Onions thrive under a wide variety of climatic and soil
conditions, but do best with an abundance of moisture and a
temperate climate, without extremes of heat or cold through the
growing season. In the South, the onion thrives in the fall,
winter, and spring. Farther north, PN-2636
Figure 27. - Leeks are used for almost any purpose that onions
are used for.
winter temperatures may be too severe for certain types. In the
North, onions are primarily a spring, summer, and fall crop. Any
type of soil will grow onions, but it must be fertile, moist, and
in the highest state of tilth. Both compost and commercial
fertilizer, especially one high in phosphorus and potash, should
be applied to the onion plot. A pound of compost to each square
foot of ground and 4 or 5 pounds of fertilizer to each 100 square
feet are about right. The soil should be very fine and free from
clods and foreign matter.
Onions may be started in the home garden by the use of sets,
seedlings, or seed. Sets, or small dry onions grown the previous
year�preferably not more than 3/4 inch in diameter�are usually
employed by home gardeners. Small green plants grown in an outdoor
seedbed in the South or in a hotbed or a greenhouse are also in
general use. The home-garden culture of onions from seed is
satisfactory in the North where the summers are comparatively
Sets and seedlings cost about the same; seeds cost much less.
In certainty of results the seedlings are best; practically none
form seed stalks. Seed-sown onions are uncertain unless conditions
are extremely favorable.
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