Home grown onions are an easy item to grow. Even for those gardeners that have a black thumb and kill everything they touch, onions should still be able to live through the touch of death.
The way onions grow, they have several shoots that come off the main root. These shoots develop sugars, which then go into the bulb and help the bulb grow. When the shoots start to die, that is a sign that the sugars are going into the root ball.
When stored properly, most onion root balls can be stored through the winter. In early spring some types of onions will start developing shoots, which is a sign that they should be planted.
To help develop a large root ball, onions require a lot of nitrogen. The more nitrogen that is in the soil, the larger the shoots, which means more nutrients for the root ball.
Expect the onions to take 6 or more months to develop. This picture was taken on June 13, the sprouts where planted in December or January – I forgot exactly what day they were planted on. That means that it took this onion 8 months to grow from a seed to what you see here.
Related Article – Growing Onions.
A lot of feed and fertilizer stores sell onion sprouts, which are about 3 – 5 inches long. If you do not want to deal with seeds, then plant the sprouts.
Onions are very tolerate to being transplanted. In a lot of cases, you can even buy green onions from a local grocery store, take them home, plant them and they will grow. In some cases, the onions that were bought from the grocery store and transplanted may even divide. Meaning that you will have 2 onions for each one that was planted.
To harvest the onions, just pull them up, cut the stems off to about 1 inch long and store in a cool dry place.
The following chart is from the wikipedia article on onions.
|Nutrition in raw Onions
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
|Energy 40 kcal 170 kJ|
|Percentages are relative to US
recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient database