It all started with hakka noodles..yes, you read it right!
A crazy gardener has the ability to start anywhere and end up in the garden.
So, one fine day, i had a strange craving to eat some hakka noodles topped with
spring onions. I do not know what was wrong(or right) with me, but all i wanted was some indo-chinese food that was garnished specifically with spring onions.
Stranger than my craving was the fact that i have never ever liked onions so i don’t know what went wrong with the configuration of my brain that day!
Anyhow, being a good cook myself, i set out to gather the ingredients only to discover, to my horror, that it was not the season for spring onions!! *cue some shock horror n melodrama*
So, while my sweet husband set out on a mission to hunt down said noodles for me, i set out on another mission: Project Spring Onions. I figured that if i planted some onions at home, i would have access to small tender ones any time i wanted and it would also be a good opportunity to discover how onions grow in a container.
So here’s how it went..
I have learnt that sometimes it’s the best to let mother nature take over. We fuss and fret over plants yet sometimes yielding nothing. We ignore and they thrive. That’s exactly what happened.I bought a handful of onion seedlings from the local market without even knowing what variety they are, planted them all into a 1′ deep plastic tub and watered. That’s it! I don’t even have much to explain here except for the fact that in a few months i harvested a good qty. to last me over a month(for 2 people). This, when i had not even thought of letting the onions ripen to maturity because all i really needed were the tender young ones.
Although this was an experiment gone right combined with beginner’s luck, i did notice and learn a few things along the way, since i plan to make this a regular feature in my garden. I am not a vegetable growing expert and have nothing technical to share but here’s what i know:
1. Soil matters, like always. Loose, rich soil is the best thing for any plant to grow big and deep. Mine was a mix of sand, garden soil and lots of compost.
2. Regular water with good drainage helps. This is particularly important as mine grew in a plastic post so i made a hole at the side of pot towards the bottom to help drain extra water which may otherwise cause rotting of the bulb.
3. Mine were planted under a the shade of the terrace above but still getting direct bright sunlight from the front all day. They did fine.
4. Do not plant too close. Since i had excess seedlings and my initial plan was to harvest early, i planted them too close. This resulted in smaller sized bulbs. I reckon that a distance of 3-4″ should be good.
5. Onions grown at home taste divine in salads. Everyone who tasted them said so.
6. When the bulbs are ready to harvest, the tops start drying off. Mine had started flowering so my instincts told me it was the time to harvest. Any plant, when it starts making seeds stops putting energy towards further growth so flowering onions should be harvested asap to avoid loss of taste etc.
7. Do not water the crop much when it’s mature to avoid rotting of bulbs. Let it dry a bit if you plan to harvest and store.
When mine looked good enough to harvest tender, there was a flood of spring onions in the market! Yet, i did harvest some for my favorite hakka noodles and the rest, as they say, is history!
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