LaSalle (Onion/main season)
Latin Name: Allium cepa
Item #: 211L
COOKING ONIONS for fresh market and export
Approx. 3 to 5 lbs/1.5 to 3 kg, per acre; oz/28 gr sows 200 ft/60 m Sow indoors Mar.1st. in flats, just like Spanish onions and transplant outdoors May 1st , 2 - 3 in/5 - 7 cm apart, using a control for onion maggots. Sow outdoors May 1st @ 20 seeds per ft/30 cm; 1/2 in/13 mm deep, cover with fine soil and firm. Thin 2 to 3 in/5 - 7 cm. apart. Fertilize and keep moist.
MARKET GARDENERS: Sow between April. 5th and May 10th. Late May or early June sowings will not mature properly by fall. Sow at a depth of 1/4 to 1/2 in/6 - 12 mm, depending on moisture available in the soil at time of planting. Use a scatter shoe on your seeder to space the seeds in a row about 1/2 - 3/4 in/12 - 18 mm wide.
SOWING RATE: Approx. 12 onions per ft/30 cm on medium depths of muck and high land, or 18 onions per ft/30 cm on deep rich muck soils. Plant in single or double rows, 16 in/40 cm apart. Growers must check germination, seed size and seed count before planting. Seed size varies up to 30% from year to year, on the same variety. Do not try to use one planter plate for all type year after year.
SMUT CONTROL: Use a liquid or dry fungicide, combined with a good "cut worm" control when seeding.
FERTILIZE: Many growers apply lime to their soil to release the nutrients - check your soil before fertilizing. Disc in approx. 450 lbs/200 kg of 10 - 20 - 30 per acre, on muck soils or approx. 600 lbs/275 kg per acre of the same analysis on mineral soil before sowing. Side-dress with 33 - 0 - 0 after plants are 6 in/15 cm high, once a month, if crop receives at least 1 in/25 mm of water per week. Onions have a shallow root, system and should be sub-irrigated frequently, throughout the growing season.
HARVEST: Storage life of the onion is lengthened by several important things: (a) use a sprout inhibitor (30% maleic hydrazide) when onions are still green and about 50% "down". (b) cure bulbs properly in the field for 10 days by pulling and wind rowing during dry weather. This prevents fall rains from causing heart rot in later varieties which remain upright till mid Sept. If heavy rains occur at harvest bend tops down at the neck. (c) Make sure the neck is dry before removing tops for storage.