THIS is the date to plant the onion: plant it THIS DAY and you’ll get more crops than in other years!

Autumn bulb planting is a time-honored tradition in our latitudes, commencing as early as August. However, it’s crucial to recognize that there’s still ample time to engage in this gardening ritual, provided you opt for the right variety. Drawing from her extensive experience, Mrs. Michaela generously shared insights gained over many years.

**Selecting the Ideal Variety: The Shakespeare Bulb**
For those who find themselves undertaking autumn planting later than planned, the Shakespeare variety comes highly recommended. Planting these bulbs is feasible from September until mid-November, contingent upon weather conditions. Following a nugget of wisdom from my grandmother, planting bulbs roughly three weeks before the onset of severe frosts is optimal. This allows ample time for robust rooting, ensuring their survival through the winter.

**The Magical Date for Onion Planting**
Unbeknownst to many, our grandmothers adhered to a magical date for planting onions—November 11th. However, variations in climate necessitate caution, with temperatures needing to drop to around 8 degrees Celsius. Planting onions prematurely may lead to germination followed by premature rotting. Historical practices favored the use of pearl onions, planted in autumn for a splendid first harvest come spring. Varieties like staggered onions and shallots have proven successful as well.

**Winter Care for Onions: A Crucial Step**
During winter months, providing cover for onions with branches, a layer of peat, or fallen leaves proves beneficial. This enhances thermal regulation in the soil, safeguarding onions from freezing. In milder winters, such measures may be unnecessary, highlighting the adaptability of onions to varying conditions.

**Autumn Planting Techniques: Key Considerations**
In autumn planting, bulbs must withstand intense frosts, thus necessitating planting at a depth of 8 to 10 cm. This differs from spring planting when bulbs should protrude from the soil. Individual bulbs should be spaced approximately 4-5 cm apart in rows with a minimum gap of 25 cm. Choosing the right location is crucial, with former legume, pea, tomato, pumpkin, or cucumber plots providing optimal conditions.

**Soil Enhancement for Autumn Onions: The Vic Siatu Approach**
In instances where planting onions where root vegetables once thrived is unavoidable, introducing the Vic Siatu plant to the area first proves beneficial. Rapid growth even during shorter days and resilience to colder climates characterize this plant. Not only does it improve soil quality, but it also replenishes nitrogen—an essential nutrient for onion growth. The result is onions with a richer and more aromatic flavor.

**Winter Onion Varieties: The Green Advantage**
Winter onion varieties are predominantly cultivated for their verdant tops, harvested early in spring, surpassing classic onion varieties by several weeks. Noteworthy are the young shoots that emerge in spring. While storage capacity may be slightly reduced, certain exceptions exist among varieties.

**Proven Methods for Protection and Enhancement**
A time-tested method for preserving garlic involved letting bulbs rest at 20 degrees for a week before immersing them in a saline solution for three hours. Today, gardeners swear by soaking bulbs in a 5% Sulky-K solution for 8-12 hours. This fortifies onions against diseases, freezing, and bolsters their overall strength.

**Optimal Moisture Management for Spring Growth**
Insufficient spring moisture can be detrimental to onions. In such cases, direct watering around the base, avoiding the green stem, proves beneficial. Ensuring adequate moisture fosters robust spring growth.

**A Year-Round Onion Harvest: The Ultimate Reward**
While not suited for extended storage like summer onions, the advantage of planting in this manner is a continuous onion harvest throughout the year. Consuming the summer harvest from spring to the onset of winter, and transitioning to winter onions from spring through summer ensures a fresh harvest year-round.

Embarking on the journey of autumn onion planting requires careful consideration of varieties, planting techniques, and post-planting care. By following these guidelines, you can transform your garden into a year-round onion haven, reaping the rewards of each season’s unique offerings.

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