Are our unusually warm January days making you anxious to get out into the garden? If so, I have good news for you! Even though our coldest weather is probably still to come, (remember last February’s 5-day deep-freeze?), you can start your vegetable garden now with onions.
Mankin & Sons Gardens now has onion sets (baby onions) in 5 varieties at only $1.39 /bunch:
- Sweet Red- also called “purple”, the absolute best on grilled hamburgers
- White Bermuda- pungent and good for general cooking purposes
- Yellow & White Granex- the grocery store “yellow onion or white onion”
- 1015Y Texas Super Sweet- developed at Texas A&M, and the sweetest onion you can grow
To plant onion sets, till the soil or turn with a fork to a depth of at least 6 inches, preferably adding some compost, as onions are heavy feeders. Bury the onion with the green top above the soil line. The colored part below will become the onion bulb. Plant the onions about 6” apart if you have the space. If not, you can plant them closer together and thin them as they grow, using the onions you pull out as “green onions”.
They will need to be watered occasionally if it does not rain; just be careful not to overwater so they don’t rot. As the weather warms up, they will require a little more water. Harvest the onions when they reach the size you desire, but no later than May, as they will become bitter in the hot weather. When you pull out your onions, you can replace them with a warm-weather crop such as tomatoes, okra, etc.
Article by Fran “Franma” Hilbert