This page talks about growing onions, their benefits and what is meant by long day vs short day onions.
Onions are a delicious addition to any edible landscape! There are three basic categories that onions fall into: short day, intermediate day and long day. It’s very important that you select the right type of onion variety for your climate for the best growing experience. Onions grown in the wrong are may end up very small, or have other issues. When to plant onions is also determined by your climate. Areas with harsher winters will want to plant in early spring, when the ground becomes workable, and warmer, more moderate climates will want to plant in fall.
Short day onions will begin forming bulbs when there is 10 to 12 hours of daylight per day. The earlier you plant them, the bigger the bulb that will form. Most varieties are sweet. These should be grown in the south (zone 7 or warmer). They can be grown in the North, however, they won’t be nearly as big. Short day onions should be planted in the fall in the south take approximately 110 days to mature. If you plant them in the north, plant them in early spring. They will mature in 75 days. Harvest short day onions in late spring.
Intermediate day onions will begin forming bulbs when there is 12 to 14 hours of daylight. This onion works well in zones 5 and 6, but tends not to grow as well when you get as far south as Texas and Florida. Intermediate day onions should be planted in fall in milder climates and early spring, as soon as the ground is workable, in areas with harsher winters. They mature in about 100 days. Harvest them in mid to late summer in areas with harsher winters.
Long day onions will begin forming bulbs when there is 14 to 16 hours of daylight. They do best in colder areas (zone 6 and further north), from the Midwest to the Canadian border. If you plant them early, they will also do well in intermediate day areas. They mature in roughly 90 to 100 days. Sweet onions will mature a few weeks before storage onions, but they don’t keep as long.
After you’ve determined the best variety and best time to plant onions for your region, plant onions seeds indoors 6 weeks before you intend to transplant them into the garden (review notes above for best planting times for your region). Onion seeds do not keep for long periods, so it’s best to start with a fresh batch each year. Barely press the seeds into the soil. Keep the sees moist and use a grow light. Seeds should germinate in 4 to 5 days.
Once your growing onions are ready for transplanting, choose a sunny spot (full sun) in your garden with good drainage for planting. Onions do well in raised beds, but can also be planted directly into the soil so long as it is not too heavy (like clay). You can either mix compost into the soil, or a slow-release fertilizer.
Space onion plants 4 to 5 inches apart, with 12 to 18 inches between rows. Be very careful not to bury the whole plant. Only bury the seedlings about 1 inch into the soil to keep the leaves above ground and healthy. Onions grow short, shallow roots, so keep your plants well hydrated, particularly during the warmer months.
Try to keep soil and water from collecting on the leaves. Fertilize your growing onions periodically with nitrogen for bigger bulbs. After the bulbing process begins, the onions will burst through the soil. Do not recover them.
French Onion Soup:
Your favorite bulb onions (most people prefer a sweet white or yellow variety)
You’ll want approximately one 32 ounce container of your favorite beef broth per medium to large onion. (For more broth, add an extra 32 ounce container per batch.) For a large pot of soup, it’s approximately 4 to 5 onions. Slice onions into ¼ inch pieces, and then slice those pieces into quarters. Break onion layers apart and fry in a buttered pan on medium to medium low heat.
You can a choice here, you can either cook the onions until they are translucent before adding them to the broth, or you can cook them until they have browned and caramelized for the best flavor. Caramelizing can about an hour, so be careful not to burn them. (It is well worth the wait.)
Once you are satisfied with your onions, add them to the broth in a large pot. Cook broth and onions uncovered for 60 minutes. Broth should evaporate nearly halfway. If you find this is too salty, you can always add more water back in. Add a dash or two of Worcestershire sauce.
You can either serve as is or add the traditional toppings. To serve with toppings, ladle soup into an
oven-safe bowl and turn on broiler. Add
a handful of croutons to each bowl and cover with a slice or two of gruyere
cheese. Put in the oven for 1 to 2
minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and brown.
When your growing onions are nearly mature, their leaves will begin to yellow and die. Once most of your onion plants have yellowed and fallen over, go ahead and bend the remaining ones down. Wait 10 to 14 days for the onions to fully mature, then dig them up.
Do not wait any longer than 14 days to dig up your onion bulbs, as they may begin to rot or grow again. Once you’ve dug them up, cut the stems off. Store your onions in a cool (40 to 50 degrees), dry place.
David’s Garden Seeds, gardening is our passion. We provide top quality
non-GMO seeds so families can learn to garden and love it. In turn, we
hope they will pass this passion down to their children and
grandchildren, teaching them to grow delicious food, fresh herbs, and
"I bought just one packet of Beefsteak Tomato Tycoon and I never had 100% germination before.Every seed that David sent has sprouted. And the blue colored seed makes it so much easier to see. Excellent quality." --Jack G.
There are not enough characters available to describe the integrity of this seller and the willingness to please the customer that I was blessed with when I ordered from David's Garden Seeds. David has gone above and beyond and then some more to be sure I was a satisfied customer.(I am) I will always shop here first when buying my seeds in the spring. Class act all the way! Thank you very much!!!" --Gail, Texas
"Thank you so much for your generous donation to our nursing home. Your kindness has touched the lives of our residents and staff." --Nurse Carol, Baton Rouge, LA
"Will definitely order from David's Garden Seeds in the future! The
seed-starting tray that I ordered was sent and received in a timely
manner, and, as expected, is very well-made. In addition, the seller
responds to messages very promptly and politely, which is a rarity in a
day and age when a person generally gets stuck on the phone with
elevator music for an eternity!"
DavidsGardenSeeds is located at:
7715 Tezel Drive San Antonio, TX 78250
We are open Mon-Fri from 9am to 5pm.