You probably know that onions are a common ingredient in many kitchens worldwide, but did you ever wonder that do onions grow underground? The majority of people are aware that onions come from bulbs. However, only some are aware that these bulbs truly grow underground.
Suppose you reside in a frigid region, such as Canada or Russia. In that case, you might be accustomed to seeing your onions frozen over the winter. However, what’s underneath are underground onion seedlings. I’m delighted you’re here, and I hope we can learn how these underground bulbs grow into the onions we know and love.
We’ll look at the unique growing process of onions, from seed to harvest. This article will change your perspective on the common onion, whether you’re a farmer, a home grower, or a curious food enthusiast.
Do Onions Grow Underground?
A typical vegetable in many gardens, onions are also relatively simple to cultivate. Being a type of bulb vegetable, they have an underground organ called a bulb that stores the plant’s nutrients and energy. Both the plant’s growing medium and its edible component are the bulb.
Onion bulbs develop into tap roots in the ground, which are underground stems. Onion tops emerge from the ground. The plant’s tips, which resemble green onions, are a portion of the onion. When they are still young, onion tops are harvested.
The onion will develop more leaves once it has grown to its full size. No flavor can be detected in onion leaves. Onions come in various types, and the typical white onion is one of them. Below I have also discussed different varieties of onions.
The onion bulb may be yellow, red, or purple in hue. Onions of various varieties can grow for either six or eighteen months. Onions come in a variety of sorts and varieties. Since white onions are less wet than other varieties, they are typically chosen.
Onion plants must grow in organically rich soil that drains well. You can grow onion assets, seedlings, or seeds. The finest growers are those with an extended growing season since seeds take the longest to mature.
The best place to grow onions is in a bright zone with at least six hours of sunlight. In rows roughly 12 to 18 inches apart, they should be placed at 3 to 4 inches intervals. Throughout the growing season, watering should be constant and average 1 inch per week.
When the plants’ tops start to droop and turn brown, onions are ready to be picked. Before storing them, they should be dug out of the ground and given time to dry out in the sun.
How Do Onions Grow Underground?
Onion Stages of Growth
Generally speaking, onion plants need space to thrive, lots of sunlight, soil that drains well, and regular watering. A plentiful onion yield will be ensured by proper care and attention. Here are the key steps that take place in the onion stages of growth:
- Preparing the Soil and Planting Onions
- Germination and Early Growth
- Vegetative Stage
- Bulbing Stage
- Harvesting and Storage
- Troubleshooting Common Onion Growing Issues
Preparing the Soil and Planting Onions
It’s crucial to ensure that the soil is well-drained and has an acidity value between 6 and 7 before planting onions. Additionally, the ground must be loose and uncompacted. To increase the fertility of the soil, add well-rotted manure to the earth.
It is ideal for planting onions in the cooler seasons, such as early fall or spring. Onions should be planted in rows, with the bulbs spaced 4-6 inches apart and roughly an inch deep. 12 to 18 inches should separate the rows.
Following planting, the soil should be kept consistently moist by regularly watering onions. To ensure that the onions have adequate room to grow properly, they may need to be thinned out as they mature.
To prevent weeds from stealing nutrients and water from the onions, keeping the soil clear of them is critical. Applying mulch around the onions can stop the weed from growing and keep the soil in place.
Finally, during the growing season, onions should receive frequent fertilization. For this use, a balanced, slow-release fertilizer is excellent.
About 90 to 120 days are needed for onions to attain harvest maturity.
Germination and Early Growth
In onion gardening, the germination stage is when a seed starts to grow roots and leaves called a seedling. Usually, this happens when the basis takes in water and starts to swell. After that, the seed coat splits open, and the embryo plant comes out. During this stage, the onion seedling will grow its first leaves, called contingent.
The time after an onion seed germinates but before the plant is fully developed is known as the early growth stage. During this stage, the onion seedlings will continue to grow and develop, making roots and more leaves.
They will also start to make bulbs, the part of an onion plant that can be eaten. During this stage, the growth and development rate will depend on the onion being grown, how good the soil is, and the weather.
The vegetative stage of onion growth is when the plant is actively making leaves and roots but hasn’t started making bulbs yet.
During this stage, the onion plant requires consistent moisture, adequate nutrition, and proper temperature to grow healthy and strong. Proper care during the vegetative stage is essential for the plant to produce a good bulb yield at harvest time. This means giving them enough light and fertilizer and preventing the spread of disease and pests.
As the plant develops, onion bulbs form underground. The onion plant begins as a seed, which grows into an above-ground sprout. The component plant picked and eaten is the component ant’s underground bulbs, which form as it grows.
Toward the end of the plant’s growth cycle, the bulb develops. Onion variety, soil quality, and weather are only a few examples of the variables that affect the size and quality of the onion bulbs.
In gardening, onions grow underground with the appropriate care and attention to guarantee healthy bulb development. This includes giving the plants enough water, fertilizer, and the right amount of space and support.
Harvesting and Storage
The final phase of growing onions underground is harvesting and storage, which entails gathering the fully developed onions from the garden and putting them away to preserve their quality and lengthen life.
When the onion bulbs are fully grown, they can be dug up from the ground and dried in the sun for a couple of days to harden the skins.
After going through this curing process, the onions can be cut into smaller pieces and kept in a cold, dry area with sufficient airflow, like a pantry or root cellar. The onions will stay fresh and usable for several months as a result.
Do All Onions Grow Underground?
No, not all onions grow underground. While some onions, such as shallots, bulb onions, and scallions, do grow underground, other types do not.
Common onions, those that are typically found in the produce section of the grocery store, are an example of onions that do not grow underground. Common onions, or Allium cepa, are grown from seeds, and their bulbs grow above ground.
Common Problems With Growing Onions
Germination, bulb formation, and illness are a few problems that might arise during onion growth.
Using outdated seed or seed that has been improperly stored can result in germination issues. Use a new source and keep it in a cold, dry spot to address this issue.
Bulb formation issue
Planting onions underground too profoundly, not fertilizing them enough, or not watering them enough can all lead to problems with bulb production. Plant the onions at the proper depth, use the right amount of fertilizer, and water them frequently to resolve this problem.
Pest and Disease
Infections from fungi or pests might result in disease. Maintain a clean, clutter-free garden and use crop rotation to ward off pests and fungus infestations to prevent disease.
These pests can harm the bulbs, impeding healthy bulb development. Use floating row covers to cover the onions and dry the soil around them to prevent onion maggots.
Onion leaves may become harmed by the leek moth, a pest. Use floating row coverings and keep the space around the onions clean and debris-free to ward off leek moths.
Onion leaves may become yellow and eventually die from the fungus known as downy mildew. Ensure the onions have enough air circulation and don’t overwater them to prevent downy mildew.
Onion bulbs may decay due to the fungus known as white rot. Plant the onions in well-draining soil and refrain from overwatering to prevent white breakdown.
Tips for Growing Onions Underground
Onions can be grown underground by planting bulb onions or sets, small bulbs grown for one season, in well-draining soil in an area with full sun.
Before planting, the ground needs to be modified with organic material. Onions should be planted at a depth of about 2 inches and spaced 4 inches apart. These are a small number of tips but you can explore my other post for better insight.
They should be kept well-watered, especially during dry spells, and fertilized regularly with a balanced fertilizer.
To promote bulb growth, the tops of the onion plants should be bent over or “topped” when they reach about 6 inches tall. Onions are ready to pick once the tops appear to fall over and turn brown.
Varieties of Onions That Grow Underground
Onions come in a wide range of kinds, each having unique qualities. Typical types include:
- Yellow onions
Yellow onions have a strong, pungent flavor and are the most popular. They work well for caramelizing and are frequently used as the foundation for soups and stews.
- White onions
White onions are a fantastic option for raw foods like salads and salsa since they have a milder flavor and are sweeter than yellow onions.
- Red onions
These are deeper red and have a milder flavor than yellow onions. They can also be grilled or roasted as a side dish. They are frequently used raw in salads and sandwiches.
- Sweet onions
These onions taste mild and are pretty sweet. They taste delicious eaten fresh and can be used in cooking to give soups and stews more sweetness.
Small onions, known as shallots, are gentler and sweeter than ordinary onions. They are a common ingredient for vinaigrettes and sauces in French cooking.
Used frequently in soups and stews, leeks are like onions but taste gentler.
Green onions, commonly called scallions, have a softer flavor than ripe onions. They frequently serve as a garnish or are included in meals to impart a light onion flavor.
Each type of onion has a distinctive flavor and texture that makes it ideal for usage in particular cuisines. The easiest way to choose an onion variety is to consider the recipe you’re creating or your personal preferences.
Do Red Onions Grow Underground?
The onions in question are known as Red Onions or Spring Onions. Scallions are another name for these. They resemble little golden onion bulbs. Red onions are often grown beneath the ground in rows six inches to a foot apart.
They not only taste fantastic, but they also smell good. They can be consumed either raw or cooked and are simple to grow. You only need to put the seeds in a bright area of your garden.
The soil must be loose and well-drained. The bulbs will require 70 hours of sunlight every week to grow appropriately.
Water the soil a few days after planting until the ground is dry from water seepage. If you overwater the plants, the onions will rot.
Then the onions as soon as they begin to develop so that they do not compete with one another. Gently pick weeds from between the rows using your fingers. They develop swiftly. They show the earliest flowering symptoms in around three to four weeks.
They’ll keep growing till they’re ready. They can be harvested when they grow two to three inches tall. Keep the onions in the ground until they are fully mature.
Do Brown Onions Grow Underground?
Yes, brown onions do grow underground. Brown onions, or Allium cepa, are a type of bulbous vegetable that is commonly found in grocery stores and used in many different types of cooking.
Brown onions grow in a similar fashion to other bulbous vegetables like garlic, shallots, and leeks. They are usually planted in the fall and will overwinter in the ground before beginning to sprout in the early spring.
Do Spring Onions Grow Underground?
The typical height at which spring onions are gathered is 6 inches. They grow underground during the winter, and they appear above ground when the weather warms up.
Some people with green thumbs may want to attempt cultivating their spring onions. In any case, you can always buy them already established in a garden. Supermarkets, grocery stores, and farmer’s markets stock them year-round.
Although you can plant them in the fall or winter, the best time is in the early spring before the weather turns too cold. To thrive, they require a great deal of sunlight.
Therefore planting them on bright, sunny days is ideal. Reduce onion size by thinning the seedlings as soon as they emerge.
Maintain this method until the plants reach a height of two feet. The onions are mature enough to harvest; with careful care, they should keep producing for years to come.
Do Onions Grow Underground or Above? Final Thoughts
After reading this article, I hope you have enough knowledge to tell which part of the onion grows underground and which part grows above the ground, with the overall growth process of onions and how you can cultivate them in your garden.
So, do onions grow underground? In conclusion, Onion plants grow as underground seedlings that sprout leaves only when they are ready to be planted in soil. I hope you liked this article!