Onions - some people adore it, others cannot stand it, and third year after year, but nevertheless allocate at least several meters of onion beds in their plots. Everyone who stands out these beds perfectly understands that this crop cannot be grown without worries: then suddenly the arrow of the arrow will be thrown out, if it becomes stuffy and hot, then it will begin to rot if the rains flood the soil or you go too far with irrigation water on the site. What to do and how to be? And doesn’t you put the little bulb in the winter, having tried what will come of it? They planted it - I liked it, and since then such a tradition has been led - to plant onions in the winter. And how and what to do with this, we will tell you today.Winter onion planting
Pros of winter onion planting
Let's start with the clear advantages of the winter onion planting. At the first place, no doubt (everyone here agrees) - this is an early harvest. Do not have time to blink an eye, and it’s time to harvest the crop. Only the crown of summer is July in the yard, and the winter onion is ready to be harvested, and the bulb has time to form a large one, moreover, regardless of the variety. Although my advice to you is: pick varieties that are well addressed in your area and then there will be no misses.
Plus a second - removed the bow, freed the bed, how much free space it turned out, and how much summer heat is yet to come (which the heat and the place should be lost in vain). Of course, not every crop can be planted after onions in the garden, but the same greens or some quickly ripening vegetables will be very happy for the secondary settlement and will have time to produce their crops before the fall.
Plus a third, especially good for a lazy person, - it turns out that a winter onion needs to be weed less often. Why? Shoots of winter onions appear early, during this period 90% of the weeds are still sleeping peacefully, and as soon as they wake up, the bulb became so high and noticeable that it is easy to distinguish it from the weed.
And that's not all the pros: among other things, you must also remember the onion fly. Although it is activated in the spring, onion plants planted before winter damage to a lesser extent, because they are already much stronger than spring plantings. In addition, if you plant a bed with winter onions with a bed of carrots, the smell of carrots will completely beat off the onion fly from the desire to appear on the onion bed.
Winter onions are perfectly stored, it’s, the main thing, to dry it better, and then braid it and hang it on the wall in the apartment (it looks great, in my opinion).
And what are the other advantages of winter onion planting?
If the sowing is small during planting, then it doesn’t shoot at all, can you imagine ?! Well, all the same, he will give a couple of arrows for the season and nothing more, he broke it out - and this is the end. Not like before, when, consider, each bulb sought to prove its presence in the garden with a picturesque arrow.
Important! Try not to plant a large sowing before winter: in this case, the shooting will be as strong as possible. Well, what if the bow is on the feather? You can plant a large seed on the feather, plant as much as you can eat, because the fine fraction onion planted before winter will give a little feather. But from large fractions of the left side, feathers are powerful, beautiful, tasty, but there are many arrows.
Cons of winter onion planting
There are not many of them. Firstly, the planting rate: alas, it will have to be increased, because in winter a number of plants can die. In fact, even large enterprises engaged in planting onions for the winter increase the number of planted bulbs by only 12-16%, that is, very little, and these costs are more than paid for by early harvests.
But alas, no one is safe from force majeure circumstances, there are them here and they can be safely reckoned with the second minus of the autumn onion planting. Alas, this is weather, if it doesn’t snow, that is, it doesn’t fall at all, the sky is so turquoise, clear, and the frost is getting lower and lower and now it reaches -16, a large-scale death of planted plants will begin. How to save?
You can cover the plantations with non-woven covering material, you can make smoky fires on the periphery of the site, having agreed in advance with your neighbors. But it is much more reliable to cover the entire area as soon as possible with a thick layer of non-woven covering material (five or even ten centimeters), depending on the temperature: what is expected and whether there will be snow in the near future.
If the snow that has fallen off your site is often blown away by the wind, then a fine option is a layer of fir spruce branches, it is not a good insulation in itself, it can be used in combination with, say, dry leaves, but the snow holds up very well. Often, for sheltering onions, if it is cold and there is no snow, you can use literally everything at hand, straw, dry plant stems and even dry flaps of legumes, up to husks from seeds.
Hurry up with shelter is not worth it, usually the surface is covered, as soon as the soil grabs frost. If the soil is covered earlier, then the onions may begin to rot under cover, especially if it is warm and humid.
The best and most natural cover option is, of course, a snowball. Fantastic, but just a couple of centimeters is enough to save all your onions even at -15 degrees below zero.Shelter with beds of onion beds for the winter.
Choosing a place for winter onion planting
In a fit of indelible joy and happiness from the upcoming work with the soil, do not forget that onions love loose soil that has a neutral reaction, that is, a pH of about 6.0. How to determine the pH of the soil: in any garden store a jar with litmus papers and a scale is sold, buy it and bring it home. Then, in a glass of water for about 15 minutes, stir the water with the ground, placing a strip of litmus paper there. Wait five seconds and compare the color of the paper with the scale on the package. Depending on the result, you should either add lime at 250 g per square meter to deoxidize the soil, or start planting winter onions.
When you have sorted out the soil, in general, on the site, proceed to choosing a place for the bed. Under the winter onion I strongly advise you to give the most well-lit and ventilated place. But so that the snowball would not blow off in the winter, but would linger on this site for as long as possible. And in the spring, let it evaporate faster from this section, it doesn’t drain, but evaporates. Also, neither irrigation nor rain water should stagnate in this area.
So, we remembered: the soil is loose (not clay), the reaction of the soil is neutral, the place is open and well-lit (no shade) and adequately ventilated to exclude stagnation of moisture and various diseases.
Important! Plant onions in the winter at the place where in the spring the snow comes off as quickly and amicably as possible and moisture does not stagnate (this has already been reported). Note again: moisture congestion for onions is a terrible nuisance.
The bed seems to have been chosen. But before proceeding with the preparation of the soil, you need to look in a notebook and find out which crops on this bed previously grew. Suppose that if potatoes, any legumes, parsley, celery and alfalfa were growing at this place, then it is better to refrain from planting onions: it is extremely likely that the onions will be infected with nematodes. The best predecessors for winter onions are crops such as beets, canola, peas, corn, lettuce, mustard and cucumber.
Planting onions in the winter
Fertilizers for winter onions
For some reason, it is customary to struggle with fertilizers in Russia as if they were the cause of all misfortunes and misfortunes. But in this case, I do not advise, as some advise, to make nitrogen fertilizers under winter onions in general, they say that this makes it a difficult winter. Personally, I would have managed to add wood ash for the winter: 300 grams per square meter of beds is enough, and in the spring you can dilute the mullein 15 times and add one liter per square meter.
What would I recommend exactly, so about seven days before planting winter onions, add soil at 15-20 g per square meter of superphosphate, and directly on the day of planting mix potassium sulfate (5-8 g per square meter) with the soil.
Haste is not needed here, so we will not rush to plant winter onions. It is optimal to place it on sites about a month before the start of a real frost (and how will it start growing, how will it gain strength, and then what to do with it?). But the timing, in fact, in the case of onions, it is desirable to comply with and focus here only on the thermometer and weather forecasters.
Take, for example, the middle lane. Experts write that the optimal time for planting onions under the winter here falls on the period from 5 to 20 of October. Imagine a spread of time in 15 days! More than two weeks. And why? And because the weather is very changeable and capricious, and over this period of time it can change dramatically. One must somehow calculate so to plant onions so that all plantings of it are completed three weeks before the soil is completely frozen.
It is clear that in each region this period is different, it remains to rely on the weather forecast, for example, if for two or three days the temperature drops to +5 and does not increase anymore, then you can start embarking onions. During his life he observed different things: it happened that on Pokrov, that is, already in the middle of October, such snow fell that it no longer melted, but it happened that a month after the Pokrov there was no snow.
We summarize: we’re not in a hurry, we follow the weather forecast, we choose the optimal time so that not only do not manage to form a little onion, but also do not show tiny tips of leaflets from under the soil, because then you can’t count on a good crop. And if he doesn’t form any roots in the soil and will sit until spring exactly as he planted, then there’s nothing good either. Ideally, the roots should start growing, and the little bulb come to life and then freeze (and not freeze) until spring.Sheltered bed with a bow planted in the winter.
Preparing planting material
So, we figured out the soil, the planting dates are on the way, it’s time to start preparing onion planting material. This is a necessary and necessary measure, it cannot be ignored. Why sort out onions before planting? In order to remove all damaged and diseased bulbs from the general batch, after that the onion is usually divided into four batches, which depend entirely on their size. Typically, the first category includes bulbs whose diameter is from a centimeter to one and a half, the second category includes bulbs with a diameter of one and a half to three centimeters, and they must make a separate sample, into which the onions are laid whose diameter is considered quite large - more than three centimeters. A bow that does not fall into any category, that is, a very small one (less than a centimeter) is called an oats, it is put in separate boxes.
This sorting of onions is important in order to obtain uniform plantings. As you sorted the bulbs, so you plant them: this is not a banal calculation of how many large bulbs you have, how many medium, how many small and so on.
Important! The oats and planting material of the first category is used to obtain first-class greens, but larger bulbs are used specifically for the production of bulbs.
Before landing, I’ve advised to dig a shovel already selected, about which we all told above, with a full bayonet, adding 5-6 kg of humus or compost per square meter, as well as a handful of wood ash. Further, the plot should be perfectly aligned and grooves should be made five centimeters deep, and bulbs will be planted in them.
However, not all onions are planted according to one principle. For example, it is advisable to plant a black sheep, a typical winter onion, to a depth of two, a maximum of three centimeters, it is generally not worth digging deeper.
It is better to leave six or seven centimeters between the bulbs, and arrange the grooves themselves so that the distance between them is equal to one and a half dozen centimeters. Next, it remains to vertically put the onion, slightly pressing it with your fingers, sprinkling the soil and leveling it.
By the way, we described the method of planting onions in the grooves, but this does not mean at all that it can be planted only this way and not otherwise. It is possible to plant onions in the holes (for example, the beloved by many square-nesting method), the principle of planting is the same.
In the future, it is desirable to shed the soil on the beds where winter onions are planted and make sure that the soil is moist before frost (before shelter).Onion braids.
What to do in the spring?
In the spring, first thing, as soon as the snow falls, you need to remove any shelter from the bow. But proceed with this should be careful so as not to damage its delicate leaves, which by that time may already appear. Next, you need to dig the soil and do it after every rain and watering. And what to do next with onions, we will tell in the next article.