Onion & Leek Plants
Onion Plants-Ailsa Craig
105 days. This English heirloom is a blue ribbon winner! This huge 2 pound, 6-8 inch, straw yellow globe onion is amazingly sweet and firm for its size. A long-day sweet Spanish type, Ailsa Craig is reported to be a longer storing onion than other sweet Spanish types. Perfect for burgers and salads.
Onion plants are shipped directly from the grower January through early May, according to where you live.
Sorry, not available to Hawaii, Idaho, or Canada.
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SOIL PREPARATION: Onions require full sun and good soil drainage. Choose a location that gets plenty of direct sun. Onions grow best in raised beds or raised rows at least 4 inches high and 20 inches wide. The soil should be loose and crumbly. If it is compacted, work in compost to improve aeration and drainage. Onions prefer soil with a ph between 6.2 and 6.8.
PLANTING: Plant your onions 4 to 6 weeks before the last estimated spring freeze. For the best growth and yield, onions need fertilizer right from the start. Use a fertilizer with the middle number higher than the other two, such as 10-20-10. Plant the onions 1 inch deep and no deeper, as this will inhibit their ability to bulb. If you want the onions to grow to maturity, space them 4 inches apart. If you prefer to harvest some earlier as green onions, space them 2 inches apart and pull every other onion during the growing season, leaving the rest to grow to maturity. Fertilize with ammonium sulfate 21-0-0 in alkaline soils, or calcium nitrate 15.5-0-0 in acidic soils every 2 to 3 weeks after planting, at a rate of 1/2 cup per 10 feet of row.
HARVESTING: When the tops of the onions turn brown or yellow and fall over, it is time to harvest. Pull onions early in the morning on a sunny day. Dry the onions in the sun for two days. To prevent sunscald, lay the tops of one row over the bulbs of another.
CURING: How long your onions will keep depends on how you treat them after harvest. They must be dried thoroughly to avoid problems with rot. If left outside when the weather is dry, this will take two or three days. The entire neck (where the leaves meet the bulb) should be dry, all the way to the surface of the onion, and should not slide when you pinch it. The skin will take on a uniform texture and color. If rain is expected, you will need to dry your onions indoors. Spread them out in a well ventilated area with room to breathe. Drying indoors may take longer than outdoors. Once the onions are thoroughly dry, clip the roots and cut back the tops to one inch. Now they are ready to eat.
STORAGE: Store onions in a cool, dry, well ventilated location, such as a garage or cellar. Place them in mesh bags or netting to permit airflow. Periodically check for any soft onions, and remove them to avoid deterioration of the others. As a general rule, sweeter onions don't store as long as more pungent ones, so use the sweeter onions first.