Features of growing Dutch winter onions
Oddly enough, but vegetable growers thought of planting onions for the winter relatively recently. Meanwhile, the winter planting of this vegetable is notable for its noticeable advantages and ease of cultivation and care. Especially successful in this variety of winter onions, bred in Holland. Read more about the winter bows of Dutch breeding, read further in the article.
TOP 7 best varieties of Dutch winter onions
Breeders from the Netherlands managed to create a whole line of winter onion varieties, which, varying in taste and other gastronomic conditions, have the general ability to safely winter in the ground at non-critical levels of low temperatures. At the same time, onion plants planted in autumn have better resistance to diseases, shoots are much less active and, most importantly, ripen much earlier. The best qualities of Dutch winter onions are manifested in the following “magnificent seven” varieties.
Did you know? The most popular food in the world is considered to be onion, cultivated in almost 180 countries. The area of its landings is an order of magnitude ahead of the area occupied by wheat.
This precocious onion variety produces bulbs with an average weight of 100 g. They ripen a maximum of 80 days after the appearance of the feathers and have a semicircular shape and a semi-sharp taste. Onion turnips are resistant to diseases and pests and have good keeping quality.
This onion variety is distinguished by a burgundy-violet color of scales of flat or round bulbs. Their ripening period is 105 days. The weight of the ripened turnip ranges from 60 to 80 g, and the arrows of the plant can reach 145 cm in height. The taste of the vegetable is characterized by moderate severity. The yield of this onion variety is stable and depends little on growing conditions.
Distinctive features of this medium-late variety are sweet taste and great juiciness. The elongated bulb Bamberger can reach a weight of 100 g, although on average it weighs 70 g. The fruits are distinguished by good keeping quality.
Turnip of this variety is characterized primarily by its weight, which can reach 160 g. Hercules ripens within 75–80 days after the appearance of feathers, acquire an oval-oblong shape, golden yellow color and a sharp taste of juicy pulp, devoid of bitterness in the aftertaste. The presence of a powerful root system allows this onion not to suffer from drought.
Very tasteful turnip of this variety reaches a weight of 160 g, has universal use, oblong or rounded shape and average ripening speed. Able to withstand fungal diseases well and be stored for a long time, preserving all of its original qualities.
Belonging to early varieties of onions, this plant is able to ripen within 80 days. Its bulb, sometimes reaching a mass of 120 g, still weighs an average of 70 g. Outside, it is covered in flakes of purple with a reddish tint, and inside contains white flesh. The Carmen variety is distinguished by the presence of a rare quercetin flavonoid, which is a biochemical substance with anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic effects.
Corrado is an onion plant characterized by mid-early ripening of yellow-brown fruits, having a rounded shape with flattening in some places and reaching a mass of 120 g. The variety is distinguished by good yield, giving 1 sq. Km. m to 8 kg of fruit.
Advantages and disadvantages of winter varieties
- The growing popularity of winter onion planting is due to the undoubted advantages of winter onion varieties, allowing:
- save from bulky and complicated storage of sevka until spring in storage;
- get bulbs larger than when sowing onions in spring, which is explained by the much better use of favorable spring conditions for growing crops;
- do not water onion plants until mid-May, since the soil retains a supply of spring moisture;
- to get a crop for several weeks (up to one and a half months) earlier than spring onion varieties have time to ripen.
- The disadvantages are much smaller and they are transient, since breeders do not sit idly by and work on improving winter onion varieties. With targeted selection, they want to overcome these shortcomings:
- the yield is slightly lower compared to spring crops, due to the fact that not all planted seedlings successfully tolerate cold in winter;
- slightly shorter shelf life of bulbs.
Features of planting Dutch winter onions
Planting onions in the winter is not a big deal, but it requires care and accuracy when preparing planting material.
Did you know? Although the onion is considered a vegetable, by its sweetness it is ahead of such well-known fruits as apples and even pears. When frying, the masking sweetness of the bitter taste disappears, and the sweet component of the vegetable appears in all its persuasiveness.
Winter planting requirements
First of all, sowing is required to be sorted by size. Experience has shown that it is best to use bulbs for winter planting with a diameter not exceeding 1 cm. Such seeds do not produce arrows, and onions grown from them are better stored. The day before planting in the ground, the seed must be warmed up, for example, with a warm central heating radiator.And before planting, the bulbs are briefly placed in a solution made of 1 tsp. 10% copper sulfate and a bucket of water
Specifics of soil preparation during winter cultivation
Before planting, it is necessary to select a land plot with the best conditions for the onion plant to germinate. This should be a place well-lit by the sun, reliably protected from the winds. In spring, it should not be flooded with melt water. The soil should be hygroscopic and consist of sandy loamy or loamy soils with a neutral acid value. Due attention should be paid to predecessors that were previously grown on the selected site.
Important! Sprouted and dried bulbs should not be planted under the winter.
For onions, the best of them are presented:
- grain crops (with the exception of oats).
Do not plant onions after:
- any bulbous plants;
Onion plants should not be grown in the same place earlier than 4 years have passed since their previous planting. The soil for onion planting is prepared ahead of time in 2 weeks, for which it is dug up as deep as possible. And the beds should be built at least 20 cm in height, which will protect the seedlings from freezing in a snowless winter.
Digging the soil and equipment of beds is combined with the introduction of organic fertilizers such as humus or mineral fertilizers in the form of:
- potassium salt in the amount of 15 g per 1 square. m;
- Ecofoski - 30 g per 1 sq. km. m;
- superphosphate - 20 g per 1 sq. km. m;
- Adding wood ash to the soil is also beneficial.
Planting and growing technology
Since winter onions should go into wintering with a developed root system and greenery in the form of at least 7 formed feathers, it should be planted in the ground at least a month before frost and freezing the soil. These terms vary greatly depending on the climatic conditions of specific regions, but most often this happens in early October. When planting, the sowing is not deeper than 4 cm deep
Otherwise, a strong elongation of the shape of the bulbs is possible. Plantings should be watered and then mulched with a thin layer of dry humus, sawdust or chopped peat. Before the onset of cold weather, the mulch layer thickens, and in spring, with the onset of heat, the mulch is removed for better heating of the beds.The minimum distance between planted seeds should be 10 cm, and the row spacing should be 25 cm
The subtleties of care
Activities for the care of winter onion plantings are divided into autumn and spring-summer periods. As already mentioned, in the fall, before the onset of cold weather, plantings are mulched. In regions with frosty winters, it is useful to cover the plantings with special white light-transmitting agrofibre before the onset of stable cold weather. In the spring, before the growing season, the covering material or mulch is removed.
Important! In no case should you cover the onion plantings with a plastic film, since it, unlike agrofibre, does not allow air to pass through.
Onions, being a moisture-loving crop, need moist soil. However, it is necessary to carefully observe the water balance, avoiding the drying out of the soil or its overmoistening. That is, onions are watered purely as necessary. After each rain or watering, the soil must be loosened, combining this action with weeding the weeds. Loosening prevents the formation of a crust on the ground, which prevents the access of oxygen to the root system.It is also important to feed onion plantings with fertilizers. Immediately after the spring elimination of the mulching layer, the soil should be enriched with urea at the rate of 20 g per square meter. m. It is useful to crush the ground with a thin layer of wood ash. After the formation of 4 feathers, the following dressing is carried out by means of a mixture of phosphorus and potassium fertilizers in an amount of 20 g and 10 g, respectively, per square meter. m beds.
Almost all Dutch winter onion varieties have good resistance against fungal diseases and a good resistance to pest attacks. However, an onion fly can create a serious danger to them, especially if the plants are weakened by improper agricultural technology. The larvae of this fly cause rotting of the bulbs and yellowing of the foliage.As a preventive measure, apply soil sprinkling with wood ash and watering the earth with saline
Fight onion flies with insecticides in the form of:
- "Karate of Zeon";
Of the diseases, winter onions most often affect peronosporosis, especially if the weather is wet. The diseased plant noticeably slows down in growth, its feathers turn yellow and dry, covering in wet weather with a purple-grayish coating.In order to avoid this disease, onion plantings must be prophylactically treated every 2 weeks with contact fungicides in the form of copper chloride or Oxyoma. In cases of disease, onion plantings are treated with systemic fungicides "Ridomil" or "Acrobat".
Harvesting and storage
To correctly determine when it is time to harvest winter onions, experts recommend paying attention to the condition of onion feathers. If they all turned yellow and leaned to the ground, then it's time to harvest. To do this, choose dry and sunny weather. Since most often winter onions are harvested in the middle of summer, this weather is not uncommon during this period.
They dig out onions from the ground most often with the help of a pitchfork. For the best preservation of the crop, experts recommend stopping watering the beds a couple of weeks before harvesting. Such onions are better dried and then do not rot in the storage place. For the same reason, the harvested crop should not be sent immediately to the vegetable store, but it must first be dried thoroughly.
Bulbs are stored at home, usually in:
- wooden crates;
- drawers made of plastic;
- vegetable nets;
- fabric bags;
- nylon stockings.
More recently, winter onion cultivation has begun to grow rapidly expanding its circle of followers. The obvious advantages of this method noticeably outweigh even such a significant indicator as a slightly lower yield.