Have you ever, after the purchase of onions from your favorite mallam, thought of how those onions even came to be? Or have you ever given much thought to the kind of income that those people get off of it? The funny thing is, we have so much associated the business of onions with our northerner friends and see it as a menial job so much that it has blinded us to the number of people that the onion business is keeping their mind, soul, and body together and even helping them live choice lives.
Just go online or check the lives of those northerners well and you would be surprised at the number of them who have made it big and are living chiefly lives all because of this spice.
If you would be tempted to go into the business and follow in the path of the onion-made wealthier people, here are a few things you might want to know first.
1. Types of Onions
Onions may look alike being those leafy vegetables with a red-like scaly cover all of the time but under these layers lie a variety of differences. Basically, there are two types of onions to be considered and these are the short day and the long day growing onions. One of their many differences, among others, is the difference in their periods of growth. When looking to go into the business, look for those onions that are bulb-like and are perennial too. These ones grow faster and give a greater yield than any other.
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If you want to get the best yield, grow your onions via their seeds first in a nursery then transplant them to the field later. There is no harm in growing the straight to the field but then, you might have many more problems with spacing than you would have had if you had gone for the nursery option. For onion plants, the best spacing is usually half an inch apart and three-eight inches deep while the rows stay apart with a length of 15 inches.
At the early stage of their lives, onion seeds would require a lot of water for survival therefore you should be on the ground with artificial irrigation if the rainfall is not forthcoming. Water the plant frequently to ensure good retention but not too much to prevent leaching and other problems. Regular weeding is important to reduce the spread of diseases and help maximize the nutrients that would be available to your plant. Natural roots builders should also be added to the onion plants regularly for better formation
4. Onions Harvesting
Onions are exceptionally fast-growing plants, especially those that we have suggested for you above. Bulb onions would usually be ready for harvest after the first three months of planting and would begin to turn yellow around this time. If you would like to make the ripening faster, you can induce it by breaking off the top of the onion. Don’t wait for your onions to start flowering before you decide that it is time to harvest.
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Onion farming can be done at any time in the year provided there is a good plan for irrigation and there is a good flow of nutrients in the soil but it is advised to start cultivating around mid-October.
If you are not dedicated and hardworking, onion farming is not for you but if you are willing to go the whole nine yards, you’ll be smiling to the bank in no time.