Shrek: For your information, there’s a lot more to ogres than people think.
Shrek: Example… uh… ogres are like onions!
Donkey: They stink?
Shrek: Yes… No!
Donkey: Oh, they make you cry?
Donkey: Oh, you leave ‘em out in the sun, they get all brown, start sproutin’ little white hairs…
Shrek: NO! Layers. Onions have layers. Ogres have layers. Onions have layers. You get it? We both have layers.
Donkey: Oh, you both have LAYERS. Oh. You know, not everybody like onions. What about cake? Everybody loves cake!
Shrek: I don’t care what everyone else likes! Ogres are not like cakes.
Donkey: You know what ELSE everybody likes? Parfaits! Have you ever met a person, you say, “Let’s get some parfait,” they say, “Hell no, I don’t like no parfait”? Parfaits are delicious!
Shrek: NO! You dense, irritating, miniature beast of burden! Ogres are like onions! End of story! Bye-bye! See ya later.
Donkey: Parfait’s gotta be the most delicious thing on the whole damn planet!
While cake and parfaits are delightful, onions are pretty darn good too. They are completely necessary for soups and stews. You can’t do without them on shish-kabobs, in stir fries, or steak sandwiches. And we can’t forget onions rings! And if you’re really bold (and I am not) you may enjoy them raw on burgers and dogs.
Onions are incredibly easy to grow, so there’s no reason such a multipurpose food shouldn’t be growing out in your yard. Do I say that about every food? I’m sorry, I am just excited to have a hobby that mother nature makes so easy and results in real food!
There are two keys to onions: start them early AND weed them well.
Seeds can be started indoors up to 3 months prior to the last frost. For me that’s way back in early February or maybe even late January! I was definitely not on top of that one! But have no fear. Onions can be started later and do just fine. Last years onions (pictured) did well! They may be smaller, but an onion is an onion. For a $1.50 seed packet I got piles and piles of onions that went into taco salads, salsa, and soups!
I started this years onions last Saturday and they were sprouted by Wednesday. Talk about instant gratification! I was extra frugal in planting them and they are now growing in cream puff containers with holes poked in them and egg cartons tops with holes taped shut. Seems to be working like a charm!
If you end up being really late with your onion planting, you can start them from little bulbs instead of seeds. The choice in variety will be limited, but you’ll give their growth a good jump start.
- Plant your onions outside up to four weeks before the last frost. That’s soon for me! Yay!
- Plant in an area with full sun, rich soil, and good drainage.
- Plant 6 inches apart with rows 12 inches apart.
Mulch well around your onions. Use 2-3 inches of compost or straw to keep weeds down. Onions don’t do a good job fighting weeds for nutrients and water, so that’s your job. Weed them well and they will reward you.
As the bulbs grow, pull soil away from the top of the bulb to promote larger growth. It’s time to harvest when the tops fall over.
After harvest, allow the onions to cure before storage. Place in a warm covered location for 10-14 days. Once cured cut the tops off and clip the roots. Store in a safe place because bruises could cause spoilage. Then use your little guys through the whole winter.
This year my baby onions were gone by the fall. This year there’s more going in the ground and hopefully more heading to storage!Pin It