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onion Allium cepa

Onion has been planted 59 times by Growstuff members.

Predictions

onion is an annual crop (living and reproducing in a single year or less)

Median lifespan

173 days

First harvest expected

252 days after planting

Last harvest expected

256 days after planting

Photos

Photos of onion harvests

2015-01-27
2018-01-02
2018-01-07

Photos of onion plants

2018-05-19
2018-05-19
2017-12-21
2017-12-21
2017-12-11
2017-12-10

Sunniness

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Planted from

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Harvested for

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Crop Map

Only plantings by members who have set their locations are shown on this map.

What people are saying about onions

How to save seeds

Beans, peas and corn: remove husks and allow seeds to dry out – this may take a couple of weeks, then remove casings and store.

Pumpkins and melons: seeds need to be washed and set aside to dry for a week or so before storage.

Lettuce, celery, parsnip, rocket, carrots, leeks, onions and radicchio: allow plants to set seed (tall stems of flowers will eventually appear), pick once the seed heads are brown and crisp sounding. Hang upside down in plastic bags for a week or so, rustle the remaining seeds out of the stems and store.

Cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini, chillies and capsicums: scoop out flesh and wash through a sieve. Lay the seeds on a paper towel and place somewhere warm and dry for a week or two before storing. Be careful with chilli seeds as they can sting, so avoid touching your eyes after touching the seeds. Once completely dry, cut the paper towel into small pieces and store seeds on the towel in an envelope.

Planting outdoors & fruit trees

Today I transplanted the cabbage and onion seedlings outside and planted seeds for: arugula, garlic (well, cloves, not seeds--forced in the fridge), mesclun salad mix, kale, cauliflower, and beets. Some of these (cauliflower, beets, mesclun) will have later succession plantings.

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You can just slightly see the cabbage seedlings at the far end of the left bed and the onions in the middle of the edge of the far right bed.

Also, I checked on the fruit trees. The apple trees are starting to wake up! They have little green shoots starting at their bud points.

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The cherry are getting ready to blossom. Well, the ornamental already has, but the fruiting cherries haven't yet.

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We were really worried that the peach tree might not have survived the winter due to a rabbit gnawing on it, but I did a little scratch test toward the top of the trunk, and it's green in there! (That means it's still alive) Since peach and almond (and plum? not sure) have a warmer range than apples do, I'm not concerned that they're not putting out new shoots yet.

Coming together

This weekend I had two full days to really focus on the yard, and I made the most of it. With the intermittent help of several others over the course of the weekend, I got both easement planter boxes filled with compost and soil, cleaned up and weeded the alley, got the stump pulled from the conifer thing we took out last year, finished leveling the railroad ties for the terraced area of the yard, and got most of the front yard backfilled.

Tina's grabbing another load of compost on Tuesday, so we should be able to get the third planter bed in the alley filled before the last frost date. I still have to clean up and mow the backyard, get and spread wood chips, and figure out what we're planting in the front yard, but it's really starting to come together. It's hard to believe that this time last year, I didn't feel like I had a clue what I was doing growing plants, and our yard was ugly as all get out. Now we have a retaining wall and terrace and three planter boxes we built ourselves. I'm making a big effort to grow a significant amount of vegetables this year.

Last year, really the only food crops I grew were some tomatoes and broccoli. This year, we've already have lettuce, arugula, mustard greens, sunflower, dill, red onion and beet in the ground, and tomato, fenugreek, bell pepper, okra, artichoke, pot marigold, mint, lavender, spinach, basil, thyme, and parsley sprouting for when it gets a bit warmer. That's not taking into account the summer squash, zucchini, and peas we have waiting to plant directly in the bed once we're past final frost date.

In addition to the edibles, we got a black cherry fuschia and a (I think?) night owl climbing rose. I also repotted the ficus and one of the tropical plants Rachel gave me last year that I've forgotten the name of. Oh, and I finally planted some of the spaces in the retaining wall! I put in some rockfoil, creeping red thyme, sedum, and Scottish moss. The Scottish moss looks especially nice, with it's bright lime green against the red lava rocks. I really hope they take and start to fill in this season!

Whew! Writing it all down, this was quite the weekend! I'm so glad I got a chance to do this! I'll have to take some pictures in the next few days to really capture where it is now.

Getting ready for spring!

I've got seeds either on-hand or ordered for just about everything I'm starting from seed this year. I've been working out what I want to plant, and this is the plan I've come up with for the 72 square feet of my backyard raised beds:

garden plan

Key:

Beets are fast enough (only 2 months) that I figure I can safely interplant them with the squashes.

I also picked up some chamomile seeds yesterday. I like chamomile tea, and it'll help attract pollinators. I have what I intend to be a food forest further back in my yard, past the raised beds, and I think it can go in there, around the berry bushes I intend to plant this spring.

How to grow onions

Grown for: bulb (2) whole plant (2)

Plant from: seed (25), seedling (9), bulb (9), bare root plant (3), (1)

Plant in: sun (27), semi-shade (21), (8), shade (2)

Scientific names

  • Allium cepa

Alternate names

  • bulb onion
  • common onion

Onion varieties

Varieties of onion:

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