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Cultivation of Onion

Climate: Onions love mild climates(no extreme cool or sun) without rains after bulb formation. It will adapted to a wide range of temperatures(12C to 25C).

What amount of sun do onions need to develop?
Onions favor full sun, abundant soil dampness, and organic rich, well drained soil. They will survive if planted in partial shade, however the onions will be tiny and the plant will be more defenseless to bugs and diseases. Onions can't develop in full shade.

Soil: Onions grow better in loose, loamy soil which are rich organic matter rather than heavy clay soils.

Seed: 1-4kg per acre.
What number of onions would you be able to grow on a one acre of land?
Cultivators usually plant 75,000 to 120,000 onions for each acre of land in single columns with 2 inch between plants in the line and 24 inch between lines. normal yield of 70-100 Quinta per acre.

What number of seeds are in a gram?
Onion    250 - 400 seeds/1g,400,000 seeds/1kg

To what extent do red onions take to develop?
Green onions can be harvested in 20 to 30 days after planting. Dry onions can take 100 to 175 days to achieve full development.

Spacing: Space the plants 4 to 5 inches separated in the line to develop large onions or space 2 to 2 inches separated and harvest each alternate plant as a green onion. Enable 12 to 18 inches between columns or space onions 6 to 8 inches separated every direction on beds.

Land Preparation: When your seeds are planted in your nursery, begin to set up your land.
Plough your soil. Separate all pieces of soil because onions prefer loose soils. Mix well decayed compost. Smooth the soil surface.

Sowing techniques: Onion is raised by different strategies, depending upon the circumstances of the farmers. These strategies are (a) transplanting, (b) seed sowing (c) planting knobs in the field. In any case, the strategy for nursery raising and ensuing transplanting is the best for high quantity and better quality.

a. Transplanting: When the seedlings are 6-8 weeks old and 15 cm high, they are ready to transplant in primary field at a separation of 15-20 cm  between rows and 7-10 cm between plants. Irrigate after transplanting. The transplanting ought to be done either in early hours or late at night to maintain wetness of seedlings. Treat the saplings to avoid  infections.

b. Direct sowing: Sow the seed 2-3 cm between seed to seed at 30 cm row to row. After 6-8 weeks thin extra plants and use gap filling.This technique requires more field work for weeding at 10 days interim.

c. Planting knobs in the field: Small and medium measured knobs  around 10-12 Quinta are dibbled keeping 30 cm between lines and 15 cm between knobs. Irrigation need to give within one to two days after dibbling.

Inter-crops :
Onion helps Fruit trees,tomatoes,capsicum peppers,potatoes, cabbage, cauliflower, Carrots. 
Marigold,Mint,Carrot, tomato helps onion.

Normal yield of  onion 70-100 Quinta per acre of land. Record harvest is 195 Quinta per acre.

Pest control:
  • Bacterial/viral infections occur due to water stagnation, over moist conditions and no proper circulation of air.
  • Four kg of Neem seeds are powdered and dissolved in 100 litres of water and filtered. Add 10 litres of cow urine and mix it with 50 gm of soapnut powder. Spraying this extract every 15 days will control many pests and diseases.
  • Install light traps one for every half acre from 6-10 pm to overcome moths laying eggs and remove traps before flowers start to appear. As a preventive measure one can install yellow sticky traps but if previous crop had severe infestation its better to invest in light traps
  • Spray diluted Neem oil or Tobacco decoction.
Important points:
1. To get bigger sized bulbs in onion, 15 kg of groundnut cake is powdered, placed in muslin cloth, tied and kept in the irrigation water channel.
2. Bunching local small onions and hanging to the roof enhances shelf-life. Hanging prevents rodent damage and the higher temperature and air circulation near the roof have a 
curing effect.
3. Apply two cart loads (300 kg) of wood ash at 25 days after planting to control onion blight
4. Cow dung is dissolved in irrigation water channels to control onion blight.
5. Broadcasting of 15 kg rock salt per acre of onion crop will improve the color of the onion bulbs. This has to be done when the crop is 30 days old.
6. Rolling an empty drum of about 10 kg weight in onion field 10-15 days before harvest facilitates removal of stalk and physical breaking of photosynthesis from the bulb.

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