The Vegetable Garden

    Onion - When To Plant

      When To Plant

      Sweet corn requires warm soil for germination (above 55°F for standard sweet corn varieties and about 65°F for supersweet varieties). Early plantings of standard sweet corn should be made at, or just before, the mean frost-free date unless you use special soil-warming protection such as clear polyethylene mulch film.

      For a continuous supply of sweet corn throughout the summer, plant an early variety, a second early variety and a main-crop variety in the first planting. For example, you may wish to select Sundance (69 days) for the first early variety, Tuxedo (75 days) for the second early variety and Incredible (83 days) for the main-crop variety. Make a second planting and successive plantings of your favorite main-crop or late variety when three to four leaves have appeared on the seedlings in the previous planting. Plantings can be made as late as the first week of July.

      Onions can be planted as soon as the garden can be tilled in the spring, usually late March or early April in prime regions for producing onions. Good fertility, adequate soil moisture and cool temperatures aid development.

      Spacing & Depth

      To produce green onions, plant the larger sets 1 _ inches deep and close enough to touch one another (green onions are harvested before crowding becomes a problem). To produce dry onions, plant the smaller sets 1 inch deep, with 2 to 4 inches between sets. Allow 12 to 18 inches between rows. If sets are 2 inches apart, harvest every other plant as green onions so that bulb development of the remaining sets is not impeded by neighboring plants.

      Plant in fertile soil in early spring. Space the plants 4 to 5 inches apart in the row to produce large-sized bulbs (closer spacing significantly decreases bulb size) or space 2 to 2 _ inches apart and harvest every other plant as a green onion. Allow 12 to 18 inches between rows or space onions 6 to 8 inches apart in all directions in beds. Set the transplants 1 to 1 _ inches deep and apply 1 cup per plant of a starter-fertilizer solution.

      Care

      Keep onions free from weeds by shallow cultivation and hoeing. To develop long, white stems for green onions, slightly hill the row by pulling the loose soil toward the onions with a hoe when the tops are 4 inches tall. Do not hill onions that are to be used as dry onions. Hilling may cause the necks of the stored bulb to rot.

      Weeds and grass compete with the onion plants for nutrients and moisture during the growing season. Remove all weeds and grass by diligent and repeated shallow cultivation and hoeing. Side-dressing with fertilizer may be necessary.