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Growing Onions in Austin

Planting

When should I plant?

The ideal time for transplants is January to Mid-February.

How do I plant them?

Select a site with full sun and well-drained soil. Only plant 3/4 - 1" deep and no deeper. Space transplants 3 - 5 inches apart.

How many plants are in a bunch or bundle?

Each contains approximately 50-75 plants. Yes, they are supposed to look a little dried out.

If I can't plant right away, how do you store

them?

When you get home, spread them in a cool, dry area. Do not put them in water or soil.

Onion Care

Should I water the onions when I first plant them?

Yes, the transplants should be watered immediately after being planted. They won't grow new roots unless the soil is loose and moist, so it's important to maintain adequate moisture. Avoid overhead irrigation, which can encourage foliage diseases.

How often should I fertilize?

The first application should be three weeks after planting with 2 cups of Microlife Ultimate 8-4-6 or Happy Frog Fruit & Flower 5-8-4 over a 10' area. From then on, every month, use a high nitrogen fertilizer like Blood Meal, Bat Guano, or Fish meal at the same rate.

Should I pull the dirt back from the onion when it starts to bulb?

The bulbing process is gradual, and there is no reason to pull dirt away as long as you keep the soil loose. In fact, pulling the dirt away can cause sunscalding of the onion skin. Remember that the bulbing process requires more moisture in any case: if you increase watering, the soil should remain loose.

Harvesting & Storage

How do I know when my onions are ready for harvest?

An onion is fully mature when the top falls over. You don't have to wait until all the top leaves fall completely over to harvest, but harvesting early may cause the onion to sprout during storage since it hasn't finished the bulbing process.

How do I harvest?

Once the tops have fallen over, pull the onions out of the ground and let them dry in the garden for a few days. Its a good idea to cover the bulb of one onion with the top of another onion to prevent sunscald. When you remove the onions from the garden after drying, clip the roots at the base and clip the tops as well, but leave 3/4-inch of the neck to seal and protect the interior from decay. Compost any rotting onions.