All About Onions

Soil Type: Loamy 
Soil pH: Neutral 
Sun/Shade: Full Sun 

Planting 

  • Plant onion seeds 4-6 weeks before the last frost. 
  • Plant onions in well-drained nitrogen-rich soil. 
  • Till in compost & manure before planting. 
  • Sow seeds in rows ½-1 inch deep and 4-6 inches apart. 
  • Make sure temperatures don’t go below 20° F. 

Caring 

  • Plant Food onions every couple of weeks to get larger bulbs. 
  • Onions should only receive 1 inch of water per week (including precipitation). 
  • If you want your onions sweet, water them more often. 
  • Add a layer of mulch to help retain moisture and to prevent weed growth. 
  • If your onion plant develops a flower stalk, cut or pull away the “bolted” onion. Storage for bolted onions is impossible so use the onion as soon as possible. 

Harvesting 

  • When the tops of the onions turn yellow, use the back of a rake to bend the tops and loosen the soil to start the drying process. After 2-3 days, or the next sunny day, turn them up and let them cure on dry ground in the sun. 
  • When the tops turn brown, pull away the onions. 

Storing 

  • If you are going to store your onions, let them dry for 3-4 weeks first. 
  • Store onions in temperatures between 40-50° F. 

Crockpot French Onion Soup 
makes 8-10 servings 

4 onions, thinly sliced 
4 garlic cloves, minced 
4 tablespoons of butter 
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 
2 tablespoons brown sugar 
3 tablespoons flour 
1 cup white wine 
8 cups beef stock 
2 tablespoons fresh thyme 
1 bay leaf 
salt and pepper to taste 
baguette slices 
gruyere cheese, sliced 

Set crockpot to high. Add onions, garlic, brown sugar, butter, salt, balsamic vinegar and mix well. Cover and let cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally (cook until onions are slightly caramelized and brown around the edges). Add flour and stir in thoroughly. Let set for 5 minutes. Add white wine, beef stock, thyme, bay leaf, and pepper. Turn the crockpot to low, cover and cook for 6-8 hours. 

Before serving, slice baguette bread. Fill soup bowls to the top, then cover with baguette bread and sliced gruyere cheese. Set under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, or until gruyere cheese is golden brown. 

“The onion and its satin wrappings is among the most beautiful of vegetables and is the only one that represents the essence of things. It can be said to have a soul.” 
- Charles Dudley Warner, ‘My Summer in a Garden’ (1871)