Two Important Tips
On this week’s episode, Travis explains the important tips for growing the best onions in the garden. When it comes to growing the big softball sized onions there two very important tips to consider during this process. The first important key tip to consider is the time of planting in the garden. When it comes to planting onions, you need to plant them as soon as possible so you are able to get as much growth out of the plants during the growing season window. Onions have two growing stages such as the vegetative stage and the bulbing stage. During the vegetative phase, the key is to get as much leaf growth on the onion as you can because each leaf represents a ring on the onion bulb. Therefore, the more leaves you get the bigger the bulb you are going to get and the better bulbing stage that will occur. In the south, the ideal time to plant onions is in late November. The second important key tip to growing the best onions is proper feeding. Onions are heavy feeders they like plenty of water and fertilizer, therefore Travis recommends planting onions on drip tape to ensure they get equal amounts of both.
Growing the Best Onions
The two onion varieties that Travis is planting in the garden this season is Texas Legend and Red Creole. Before planting, he prepares the area by using the Double Wheel Hoe and the drip tape layer to lay the drip irrigation on two-foot row spacing. He prefers the two-foot row spacing because once the onions emerge this spacing will provide plenty of room to go in between the rows for cultivation and keeping the garden area clean. Travis also plants onions on double rows because he is able to get maximum production off one row of drip tape all while making the most out of spacing in the garden. Along the row, he spaces the onions about four inches apart and they will need some thinning if you want to get really big onions. Once the bulbs get about the size of a quarter, Travis will come in the garden and harvest every other onion along the row to use those as green onions. When it comes to feeding the onions, we can feed them using two different methods. The first way is to use the injector fertilizer with 20-20-20 through the drip irrigation system. When onions are young they require plenty of phosphorus and potassium to help encourage root development, but as they get older they simply just need nitrogen. As the onions continue to grow, he will switch to a primary nitrogen supplement such as Chilean Nitrate that can be injected through the drip tape or used as a side-dress along the rows. For side-dressing, we simply sprinkle it alongside the onion plants and then take the wheel hoe with the cultivator teeth to incorporate it back into the soil. By supplying an accurate amount of irrigation and fertilizer we can ensure that the vegetative stage will get as much growth as possible to fulfill the bulbing stage.