All gardeners probably grow onions. I’m not an exception. But in the first years I did not succeed very well: many bulbs went into the arrow. Although she broke off the peduncles immediately, as I noticed, the results were not encouraging.
I myself do not grow sevok – my hands do not reach, and keeping it is a delicate matter; if the conditions are violated, it turns out exactly what I have come across all the time: flower shoots instead of bulbs. And how did we store the planting material that we buy in the spring – do you really know? .. Therefore, having learned about the advantages of planting onions before winter, I was inspired, but after trying it, I was not disappointed. Now that’s the only way I’m planting. Why? I’ll tell you now …
Benefits of planting onions in autumn In the fall, in the market (at least in our area) you can always buy a small set – the so-called wild oat. The size of such onions is no more than a nail on the little finger (diameter less than 1 cm).
They sell it inexpensively, because it is still very difficult to preserve until spring: the small onion dries first. In a can (0.5 l – the standard measure of seeding, adopted by our traders), a huge amount of planting material is placed: already tired of planting, but it does not end there. Therefore, even if not every bulb will yield a good harvest, all the same, the results from planting one measure of sevka are enough until the next harvest for both my daughter and me and my friends. And this despite the fact that I immediately plant the smallest fraction based on greens.
So, the economic effect is obvious. What are the other benefits?
The shallow set does not form an arrowhead, and this is its colossal plus. This is really so – it has been tested in practice. Over the entire growing season, I break out literally a few flower stalks from my onion beds – during a normal planting it also happened that almost every second onion gave an arrow.
I draw your attention – this is an important nuance: do not try to plant a large set before winter! Shooting in this case is almost guaranteed. I plant a little large seedling on a feather: at first, small greens give a weak, small one, and a full-fledged feather immediately comes from a large one. But it gets a little warmer – and flower stalks appear, that’s all – the onion can be pulled out.
The second plus is an early harvest. My onions ripen already in July. By the way, the benefits here are twofold: firstly, when the onion fly threatens spring plantings, the onion planted before winter is already strong enough, and its pest almost does not damage; secondly, harvesting takes place at a relatively quiet time, and greens or early ripening vegetables can be sown on the vacated beds – they will ripen calmly until autumn.
By the way, there is less trouble with weeding. Onions are a cold-resistant culture, seedlings of winter onion plantings appear literally from under the snow; a rare weed with them can compete in this. Well, when the weeds start growing, my onion is already noticeable, strong – there is no need to fear that you will pull it out along with the grass. Yes, and there is less harm to him from weeds (which, however, does not exempt him from traditional care responsibilities, which is a pity).
If you are thinking about how to get income from your garden, an early harvest of onions is also a plus: all vegetables that have ripened until the time of mass harvest are valued higher and are sold at a higher price. Think about it. Yes, and such an onion is stored excellently: it is initially healthy and strong, it can be dried perfectly – first in the sun, and then in a heated attic or hayloft; then it remains only to braid in braids and hang for storage.
Traditionally, time savings are cited among the benefits of autumn planting. Here I can say that I personally do not have enough time both in spring and in autumn. But nevertheless, the period of autumn work can most often be extended, while in the spring time seems to be shrinking, and in this short period you need to squeeze in a huge number of cases. So for the ever-busy gardener, planting onions before winter is a good option for a reasonable distribution of time and effort.
How to plant onions before winter The first thing that is important (as always, however) is the variety. There are no special recommendations on the choice of onion varieties for planting before winter – any local (zoned) ones are suitable. Only the southern – thermophilic – varieties should be avoided: they may not survive the winter. Traditionally, for podzimny planting, onion varieties such as ‘Arzamassky’, ‘Strigunovsky’, ‘Stuttgarter Riesen’, ‘Danilovsky’, ‘Bessonovsky’ and others are used. However, I myself do not bother with this question too much: they still sell a mix of grades on the market – there are long onions and round ones: both white and red ones come across. I proceed from the fact that the planting material grown from seeds in our climate is already adapted to local conditions.
The second significant nuance: the choice of a landing site. In terms of the basic requirements, the onion of sub-winter planting does not differ from the spring one: the soil is needed rather loose (dense clay is a bad option), with a neutral reaction; the place is lit (shading is undesirable!), well ventilated. But one detail is very important: plant onions where in spring your snow melts early and amicably, and the water in no case stagnates. Excess moisture in spring is the worst enemy of bulbous crops!
Further, of course, we think: what is the optimal time for planting onions before winter? Oh-oh-oh, this is a question! .. For our latitudes (middle band) October is recommended – the period from 5 to 20. Agree: the range is not small … And besides, there are weather surprises: last year, for example, it snowed at this time (actually, on Pokrov – October 14 – snow has been expected in our area since ancient times), and by November it had melted … Here is last year’s photo: on the calendar – the end of November; under the spruce branches – beds with onions:
In a word, recommendations are recommendations, but you have to decide on your own, and every year in different ways. It is very important to plant on time: hurry up – the onion will not only have time to take root before frost, but green sprouts will appear from the ground; don’t expect a good spring harvest here. If you are late with planting, the seedlings do not form roots until severe frosts and will simply be stored in the ground until spring. Naturally, all the advantages in this case will also come to naught.
This year I just planted an onion just before winter – this week, under the very frost. Yes, it’s cold now, but I planted it in the still warm ground. And by the end of next week, the forecast promises a serious thaw – my onion will have time to take root, I hope …
If we talk about the preparation of planting material, then this is also a controversial issue. I read the recommendations to soak the sevok before planting in a solution of potassium permanganate, then dry it. It is clear that disinfection will not hurt, but … In general, I always plant only dry seedlings before winter. Yes, it germinates faster after soaking. But you can’t keep track of it here: it’s warm today – and tomorrow, unexpectedly, frost hit. Dry onions, and even in the soil, will have nothing – but swollen ones … I don’t know, I don’t want to experiment. But here everyone decides in his own way.
But to sort out the planting material, of course, is necessary. We select all damaged bulbs, sick, dried. Be sure to calibrate – lay out by size. There was a time, I neglected it. Not critical, but the harvest is worse: in the garden where it is dense, where it is empty. Now I plant a larger onion separately, then – medium analysis, then – the smallest fraction: a large onion from such a set (1-3 mm in diameter) is rarely obtained, but the greens are excellent.
Planting is usually advised in grooves 5 cm deep with a distance between the bulbs of 6-7 cm and between the grooves – 15 cm. I prefer the holes; the rest of the parameters are the same.
It is worth considering that, in comparison with garlic, for example, onions have lower winter hardiness, so shallow planting is fraught with freezing, especially if frosts come before the snow cover. To protect the future harvest, the onion beds should be covered. Do this after the first frost grabs the soil (you should not rush – there is a risk of damping out).
I cover with spruce branches, but you can also use straw (I tried it – I liked it, but now there is nowhere to take straw), dry stems of plants (for example, Jerusalem artichoke) and similar materials. You can even mulch the plantings with dry sawdust or peat before frost – it also does not hurt. In the spring, the shelter is removed when the soil begins to thaw. By the way, the mulch also needs to be removed: it will take longer for the earth to warm up under it – it’s checked!