Organic growing practices are becoming more widespread, and many people are choosing to grow onions and garlic at home.
Whichever variety we choose, we can grow them all in pots and get excellent results in about 6-7 months. To reap the fruits of growing garlic and onion at home, a small balcony and some pots are enough. Over time we can appreciate the many benefits offered by these two vegetables, beneficial for the health and well-being of the body.
The Liliaceae family includes garlic, onion and shallots , highly appreciated in the kitchen for their organoleptic characteristics and the benefits they bring to our body. If you also want to successfully grow these edible bulbs , it is important to know the right techniques. For example, you need to know when is the best time to plant or sow them and what maintenance practices to adopt to encourage their growth. By following these instructions you will be able to obtain an abundant and quality harvest.
How to grow onions and garlic at home
Garlic, onion and shallot belong to the Liliaceae family , but they have different shoots. While shallots produce 3 or 4 bulbs per plant, onions usually produce only one. Regardless of the type of onion, such as white, red, yellow or spring onion, taking care of it is simple. These plants do not require a lot of water , but they need soil enriched with organic substance. However, too nutritious soil could cause the bulbs to rot.
The right time for sowing and choosing the soil
To prepare growing onions, you must first obtain seeds or bulbs . It is important to know that onions are usually planted in spring , preferably in March or April, or in September or October for those who live in the southern hemisphere. For cultivation the pot should be about 30 cm deep and about 30 cm wide . In each pot it is possible to plant at least two onions, using different seeds or two bulbs. Finally, it is advisable to choose a light soil enriched with natural fertilizer.
To start growing onions, the first thing to do is prepare the soil, which should not be too clayey or sandy . It is best to have loose soil so that the onion can grow freely. In this way it will be possible to obtain adequate nutrients also through the use of natural fertilizers.
If you decide to plant seeds, it is important to introduce them to a depth of about 2.5 cm. Furthermore, it is important to keep in mind that in this case it will be advisable to keep the onions indoors for at least a month, until the onion cut outside has sprouted . .
To start, take the head of garlic and separate the cloves one by one . The next step is preparing the pot, which requires the presence of drainage at the bottom, so that excess water can drain easily every time you water the pot.
Gravel is the most common solution for this purpose. Then the garlic cloves are placed in the jar. It is important to do this precisely, positioning them 10 centimeters deep and with the pointed part facing upwards.
Multiple cloves can be planted in the same pot, but they should be at least 8 centimeters apart .
Finally, it is recommended to place the vase in a place where it receives direct sunlight , as previously indicated. Garlic does not tolerate excess moisture, so it is enough to water it once a week.
To successfully grow garlic , it is important to avoid competition with other plants and therefore hoe the soil regularly.
How to harvest and store garlic and onion
To ensure the good preservation of garlic and onion, it is essential to harvest them well.
Onion. For immediate consumption it is possible to harvest the bulbs when they are still “green” , that is, when the leaves are still green, and in this case all parts of the plant are edible. Instead, if you want to save your crop for future use, you have to wait for the right time . The ideal time for harvesting is determined by the state of the plant cover:
Garlic: To harvest garlic and shallots you need to wait until at least two thirds of the leaves are dried , and this generally happens at the end of June or early July for garlic and gray shallots, while for pink shallots you have to wait until July or August . As for the red onion, it should be harvested when all the leaves have withered, that is, in July or August . The white onion, however, which is planted in autumn, should be harvested and consumed in spring.