Autumn is onion sowing season! Onions are an essential kitchen ingredient and whether you cook them up in curries and stir fries, caramelise them, create delicious soups and salads or pop them on a home made hamburger or pizza, they add intense flavour and aroma. Although onions do take a while to mature (up to 7 months), they store well and are a very worthwhile addition to your vegie patch.
Start your very own onion patch off by following these simple steps:
- Choose a nice sunny location in the garden to grow onions. Having a dedicated raised garden bed makes growing onions much easier. You can always grow a few quick crops of loose leaf lettuce in between the rows of onions to make the most of the bed.
- Improve and enrich the soil first by mixing in some Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser then sow onion seeds in rows 20 cm apart and about 6 mm deep.
- Keep the soil moist and seedlings will emerge in around 10 – 14 days. They will need to be thinned to allow around 10 cm between each plant. There’s no need to waste the young onion seedlings you remove – use the thin leaves in place of chives or spring onions in cooking.
- Reapply Yates Dynamic Lifter around the rows of onions every 6 weeks to provide them with the nutrients they need for a great harvest.
- You can start harvesting onions once the leaves start to yellow and droop, or earlier if you simply can’t wait (onions can be eaten at any time).
- Hang harvested onions, complete with their leaves still attached, in a warm dry spot for a week or two to allow their skins to dry. Then the leaves and roots can be cut off and the onions stored in a cool, airy dry spot until you need them.
Onions contain important vitamins and minerals as well as beneficial antioxidants and sulfur compounds. In addition to this, onions also contain something called inulin. Inulin is a type of non digestible dietary fibre that acts as a prebiotic.
Good bacteria in our intestinal tract use prebiotics like onions as a food source and a healthier population of gut bacteria is extremely beneficial. So, next time you’re enjoying onions, your intestinal bacteria will be enjoying them too!