Table of contents:
Video: Growing Salad Onions From Seeds - Through Seedlings
How to grow sweet onions in our climate
We continue the conversation about the onion family, genus - onion. And let's talk about its type - onion. Onions are divided into multi-tiered (var. Viviparum) and multi-nested (var. Solaninum).
In general, so much has been written and said about the benefits of onions that there is no need to convince our gardeners to grow this crop in their garden.
It speaks of the bow in the Old Testament and the Koran; You can find comprehensive information about the historical aspects of this culture in numerous articles and books. But I will dwell only on the peculiarities of the agricultural technology of this culture. And even then I will formulate the task more narrowly: growing turnip onions from seeds. Actually, this made me write an article on bow. It would seem that gardeners have no problems with this crop: buy a set, plant it - and get a turnip onion. Why bother with nigella seeds? Or you can do even easier: go to the store and buy two or three kilograms of onions.
But I remember how as a child my grandmother sent me to the store for onions. I brought what was called "onion" in the price tag. My grandmother considered my purchase, sighed, and said: "Yes, in our time there was an onion - Spanish is a real onion, it is sweet." At that time I still could not understand how this onion can be sweet.
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Perhaps it was the nostalgic memories that inspired me exactly this topic of the article. And that's why. It is impossible to grow varieties of sweet onions from the set, there cannot be such a variety of sets. After all, all varieties of salad (sweet) onions are stored for 3-4 months. You can only get real salad onions from seeds. The division of varieties according to taste - spicy, semi-sharp, sweet - is somewhat arbitrary, since the taste can vary depending on the place of growth.
Spicy onion varieties have a longer shelf life, dense bulbs, and a higher dry matter content than sweet varieties. They ripen well in the middle zone and northern regions of Russia.
Sweet bulbs are medium-dense and contain more water, which makes their inner scales more juicy. These varieties are grown mainly in the south. Nowadays, of course, you can buy sweet varieties of turnip onions in a good supermarket, but prices for them bite. And even in Crimea, where sweet onions have long been considered one of the attractions of this area, problems arise.
The fact is that such an onion grows really tasty and sweet only in a few villages on the southern coast of Crimea: Landslide, west of Yalta, Zaprudny - between Yalta and Alushta, in the villages of Pushkino and Maly Mayak near Alushta. In other places, the grown onions will have a different taste. The pungency characteristic of ordinary yellow onions is added to the sweetness. That is why it is believed that real Crimean onions can be grown only in certain places.
Of course, it is quite difficult to get such delicious onions in our non-chernozem zone. Onions are demanding plants in relation to light. The northern and middle lane varieties need 15-17 hours of day length, the southern ones - 13-14 hours. Southern varieties in the north increase the growing season, so they need to be planted with seedlings. Onions also need high light intensity, especially when grown from seed.
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Lack of light not only slows down development, but also delays the formation of bulbs. This crop prefers red light and plant side lighting. It is this biological feature that explains the high demand on onions for the purity of crops from weeds - in the solar spectrum, red light prevails in the mornings and evenings when the sun is low, and weeds in such a sun close the plantings and interfere with photosynthesis. Of course, in the fields of large agricultural enterprises, the seedling method of growing onions is still unacceptable. But it is quite possible to grow gourmet onions on your site.
It turns out that we have narrowed down the task for ourselves: to try to grow delicious varieties of onions from seeds through seedlings. What do you mean delicious varieties? The pungent taste and smell of onions is determined by the presence of essential oils in it. Onion carbohydrates are represented by sugars - sucrose, manose, raffinose, xylose, arabinose, ribose; pentosans (up to 0.5%): hemicellulose (up to 0.6%) and pectin substances (up to 0.6%). Onion proteins are 50% and contain 18 amino acids. In small quantities there are vitamins A, B, B 2, B 6, PP, E, H, folic and pantothenic acids; the share of minerals accounts for up to 1.5%.
Why are seedlings needed?
Sweet onions contain more water, significantly less glycosides, so the sensation of sweetness is more pronounced even with a small amount of sugars. What exactly the ratio of all the constituent substances determines the desired taste, I find it difficult to say, as they say, there is no dispute about tastes.
Growing onions for a turnip from seeds has and still glad advantages over growing them from seedlings. Of course, in both cases there must be quality seed material. But when growing onions through a set, the problem of combating diseases and pests becomes more complicated, since the spread of downy mildew, white rot, viruses, pathogenic nematodes is facilitated here. If the storage regime is violated, a large number of darting plants may appear.
And at the same time, planting onion with sets gives high germination, crop resistance to weeds, early formation of a more powerful assimilation apparatus, and then large bulbs. This is what attracts gardeners. But if you do not have hundreds of hectares of planting area, but only a few beds, then seedling onion cultivation retains all the advantages over growing seedlings.
How is it done in Israel
If in Russia we are used to growing turnip onions from sets, then, for example, the technology of growing onions in Israel is very different from ours. They grow onions only through seedlings. For growing onions, very high quality hybrid seeds are used, giving a standard leveled yield. From an economic point of view, growing through seedlings in Israel turned out to be more profitable, and as for the quality of the products, they get an exceptionally even and standard crop.
You can be convinced of this by visiting our supermarkets, where there have been no domestic products for a long time, but carrots and onions are brought from Israel. Probably their technology is different. For example, direct sowing into the soil is not used there due to the instability of the expected result and a very high seed consumption. Thickened seedlings of onions with direct sowing into the soil also lead to bulbs of various sizes and non-standard sizes.
But growing through seedlings allows you to get up to two harvests of onions for greens per season and ensures a constant supply of fresh green onions to the market. The use of different varieties and types of onions helps to solve this problem. However, growing onions for turnips through seedlings is also possible in our plots, not only in Israel. How to grow onion seedlings?
You can grow it on a windowsill and a greenhouse. The best age for seedlings is 50-60 days. In a city apartment, a sunny window sill is suitable. Onion seeds are sown on March 15-25. Capacity for growing onion seedlings is a plastic two-liter bottle from mineral water. It should be prepared - cut "by the shoulders" and make a hole in the bottom, as in flower pots.
Then pour seedling soil there with a layer of 15 cm, this is about half of the bottle. The soil must be preheated to 80 ° C - disinfected. It shouldn't be acidic. You can use ordinary peat soil for seedlings, but only without the "living earth". At the bottom of the bottle, you can first throw several balls of expanded clay.
Then you need to spread the seeds on the prepared soil, about 50-70 pieces of them are placed there. Cover the seeds with a layer of soil 0.5 cm. After that, put a plastic bag on the bottle with seeds. Place the container on the windowsill, under the bottle you need to place a saucer or bowl through which we will water and fertilize the plants as needed.
The optimum temperature at this time is 20 … 25 ° C. As soon as the shoots loops appear, the plastic bag is removed and the temperature is lowered during the day to 16 … 20 ° C. Higher temperatures tend to stretch and weaken the seedlings. The optimum night temperature is around 12 ° C. When the seed germinates, the primary root grows vertically into the soil, and only by 25–30 days, after the emergence of seedlings, when the plant has two true leaves, three to five secondary roots are formed.
In the same period, weak branching of the primary and secondary roots begins. The bulk of the roots of onions, even during the period of maximum plant growth, is located only within the arable layer. The saturation of the soil with moisture and a low concentration of the soil solution are especially favorable for the normal growth and development of onion plants. Together with water, a certain amount of dissolved salts enters the plant.
About once a week, seedlings should be fed with a soluble complex fertilizer - 0.5 g per 1 liter of water. The convenience of sowing in a bottle lies in the fact that onion plants can be transferred, placed between frames, etc. At the same time, onion leaves do not break - they rest on the walls of the bottle. Seedlings can be transported, placed in a greenhouse at the dacha, a greenhouse before planting, in good weather you can leave it outside, harden for 2-3 days before planting.
Planting seedlings in the ground
Planting seedlings is quite simple: cut the bottle and plant the plants in the same way as we usually do when planting seedlings. It should be borne in mind that the stringy, weakly branching roots of the onion are covered with a large number of the most delicate root hairs, which, when digging out the roots, quickly lose their turgor, fall to the surface of the roots and dry out quickly. Therefore, cover the roots with earth and do not delay the disembarkation process.
Ready seedlings can be planted when the soil temperature reaches 10 ° C. They plant it obliquely to the same depth at which it grew before, before that you need to straighten the roots well. Seedlings are placed with row spacing of 30 cm, and between plants in a row of 15 cm. After planting, the plants are watered, after 7-10 days, watering is repeated. Further care is the same as with direct sowing into the soil. After planting, the soil surface is mulched with peat or humus with a layer of 2-3 cm.
When caring for onions, it should be borne in mind that the root system of onions is poorly developed and very sensitive to a high concentration of soil solution. Therefore, fertilizers are applied under the onions in such a way that in the root zone during the entire growing season there are fertilizers in sufficient quantities and in an easily digestible form, but not in excess. The mode of fertilizing and irrigation is the same as when growing plants from seedlings. Sweet varieties consume relatively more potassium and less nitrogen: per 100 kg of bulbs, plants consume 3 kg of nitrogen, 1.1 kg of phosphorus and 3.2 kg of potassium.
Approximate fertilization rates vary with soil type and weather conditions. It is impractical to apply manure directly under the onion, since the normal ripening of the bulbs is delayed. In addition, many viable weed seeds are applied with fresh organic fertilizers, which are difficult to get rid of later. It is better to introduce compost aged during the year at 50-70 kg / 10 m3 in autumn, phosphorus and potash fertilizers - at the rate of 150-200 g / 10 m2, and nitrogen fertilizers - in the spring before sowing or planting at the same dose. This is how the soil should be refilled.
When feeding, it should be borne in mind that in the first growing season the plant does not consume a lot of nutrients, the dressing is quite enough. From June until the beginning of ripening of the bulbs, the plants remove 3/4 of the total nutrient requirement from the soil. Therefore, fractional application of mineral fertilizers is recommended. If the vegetative mass is slowly growing, is it fed with full mineral fertilizer before irrigation or simultaneously with irrigation water at the rate of 10-20 g / 10 m? active substance of each element.
At the beginning of formation, the bulbs are fed only with phosphorus-potassium fertilizers 20 g / 10 m2. Who has wood ash, apply 0.5-1 kg / 10m?. Planting needs irrigation, especially during dry periods and after top dressing. Excessive moisture for this crop is also harmful. Onions are harvested in the second half of August. By this time, the tops of the leaves dry up and lie down.
Through seedlings, we grow varieties and hybrids on our farm:
Exibishen is a salad variety, with good agricultural technology, the weight of the bulb reaches 1 kg or more.
Crystal F1 is an early ripe hybrid of medium day white onions for fresh consumption and short (3-4 months) storage. Harvesting begins as early as 85-90 days after germination. The bulbs are uniform, round, perfect white. The inner scales are thick, juicy, crunchy with satisfactory sharpness. The hybrid is resistant to pink rot and fusarium.
Mazilla F1 is an early ripe hybrid of red onions for fresh consumption and short storage (3-4 months). Harvesting is possible as early as 85-90 days after germination. The bulbs are round, highly uniform in size, do not crack and have a beautiful rich red outer skin. The inner scales are juicy with a satisfactory sharpness. The onion is resistant to pink rot and fusarium.
F1 music is an early productive hybrid, the bulb is round, sweet. This bow is usually removed first. Great for preparing fresh salads and various meat dishes.
It is more expedient to grow ordinary spicy varieties in our climatic zone through the sevok. In the next article I will continue talking about onion crops.