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Onions are delicious eaten raw, roasted, fried, sautéed or pickled. They’re an essential ingredient in a soffritto, making them a basic building block for an enormous range of Mediterranean dishes.
Part of the allure for a home gardener is that they’re very straightforward to grow. Late autumn is a great time to sow onions because they take time to mature (5-6 months, so they do need a bit of patience). Onions can be sown until the end of winter but shouldn’t be sown too late; so that you can harvest before the hottest January and February weather arrives and brings downy mildew with it.
If sowing in autumn, it’s a good idea to sow into trays of Yates Black Magic Seed Raising Mix, then transplant the seedlings when they’re about 10cm tall, to cut down on weeding. It’s standard practise for onions to be sown direct where they are to grow, but you’ll need to stay on top of the weeds for best results.
Onions can be grown in pots, but you will need to grow few plants to make it worth your while. Consider growing them in small separate pots or one large container.
Before planting, check your climate zone to see which varieties are best for growing in your area.
You don’t have to wait for all the onion bulbs to be full sized before you harvest them. You can pick and use smaller bulbs and leave the rest to grow bigger.
Onions may go to seed if they are not planted at the right time of the year, so make sure you check the label before planting so you don’t spoil your crop!