Onion farming is a great agribusiness practice here on earth. Just like tomatoes, onions are used by almost everyone in the world and found in every kitchen.
Onions are used to give their flavor to meals and aroma. Another added advantage of onions is that it can be mixed with raw cabbages and tomatoes to make salads.
Varieties of onions
There are various varieties of onions which farmers should consider farming for high production and higher profits. These are some of the varieties of tomatoes:
- Red creole
- Tropical hybrid
- White creole
Ecological requirements for onion farming
Onions do well in warm and hotter climatic regions. They tolerate high temperatures and are high drought resistant where they require long dry periods to get to maturity and proper ripening.
These types of crops should be grown in altitudes above 2100m above sea level with a well fertile soil and well drained with a PH of 6.0 to 7.0.
There should also be also a well distribution of rainfall of between 1000mm per year that is required.
The land the onions shall be planted should be cultivated to a fine tilth, probably should planted after the second cultivation of the farm and all the weeds removed to reduces the chances of the weeds from competing with plants for nutrients and water to give the plants a good maturity rate.
Farm yard manure should be applied and properly mixed with the soil probably use 40 tons per hectare.
Planting of the onion plants
Onions do not require a seed bed; they should be planted directly to the nursery bed.
During planting 250 kilograms of double super phosphate fertilizer should be used per hectare and applied directly in the holes that will accumulate the plants and should be 30cm apart from each other.
Indirectly planting seeds are spread along the drilled holes are lightly covered with soil.
Field management practices
Field management practices are practices done in the farm to help the plants grow to maximum high yields. It involves controlling of pest and diseases and weeding. These are the farm management practices that the farmer should apply in his onion farm:
Thinning in onions is done mainly to achieve a proper desired spacing between two onion plants. While planting your onion plants always consider a distances of 7 to 9 centimeters between each plant depending with the farm and the variety of the onion plants you are intending to plant.
This can make the weeding and thinning process ore easier and faster.
The weeding of the onion plants should be done by hands. All weeds should be removed from the farm either manually by hands or sprayed by herbicides.
The best way to control weeds is to cultivate your farm during hotter and dry seasons.
While weeding cover the roots of the plants with a lot of soil to allow the plants to expand while still growing.
- Top dressing
At three months after planting use CAN (calcium ammonium nitrate) at a rate of 20kg per hectare to apply to the crops.
Pest and disease control
Diseases that affect onion plants include:
- Purple blotch
- Downy mildew
Control of onion diseases
These diseases can be controlled by applying fungicides and practicing crop rotation.
A pest that affects onion plants is:
- Onion thrips
Control of pests in an onion farm
Pests are efficiently controlled by spraying with appropriate insecticides such as Ferrithion and Diaziron.
Harvesting and onion marketing
When leaves start drying and the top broken after five months of planting, onions are ready. The bulbs should be dug up and left to dry in a shade for some days.
Onions should be inspected on a routine basis to remove the rotting ones so as they cannot contaminate others in the box to rot also.