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SPRING ONION

Growing bulbing onions is a slow, steady and space-consuming process. It’s the ultimate relationship vegetable – the love of your life, perhaps – but only when you’re ready for it. Sometimes we just want to cut loose and party. Let’s enjoy the precious moments that we have, but c’mon, you spring onion babe, we don’t have long.

The spring onion is a bunching variety that is hardy, fast growing and ideally suited to the home gardener. If you find yourself looking for a confidence booster in the veggie patch, the spring onion is always happy to partner up, whether in spring, or any other time of the year in our parts. In fact, despite its name, the spring onion could easily be the autumn, winter and summer onion, too.

Where our classic, slow-burning, bulbing onion is destined for French cooking, the spring onion finds its natural environment in fast-paced salads and Asian cuisine. Quick and punchy stir fries and fresh on-the-go salads are the perfect partners for this swiftly growing vegetable.

PLANTING

Sow the seeds directly into the veggie patch or resprout from previous spring onion harvest.

WATERING

In ground: Water daily for the first 4 weeks and 3-4 times a week in the absence of rainfall thereafter. More frequent watering may be required during the warmer times of the year.

In Pots: Water daily while establishing and for the entirety of the warm season, otherwise every second day – after they are 4 weeks old – if growing during the cooler times of the year.

MAINTENANCE

Propagate in a seed tray for 4 weeks.

Prepare the soil with compost but don’t over-fertilise with nitrogen. Rather, add an application of liquid potassium just prior to planting. Transplant into the patch at the required spacing.

After one month mulch to a depth of 3–5cm using pea straw, lucerne hay or sugar cane mulch. Apply a monthly dose of liquid seaweed solution.

After 8 weeks, if onions are too closely bunched together, harvest entire plants to free up space for those that remain.

Cut at the base of the stem to allow the remaining root zone to re-sprout and provide a perpetual harvest. This can be done until the plants begin to go to seed or turn slimy.

HARVESTING

Time until first harvest: 60+ days

How to harvest: Cut at the base of the stem to allow the remaining root zone to resprout and provide a perpetual harvest. This can be done until the plants begin to go to seed or turn slimy.

TIP

Rather than harvest the entire onion once ready, cut down at the base of the stem and the shoot will quickly regenerate. This will mean you can have two, three or even four flushes of the same spring onion and a greater yield of produce.

WHEN TO PLANT

Cool/Mountainous: September - May
Temperate: September - June
Subtropical: Anytime
Tropical: March - September

BEST GROWN FROM

Seed

POSITION

Full sun or partial shade, in a spot that follows leafy green crops such as lettuce or cabbage

DEPTH

1 cm

SPACING

2–5 cm

IDEAL PH LEVEL

6.0–7.0

SOIL

The soil should be well- drained and not contain excessive nitrogen. The main requirement for onions is potassium, so apply wood ash or potash prior to planting

BEST SUITED TO

Wall, pots, in-ground

GROWING IN POTS?

>30cm

POLLINATION

Not required

CHILL FACTOR

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