The onion revolution

Thu. Feb. 28, 2019

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  The onion revolution

Now is usually the time we start thinking about early planting.  As more snow is falling on top of our 2 feet of snow, it’s a little difficult to consider those plants but, that’s part of the fun of a snowy winter day when you’re a gardener… the dreaming and scheming of your garden to be!  

Feb. 2019

Burpee sends me all kinds of emails and, of course, catalogs. Today’s is on onions. I love onions. A friend of mine can’t eat them but, me, well it’s like garlic. I love that too!!!! I love red onions, yellow onions, white onions and green onions.

We can start planting onion sets in mid April.  On average, plant them in a sunny location an inch deep and about 3 inches apart.  Except for green onions, those can be planted about an inch or two apart.

One of the reasons we northern gardeners need to get onions in the ground as quick as it can be worked is their days to maturity.  As cold climate gardeners we need to pay attention to that.

The longest storing onion, a yellow onion, you can find is the ‘Patterson Hybrid’.  The 4 inch bulbs are sweet and mildly pungent.  Days to harvest are about 100, however, they can be left in the ground as the snow flies.  While other onions get mushy, ‘Patterson Hybrid’ stays firm. This is a 2019 introduction.

Onion ‘Patterson Hybrid’

The ‘Walla Walla’ white onion is great for our northern climes with a days to harvest at 80 to 90!  It has a nice mild flavor and stores for up to 3 months.

Onion ‘Walla Walla’ – a perennial favorite

Most red onions take longer to mature but there is a milder one called ‘Red Candy’ with a days to harvest of 95.  It’s a 3 inch globe of sweetness.  

Onion ‘Red Candy’

And for green onions, there are a few types depending on what you want, I like a the thicker scallion type.  ‘Parade’ matures in about 60 days.

Onion planting and care guide from Farmers Almanac

Green onions between the marigolds…. this was late in the season so they were pretty thick but still great for cooking