Happiness is... knowing how to grow onions so you end up with happy onions instead of disappointments... no crying allowed!
This page is full of extra tips on how to grow onions. For detailed growing instructions, shoot over to Growing Onions
...it's not only the variety, but also the onions' growing conditions that matter.
You can experiment, because onion growers differ somewhat in their opinions, but generally speaking the pungency of onions is increased:
This trimming encourages strong new growth which will result in robust bulbs when mature.
Commercial onion growers consider split or double onion bulbs undesirable and discount them.
A certain percentage of onions will be delinquents, but to know how to grow onions that win admiration, first choose a desirable variety and be fussy on the growing environment, such as:
One day you're checking your stored onions and notice new green shoots. Shoot! You need to stop this because it will soften and spoil the onions.
No problem, simply light a flame, either a lighter, large match, gas cooker or similar and pass the roots of any shooting onions slowly through the flame... about 2-3 seconds should do.
This doesn't hurt the onions or impart any taste, but it shocks them into dormancy again.
The last few tips are not about how to grow onions... rather, they are about how to use the mighty onion.
During the great plague of Europe, a most unhappy time, savvy households hung onion halves in their homes believing that the onions would absorb and kill the airborne germs.
We now know this is not possible, but belief can have a powerful placebo effect! Certainly eating onions is a natural way you can help guard against infectious flu bugs.
Onions do seem to absorb odours, so put a cut onion out to get rid of stale smoke, paint fumes, and other household odours.
Stings hurt, and bees are often the stingers. If you are suddenly the stingee — ouch — scrape out the sting if it's a bee, then dash to the nearest onion, slice it and rub on the sting. You'll find the pain is alleviated because the raw onion juice counters the irritant of the sting.
A few unlucky people re-act to onions and sometimes all plants of the onion family.
They can often tolerate cooked onions, but raw will give them nasty symptoms, usually stating with, excuse me... burp, or constricted respiratory symptoms.
Useful replacements in meals are:
Onions have large cells and when they are cut or damaged, sulphur compounds escape. These form into a gas that diffuses into the air and can irritate mucus membranes and sensitive eye parts.
Don't cry, but try these tricks to stop tears from chopping onions:
1. The colder an onion is before cutting, the slower the release of volatile chemicals. Chilling onions works best, but watch you don't ruin the onions.
2. Cutting onions underwater or holding under a running cold tap delays the airborne gas from becoming airborne. At least make sure the onions are wet before you cut into them.
3. Nothing beats a good sharp knife to make kitchen life easier. Even more so when cutting onions because you do less damage to the cells.
Speaking of cutting onions, you can snip off some of the succulent green leaves to use as spring onions in your salads or stir-frys. In fact you can even grow ordinary kitchen onions as spring onions and harvest them before bulbing, or use when the bulbs are still small and tender and mild flavoured.
If you do sneak a few green leaves from your onion crop, take no more than 1/3 of them and leave at least 2.5cm (½") of each leaf at the bottom. That way your onions won't cry and will go on to be mature adults.
The Chinese, know how to grow onions and are the largest producers of the 100 billion pounds of onions grown worldwide each year.
Many populations of Asia have handed down the knowledge of onion's preventative and curative health properties, particularly when it comes to anti-cancer benefits.
It's not only onions, other Allium species such as, garlic, leeks, shallots and scallions all are used in culinary dishes and preparations for their medicinal assets.Research shows that Shallots come tops for antioxidants and yellow garden varieties of onions have the most flavonoids and phenols.
So now you know how to grow onions, don't hold back on making them an indispensable part of your life.
Growing Onions: Main page with essential onion growing information.
Onion Pests and Diseases: Worthwhile checking this out.
List of Vegetables: More vegetables.