty onions. Great value.
- Water in well.
- I will apply a weekly liquid feed until I can see a bulb begin to form and from there they're on their own.
Some fun facts re the health benefits from onions. (from the Onions Australia website).
- Japanese women rarely get heart disease. This may be because (recent study) that 83 per cent of Japanese women obtain quercetin from onions.
- Quercetin in onions helps by stopping LDL cholesterol becoming oxidised - oxidised LDL carries cholesterol to the artery walls more quickly.
- According to Dutch research; half an onion a day keeps stomach cancer away.
- University of Hawaii found similar results in a study of lung cancer. Those who ate more onions were half as likely to get lung cancer.
- A French study has even indicated that onions and garlic may be helpful in guarding both men and women from breast cancer.
- The sulphur content of onions may also inhibit tumours.
- Onions can help to kill bacteria
- A Japanese study found by adding onions to ground beef helped neutralise Salmonella.
- Applied to the skin onions may have healing powers. People have used onions to kill funguses, yeast and parasites.
- Onions can also soothe the sting of insect bites