It's time to peel back the layers andexpose my secret to growing onions but before we do that just a quick safetymessage.
If you're going to have onions on a slice of bread or in a roll makesure you put them underneath the sausage.
Right, with that out the road g'day a I'mMark from Self Sufficient Me and in this video I want to show you guys my fivetop tips on how to grow a ton of onions in a round raised garden bed such asthis.
Let's get into it.
I like to grow our own onions because there's something special about a freshly harvested crispy onion and also we grow them without anychemicals at all so they're organic and I think that makes a big differencefresh and organic.
Tip number one – preparing the garden bed.
Onions justlike most veggies like a fertile free draining soil and as you know I lovegrowing in these raised garden beds not just because it's easier on the backwhen preparing maintaining and harvesting your crop but it also allowsfor excellent drainage which onions do enjoy and it helps prevent them fromrotting in ground particularly in hot humid climates you don't want to overfertilize the soil before planting and I don't add any extra feed throughoutgrowing but I do prepare the bed with a generous covering of compost if I don'thave enough of my own I'll buy it and those bags pre-mixed with a little extrafertilizer are perfect otherwise you can toss in a small handful of your ownfertilizer or well rotted manure such as chicken manure that has been composteddown and it's not too fresh but don't overdo it because if you give it toomuch fertilizer especially at the beginning you're going to get a lot ofgreen tops and not much bulb I always like to add mulch as it reduces theweeds especially when growing onions because itcan be tedious to weed between skinny onion plants and weeds will competeheavily with them.
Sow shallow not too deep and cover lightly keeping the soilmoist until sprouting starts then water as required.
Sow a generous amount ofonion seeds to allow for poor germination as you can always transplantseedlings from areas that have germinated well to areas that are sparse.
In fact, in this bed I sowed two types of onions a brown and a red but the redfailed to come up the seed was a bit old I suspect so I simply transplanted myexcess Browns to fill the void.
Tip number two – grow at the right time.
Herein our subtropical climate I like to sow our onion seeds towards the end ofautumn in fact the last month of autumn that way I get them coming up andgrowing through winter through spring and then harvesting them at the end ofspring or just in the summer before the humidity hits and the summer rains hit.
Onions hate humidity it'll rot the bulbs it'll make them go slimy they won't growvery well or they'll go to seed really early so if you're living in a warmerclimate sow them through the driest part of theyear in cold climates you've got a easier time growing onions because theyquite like cooler climates you sow them through spring or at the start of springand grow them right into summer and harvest them at the end of summer.
Tipnumber three – grow the right type growing the right type of onion is probably moreimportant than growing at the right time although these two points are closelyrelated so let me explain I prefer to grow fast or early maturing varietiesbecause we grow them through winter when the days are the shortest at that timeof year the growth habit of onions is largely influenced by daylight hours anddepending on the variety they may not well or even fail completely if thewrong type is grown at the wrong time for example late maturing varieties thathappen to be great keepers or lasts a long time in the pantry need longdaylight hours sometimes up to 15 hours per day whereas faster growing orquicker bulbing varieties like these hunter River Browns only need around 10hours of sunlight so when buying onion seeds think about your climate andparticularly the daylight hours at the time of year when you are growing themthen match that to the type of onion having said that I don't want to totallydeter you from trying different types of onions even the late maturing ones atthe wrong time of year because I can tell you I've grown all different typesof onions the late maturing ones at the wrong time of year and had some prettygood successes so sometimes when the books say you can't give it a go anywaybecause you'll be surprised at what you can grow also there are other ways ofkind of cheating as you may have noticed I have a different type of onion growingin the middle here right in the center of these brown onions this is called anEgyptian walking onions and it grows really well in hot climates it's a typeof bunching onion sure it doesn't bulb exactly like regular onions but they canstill be used in the same way and they taste greatonce I harvest these brown onions and I'll do that soon in tip number fivethese Egyptian onions will eventually take over the whole bed and give usonions all the way through summer other easier to grow varieties such asshallots which grow in clusters or spring onions can be just as useful asan all-rounder for their own great flavor or as a substitute when largerbulb types are difficult to grow.
Tip number four – crowd them in now this mightseem counterintuitive because most oniongrowers or experts will tell you that you should thin the onions out andspread them out so good 25 centimeters apartso that they have a chance to grow independently get bigger bulbs andthey'll grow better like that but that's not something that I do not by the bookanyway I will thin them out to an extent or more like spread them out if I see abunch of seedlings or grouped together or if I need to fill gaps as I saidearlier but in general the only thinning out we do is early harvesting for eatingas we go.
Look, if you want to thin them out and grow them by the book go for itbecause that is a proven method of growing but I didn't make this one of mytop tips crowd growing for the sake of it I've made it because it does workcrowd growing onions like this in a raised bed means you can grow more in asmaller space it helps to suppress weeds and it allows for earlier harvesting aswe'll discuss next.
Tip number 5 – when to harvest you know this is a reallypopular question about onions and rightly so because some people getconfused there's a few myths going around that you need to break the topsof onions or bend them over to get them ready for maturing and curing but that'snot correct at all the truth is or the short answer is you can harvest onionsat any time especially when you're growing them like this and you'renaturally thinning them out as they grow so you're harvesting these immatureonions within a few weeks after sowing you're starting to harvest onions reallyyou know people call it thinning out and in a situation like this right up untilthe maturing point which is now you are still selecting onions with the greentops and they are just magic in cooking so harvest them at any time but when arethey really ready and mature you can tell see how the tops are just naturallybending over some have gone to seed so that's a telltale sign.
the tops will start to die off it's not a disease or anything it's just thenormal growing progression some of them will go to seed usually the larger oneswill go to seed first and what I like to do is leave some of them go to seed youonly need one or two and they will become the seed for next year the nextseason and the rest you just harvest so let's do that now and there you have it what a fantasticharvest out of such a small size bed I'm really wrapped and now what I'll do isI'll place these on our homemade drying rack in the Sun for about three to fourdays and let them die off fully and crisp up and cure and then they'll beperfect for storage in the pantry for the long term and to use over the nextseveral months so those were my five top tips on how to grow a ton of onions in asmall round raised garden bed just like this remember prepare the garden bedgrow at the right time grow the right type crowd them in and when to harvestdo all those things right and you'll grow a ton of onions just like I can ifyou liked this video please give it a big green thumbs up and subscribe if youhaven't already thanks a lot for watching bye for nowunreal now all we need to do is cook up one of those sangas and whack thesausage on top of those onions so we cover all those OH&S issues see ya You Rippa.