At all times, onions have been one of the most valuable crops grown by beginners and experienced vegetable growers. Many gardeners purchase ready-made planting material for these purposes, but in order to achieve a guaranteed successful result, it is better to grow the seeds yourself. However, not everyone knows how to grow onion seeds at home. Experienced vegetable growers say that the process of growing planting material does not require special skills.
In this article we will talk about the technology of growing onion seeds, the features of their collection and storage.
Selection of uterine heads
The advantage of self-grown seeds is their high quality. It is due to the fact that the seed is grown in the climatic zone where it will be subsequently used. Onions from their own seeds are more disease resistant and store better. But in order to get the highest quality planting material, you need to choose he althy uterine bulbs. This is done inmultiple steps:
1. The crop is being sorted. The most even samples are selected as uterine bulbs. The size of the head in this case can vary from 5 to 10 centimeters in diameter. It depends on the variety.
2. It is necessary to screen out bulbs with rot, stains and mechanical damage. This will allow you to select a higher quality material.
3. When he althy uterine bulbs are selected, they should be placed in a warm, dry place. They must stay there for at least three months. This will allow them to grow more superficial scales.
Before putting them in storage, the bulbs are heated at a temperature of 40 degrees for eight hours. This will protect them from downy mildew, rot and other diseases.
After heat treatment, the bulbs should be placed in a room with a temperature of 2 to 7 degrees. It is important not to allow hypothermia, because of this, the bow may not shoot arrows.
One month before planting onions in the ground, the room should be heated to 15 degrees. This is necessary in order for the growth processes to start in the planting material. Sorting is carried out again before direct planting. Unusable bulbs with signs of rot and other diseases are rejected.
How to grow onion seeds
Today, there are several different methods of growing planting material. Before you start planting onions for seeds, you should decide how this will be done. Methodsthere are the following:
- sowing seeds in early spring;
- late autumn before the start of winter;
- germination of seedlings and its subsequent planting in the spring.
In the first and last version, onions are sown immediately after the soil has thawed. Using this technique, you can get a rich harvest within one season. It is noteworthy that it is worth starting to prepare seedlings from February. This is necessary in order to land in the ground as early as mid-April.
If the planting method is chosen in autumn, then it is important to know one nuance. Sowing should be done only after the onset of the first frost. The soil in this case will freeze, and this will guarantee that the seeds will not germinate in the fall.
Experienced vegetable growers say that the method of planting is not of particular importance. It is much more important to properly cultivate the soil before sowing.
How to prepare the ground
Before you start planting seeds, you need to decide on the location. It is recommended to opt for sunny places. At the same time, it is worth paying attention to what was planted in the previous year. The soil will be ideal for onions if cucumbers, potatoes or cabbage were previously grown on it. These vegetables contribute to the enrichment of the soil with nitrogen.
If last year these crops did not grow there or a new place was chosen, then it will be enough to enrich it. Both mineral and organic fertilizers are suitable for this purpose.
The next step will be the preparation of the beds. As a rule, they are not made for sowing onions.more than 0.8 meters wide and up to 15 centimeters high. When digging the beds, you need to add compost. Its share should not exceed 3 kilograms per 1 square meter. The compost will make the soil looser and it will breathe better. If fertilizer is applied to the soil, then it must be thoroughly mixed with the soil. As an additional top dressing, superphosphates can be used. Ordinary wood ash would also be an excellent option.
When the preparation of the future beds is completed, it must be treated with copper sulphate. This substance produces a disinfecting effect, which helps prevent a number of onion diseases. A solution of vitriol is made at the rate of 1 tablespoon per 10 liters of water. After processing, the bed must be covered with foil and left for two days.
Before growing onion seeds, the necks of the uterine heads are cut off, thanks to which they will sprout quickly.
Before you start planting, you should mark the bed. This is necessary so that the rows are even, which will facilitate the installation of drip irrigation. Marking can be done using a tape measure and cord tension. When this stage is completed, furrows are made in the garden. Their depth should not exceed two centimeters. It is also important to observe the distance between the furrows. It must be at least 5 centimeters. A smaller distance may negatively affect the size of the future crop.
Seed should be placed in such a way that the seeds do not lie tightly. After that, you need to slightly compact the soil andwater gently.
To speed up germination, the bed can be covered with polyethylene. At the same time, it is important that the distance between it and the surface of the earth is at least 30 centimeters, otherwise the seedlings of the crop may get a sunburn. This method helps to maintain the desired humidity and provide the plant with a favorable microclimate.
The first shoots are small loops. These are onion cotyledons. After germination, 85-90% of the seeds need to be thinned out in rows, keeping a distance of up to two centimeters between them.
It is noteworthy that if several different varieties are planted in the garden at once, then they need to be placed away from each other. This will prevent cross-pollination.
In order to get high-quality planting material, you need not only to properly plant the uterine bulbs in the ground. Equally important is the proper regular care of them. Following a few rules of onion care will allow you to get an excellent final result.
Regular weeding and watering
It is recommended to weed the bed weekly. However, this recommendation is not relevant for all regions. Therefore, experienced vegetable growers are advised to pay attention to the intensity of weed growth. It is noteworthy that the most important weeding will be during the periods of vegetation, growth and flowering of arrows. In addition to weeding, at this time the culture also needs a large amount of water. For irrigation, it is recommended to use drip tapes. Such a water supply system will supply moisture exactly under the roots of the plant and at the same time not wash them out.
Toto protect the plant from a harmful fungus, it is recommended to treat it with Bordeaux liquid. In this case, the solution should be one percent. This tool will protect the onion from downy mildew and other types of rot.
After the bow has launched the arrows, it is important not to let them fall. To do this, stakes are driven in between the onion bushes and several ropes are pulled. They support the arrows and do not let them fall. It is noteworthy that this measure is most relevant for large onion varieties.
How and when to collect seeds
Niger onion can give a large amount of planting material, if you choose the right variety correctly. Thanks to this, you can significantly reduce the cost of seeds and get a good harvest.
In order to get a truly high-quality planting material, you need to know exactly the time and timing of the collection of onion seeds. Cleaning should begin with the appearance of cracked boxes on umbrellas. They contain blackberry seeds. They are black in color. For this feature, they received the name "black onion". It is noteworthy that this procedure consists of several stages. This is due to uneven maturation of bolls and seeds.
Nigella seeds are harvested in the middle of summer, but provided that the weather was dry. However, if the summer turned out to be rainy, then the cleaning may be delayed until mid-August. If for some reason the onion seeds are not ripe, but frost is expected, experienced vegetable growers recommend pulling out the bulbs and letting them ripen indoors. This measurewill help save planting material.
To make it easier to cut the umbrellas from the uterine bulb, scissors are usually used. It is important to understand here that scrapping them manually will not give a good result. This is due to the fact that with this method of collecting onion seeds, seeds may spill onto the ground. In addition, you can leave a small part of the arrow. This will make it easier to store onion seeds. The arrows are tied together and hung over sheets of paper.
After the umbrellas are completely dry, they are peeled by hand, separating the planting material. You can also use water. Umbrellas are poured with it, while the seeds go to the bottom, and the remains of the husk remain on the surface. But this method has a significant disadvantage - a lot of seeds are thrown away with waste.
How to store Nigella
Malok to grow onion seeds - you still need to save them until the next planting season. To ensure greater safety, you need to properly dry them. It will help prevent the formation of rot and seed diseases. In order to save 85-90% of planting material until the next season, it is necessary to dry the onion in three stages:
- After harvesting, keep the seeds for a week in a warm room with a temperature of at least 20 degrees Celsius;
- Second stage - increasing the temperature to +30. Under such conditions, onions are kept for 7 days.
- The final period involves raising the temperature to 35 degrees Celsius. The seeds under its influence are in the room for another week.
Regular household heaters and radiators can be used to maintain the desired temperature.
After that, the seeds are sorted and rejected. Seed material with existing defects and signs of disease damage is rejected. Good heads are folded into wooden boxes or cloth bags. They are placed in a dark room, where they should be stored at an average temperature of 15-20 degrees. Seeds are recommended to be sorted out monthly, since the appearance of rot on the heads is not completely excluded.