ONIONS: (Allium cepa) A very ancient Old World crop—records exist telling how many onions were allocated to the laborers building the pyramids, and they were a basic ration to Greek hoplites. Long-day onions tend to do best in the North and short-day types do best in the South; the dividing line is at about the 35th parallel. Onions grow best in mellow soil, rich and possessing much organic matter. The tiny seeds are usually started indoors, although they may be direct sown if conditions and timing are suitable. Spring-planted onions are started about 9-12 weeks prior to setting out, which may be several weeks before the last frost date. When setting onion plants in their final location, allow about 6-8 inches from their neighbors, if in beds; or 4 inches if in rows, spacing rows at least a foot apart. Apply a heavy mulch to control weeds, as onions will not grow large in competition with weeds. Harvest onions when the green tops begin to fall over; cure several weeks and store at cool room temperature. LEEKS: (Brassica oleracea) Here’s a cabbage-relative with a difference: the main crop is the stem, which has been selected over the centuries to grow as an oblate sphere, about the size of an apple. Well grown, this stem is juicy and crisp, and tastes similar to a cabbage heart. The leaves are edible too, especially when young. This crop tolerates heat better than most cabbage relatives, and can be grown straight through the summer in most areas of the country.
COOK IT! Onion Recipes HERE
COOK IT! Leek Recipes HERE
GROW IT! Onion Growing Tips HERE
GROW IT! Leek Growing Tips HERE