options for onions - Cooperative Extension County Offices

options for onions - Cooperative Extension County Offices
July to September
An onion should be firm, hard, and heavy for
its size. The outer skin may be slightly loose.
Fresh onions also have a faint, sweet aroma.
Do not choose onions that are shriveled,
bruised, or decayed.
Onions can be stored in a cool, dry, well
ventilated area for 4 to 5 weeks. Do not store
onions in plastic, near potatoes, or in the
refrigerator. Cut onions can be kept in a sealed
container in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.
Throw away any sprouting onions.
Slice off the top and bottom, then slice from
top to bottom, and peel off the outer layer. To
avoid teary eyes, chill the onion in the
freezer for ten minutes before slicing,
or peel it under cold water. Onions
may be used raw in sandwiches,
soups and stews, or on salads. Frying
or sautéing will provide a milder flavor
and a sweet flavor if fried to a golden
To bake:
Wrap in aluminum foil and bake for 45 to 60
minutes at 350°F.
To sauté:
Slice three medium onions.
Heat one tablespoon of oil over
low heat. Add onions and stir
constantly for 5 to 10 minutes.
♦ Fiber to prevent constipation.
♦ Potassium to maintain normal blood
Fried Onions and Apples
• 3 large yellow onions, sliced
• 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
• 6 large tart red apples, sliced
• 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon paprika
• 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
In a large saucepan over medium heat sauté
onions in butter until tender. Place apples on
top of onions. Combine remaining ingredients;
sprinkle over apples. Cover and simmer 10
minutes. Uncover and simmer 5 minutes
longer or until apples are tender. Serve with a
slotted spoon. Serves 12; 110 Cal; 2.5 g fat.
Oven-Roasted Potatoes and Onions
• 6 large potatoes, quartered
• 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
• 6 medium onions, quartered
• 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
• 1/4 cup vegetable oil
• 1 teaspoon fresh marjoram, chopped
• 1 teaspoon black pepper
Preheat oven to 375°F. Place potatoes and
onions in a shallow roasting pan. Combine oil
and herbs and pour over the vegetables. Toss
and bake uncovered for 1 hour, or until tender.
Turn occasionally. Serves 8; 180 Cal; 7 g fat.
Brought to you by Sherry Tanumihardjo, UW-Extension, and Jennifer Keeley, Bureau of Aging and Long Term Care
Resources, WI. Wisconsin Nutrition Education Program • Family Living Programs • Cooperative Extension An
EEO/AA employer, University of Wisconsin Extension provides equal opportunities in employment and programming,
including Title IX and American with Disabilities (ADA) requirements.
Growing Onions in Wisconsin
If you grow an assortment of onions such as
sweet onions, storage onions, green onions,
or scallions, you can extend your harvest
season from early spring to late fall. High
temperatures favor bulbing once a critical
day length has been reached. Since yield is
determined by the number of leaves present
at bulb initiation, early planting ensures the
maximum number of leaves and the largest
Planting Onions
Grow from seed, sets, or transplants
Plant from mid-April to early May
Onions require full sun
Rotate onions with other vegetables—
potatoes or carrots work well
Seeding depth: 1/4 to 3/4 inches deep
Transplant depth: 1 inch
Space between rows: 16 to 24 inches
Space between plants: 3 to 4 inches
Soil and Fertility
• Deep, fertile soils with
adequate drainage
• Irrigated sandy soils
work well
• Poor performance on
clay soils
• Follow soil test
• Ideal pH is 6.0 to 6.8
Under optimum soil test levels apply…
5.25 oz of nitrogen per 100 sq ft
2.2 oz of phosphate per 100 sq ft
4.8 oz of potassium per 100 sq ft
Onions need relatively high amounts of
manganese, copper, zinc, and
Selecting Onion Varieties
Onions are classified as either short-day,
intermediate, or long day cultivars
according to the number of hours
of light required to initiate bulb
formation. Long-day onions are
grown in Wisconsin, requiring
daylengths of 14 hours or longer
to initiate bulbs. Typically,
onions described as sweet
should be eaten soon after
harvest and onions described as dry
can withstand prolonged storage.
Onions may be spherical, flattened, or
conical in shape and have skin colors
ranging from white to yellow to brown,
and red to purple. Numerous white,
yellow, and red long-day cultivars are
available in Wisconsin. Selecting a
variety of cultivars with maturities ranging
from 95 to 110 days will lengthen the
period for which onions will be ripe for
Handling Your Onions
Harvest fresh onions when 15-25% of the
tops have fallen over. Storage onions
should be harvested when 50-80% of the
tops have fallen over. Onions harvested
with more than 80% of the tops dried
down will be more susceptible to storage
problems. Even though onions feel solid,
they bruise easily and should be handled
carefully to avoid damaging the bulb
which can lead to storage rots. Remove
the discolored outer skin and trim the
leaves. Never underestimate the eyeappeal of gently cleaned produce!
For more information contact your local Extension Office to obtain these references: Growing
onions, garlic, leeks and other alliums in Wisconsin. Publication A3785. Commercial Vegetable
Production in Wisconsin. Publication A3422.
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