Red Onion –
The onion bulbs produced by ‘Red Zeppelin’ are large, dark red-skinned and have pungent flavor. This vigorous, hybrid, long-day onion (110-115 days) is an excellent keeper that’s ideal for slicing and eating on hamburgers, sandwiches, or in salads. It’s also a great variety for market gardens and cooking.
The garden onion is a biennial or perennial widely grown as a root vegetable. Long day selections like this grow well in many states across the United States, particularly central or southern states. The plants have long, waxy green leaves that are hollow and upright. If allowed to flower, they produce long stems topped with round clusters of white flowers.
Garden onions require full sun and regular water. Grow them in loose, rich, well-drained soil with a neutral pH. There are a number of pests and diseases that can be problematic including downy mildew, smut and onion maggots. The cultivar ‘Red Zeppelin’ is resistant to Pink Root and Fusarium Basal Rot diseases. If you are planting onions from sets, or small bulbs, plant the bulbs just below the surface, with the neck showing. This variety may be planted by seed. When most of the leaves begin to turn yellow, dig the bulbs and dry them in a shady well-ventilated place for several days before storing.
Onions are gratifying and wonderfully easy to grow. No vegetable garden is complete without them.
Winchester Gardens generally stocks this item.
Annual – Edible
Select a site with full sun and well-drained soil. Prepare the garden bed by using a garden fork or tiller to loosen the soil to a depth of 12 to 15 inches, then mix in a 2- to 4-inch layer of compost.
Choose onion sets that are 1/2 to 3/4 inch in diameter for best results. Plant your sets early in the spring — onions do best if the temperature is cool when they start to grow, and warm as they mature. There’s no need to make trenches or special holes for the sets. Just grasp them at the top (the pointed end) with the root end down and push them into well-prepared soil the full depth of the bulb. The soil should just barely cover the top of the onion sets. If you have some tiny sets, plant them at least an inch in the ground, so they get good contact with the soil. Space sets 4 to 6 inches apart. If starting from seed, sow seeds indoors 2 to 3 months before your last frost date or sow seeds directly in the ground as soon as the soil can be worked in spring. You can also buy started plants or sets for spring planting. Set transplants 4 inches apart after all danger of heavy frost is past. For mild winter areas of the South and West, grow short day varieties in fall and winter for a spring harvest.
Keep onion bed well weeded and water plants during the summer if rainfall is less than 1 inch per week. Contact your local County Extension office for controls of common onion pests such as root maggots.
Pick scallions or green onions when they are 6-8 inches tall and a bulb has begun to form. When the foliage of bulbing onions begins to die down naturally, withhold water. A week later, pull the bulbs and place them in a warm, dry location. When the skin is papery, cut off the foliage, leaving a 1-inch stub above the bulb. Store dried bulbs in a cool, dark location. Harvest shallots after side bulbs have formed and the tops have begun to dry. Separate the side bulbs, dry them, and store as you would onions.
Beet, cabbage family, carrot, chard, lettuce, pepper, strawberry, tomato. Chamomile and summer savory improve growth and flavor. Pigweed raises nutrients from subsoil and makes them available to the onions. Sow thistle improves growth and health.