Tag: onions

Long Day Versus Short Day Onions

Onions are one of the most useful vegetables, so it’s a great coincidence that they’re also incredibly easy to grow. They don’t take much space, and the only real thing they demand is well-drained soil, which is easily fixed by growing onions in a raised bed or container.

Onions are sold in bundles of seedlings called starts and they are identified by day length. There are short-day and long-day varieties distinguished by how much daylight there is when onions stop forming new green leaves and start forming bulbs. In my Southern garden I grow short-day onions, 10 – 12 hours daylight, but up North gardeners have better success with long-day onions, 14 – 16 hours daylight.

Whichever type of onion you plant be sure to plant plenty so you can harvest scallions or spring onions and leave some to mature into full-sized bulbs. Here’s how.

Spring Onions Scallions

  1. Separate the starts by size – small, medium and large.
  2. Plant the pencil sized starts 6 inches apart. Fill in with the smallest and largest seedlings, spacing them about 2 inches apart.
  3. Harvest the large seedlings after 2 weeks to use as scallions. The small seedlings are ready for harvest as scallions in another few weeks. Leave the pencil sized seedlings to grow into full-sized bulbs.

To learn how to plant onions visit BonniePlants.com.

In the Kitchen: Vidalia Onions

Anyone who has ever tasted a Vidalia onion knows what a great flavor it has. I am always happy when I see them in the produce aisle at the grocery store in spring.

Vidalias come from an area in Georgia where the climate and soil work together to produce this super sweet onion. I love raw Vidalia onions and cucumbers soaked in sugar, vinegar and water. This relish is delicious with fresh sliced tomatoes.

You can find Vidalia onions in your local grocery beginning in April and if you are lucky they will continue to be available through November. Select those with a golden skin and milky white flesh. I like to purchase several to have on hand over the course of the summer. To store any type of onion keep them in a cool, dry location and make sure that they don’t touch each other. Some people put them in the legs of panty hose and hang them. To do this simply select a pair of clean, sheer hose, drop in the onions, tying a knot between each onion so that they do not touch.