NEW YORK EARLY ONION (Allium cepa) is an exceptional strain that was developed by New York growers to be a long keeper, dependable grower, productive, with good copper wrappers (we like those). Now it has become a favorite of home growers who prefer to grow onions from seed, not sets (don't we all?) because you get better flavor and storage that way. It is sweet and flavorful and pungent, yet mild enough to be eaten raw. Long day type. 90-100 days from transplant. 100 seeds.
GROWING TIPS: Easy to grow with a long storage life, onions are one of the best vegetables for the home gardener. They can be grown in the same position for several years and with a little planning, can be available for nearly all year round eating. Onion seed must be sown as soon as the soil can be worked in the spring. The soil should be moist before sowing so check the soil the day before sowing and water if the soil is dry. Make sure your are planting in an undisturbed location with fertile soil since they have shallow root systems. Use a straw mulch to retain moisture. Keep an eye on the green shoots. Keep weeded and regularly watered to help ward off pests. Sow your seed in drills about 2cm deep with about 1 inch between seeds. If sowing in rows then space the rows about 30cm apart. Keep well weeded and when they are about 5 cm in height thin them so that they are spaced about 10cm apart. Onions are ready to harvest a week after their tops have started to fall over and are yellowed. Use a fork to lift the onions out of the ground. Take care not to damage the skins as this invites decay organisms in to attack the onion flesh. Onions should be harvested on a sunny day, cleaned of any soil still attached to them and then placed on top of the soil where they will dry out with the help of the sun and wind.. Leave the onions out for a few days (until the tops dry out). Remove the tops with a sharp knife about 2cm above the onion top so that decay organisms do not have direct access to the onion bulb. Discard any onions that show signs of decay or damage as these can affect healthy onions if they are stored. If you want to store the onions over winter then you can cure them by hanging them in a well aired place (such as from the roof of a summer house veranda). Mesh bags or strings can be used to group and hang the onions and they should hang for about 3-4 weeks. Spring onions can be harvested when they are about 30-40cm in height and will store for up to a week in the fridge. To prepare spring onions simply remove the outer set of leaves and wash.
DON'T THROW AWAY THOSE ONIONSKINS! Put in cheesecloth and add:
To soup or stew for quercetin richness that lowers LDL cholesterol and blood pressure, fights allergies, reduces inflammation, enhances muscle growth and function, treats depression, some forms of cancer, and other conditions.
Use as a dye achieving colors ranging from various yellows to green to brown depending on the type of onion and the mordant (or none) used.