Onion Farming All Important Onion Cultivation details

In this article on Onion Farming we will describe all-important points of onion farming like morphology of onion, climate requirement for onion cultivation, soil requirement, varieties, planting method, weeding manure, and fertilizer, irrigation, harvesting process, grading, just have a look for broad knowledge.

Introduction of onion

  • The scientific name of onion IS- Allium cepa L.
  • The common name of onion, IS:- Pyaz
  • Family onion belongs to Alliaceae
  • Total no of CHROMOSOME:- 2n=16
  • The origin place of ONION:- South East Asia
Onion Farming
In this image, you can see the bulbs produced by onion farming.

MORPHOLOGY & Use of Onion

  • The value of onion is because of its bulbs, and its odour, flavouring, and pungency identified with it.
  • Pungency Of Onion Is Only Because of its volatile oil allyl-propyl-disulfide.
  • Bulbs of the onion are best for long-term storage and also for long-distance transport.
  • As we know that onion is used for cooking and is also commonly used for salads.
  • Onion bulbs are rich in phosphorus and calcium ( The phosphorus content in onion is 50 mg / 100g ) and ( calcium content in onion is 180 mg/ 100 g )
  • India is the second-largest producer of onions in the world. The first largest producer of onion is China. And India also ranked third in the export of onion.

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Origin Of Onion

  • The origin place of the onion is in Asia
  • According to Nikolai Vavilov, a Russian botanist, in 1951, the onion originated in Pakistan.
  • According to scientists Jones and Mann, in 1963, onion originated in the Mountain Area of Iran & north

Different Onion 

  1. Common Onion Scientific Name is Allium cepa var. Cepa
  2. Shallot Scientific Name Allium cepa var. ascalonicum
  3. Tree onion or Egyptian onion Scientific Name Allium cepa var. viviparaum / proliferum
  4. Chive Scientific Name A. schoenoprasum

Climate Requirement For Onion Farming

  • As we know, we mostly grown onions in the cool season.
  • For the proper growth and development of an onion, it requires a mild climate without excess hot temperature or excess cold temperatures, or excess rainfall.
  • The average rainfall requirement for onion farming is between 75-100 cm in the season of monsoon.
  • The temperature requirement for proper vegetative growth and development is 12.8 to 23.00 degrees Celsius.
  • For proper bulb formation, it requires long days and high temperatures.

Soil Requirement For Onion Farming

  • Onion can grow in many soils, like sandy loam, silt loam, heavy soils, clay loam.
  • For the best growth and development of the onion, recommended soil is deep loamy soil and alluvial soil with proper drainage and good moisture-holding capacity is required for good growth and development.
  • A sufficient amount of organic matter should be available in the soil.
  • When onion farming is done in heavy soil, onion may be misshapen.
  • But if the proper amount of organic matter is present in the soil, then the shape of the onion in heavy soils does not deform.
  • Application of organic matter before planting in the field during field preparation is good for onion cultivation.
  • PH requirement for onion cultivation is 6.0 to 7.0.
  • Onion farming is not possible in soils that have PH less than 6.0 because these types of soils are deficient in many trace elements.

Varieties For Onion Farming

  • Onion has many varieties that differ in the size of bulb, the pungency of the bulb, colour of the skin, etc; for example, small-sized bulbs are high in pungency and are less sweet in taste as compared to the large-sized bulb.
  • Silver colour cultivars are less pungent as compared to red colour cultivars, but silver-coloured cultivars are good for long storage.
Varieties For Onion Farming Special Features Of Varieties
1st important variety Arka Niketan
  • Bulbs of this variety are in round shape.
  • The colour of this variety is pink.
  • The weight of this variety per bulb is approx 100 to 180 grams.
  • The neck of this variety is thin.
  • Pungency in this variety is high
  • This variety is wonderful for storage.
  • TSS of this variety is approx. 12 to 13 %
  • The time it takes to mature is 145 days.
  • The yield of this variety is approx 42 ton /ha
2nd important variety of Arka Pragathi
  • Bulbs of this variety are in round shape.
  • The colour of this variety is deep pink.
  • The weight of this variety per bulb is approx 100 to 130 grams.
  • The neck of this variety is thin.
  • Pungency in this variety is high
  • This variety is wonderful for storage and early varieties.
  • The period it takes to mature is 130 days.
  • The yield of this variety is approx 45 ton /ha The 3rd
3rd important variety is Pusa Red
  • Bulbs of this variety are in round shape.
  • The colour of this variety is red.
  • The weight of this variety per bulb is approx. 70 to 90 grams.
  • Pungency in this variety is less
  • This variety is wonderful for storage.
  • TSS of this variety is approx. 12 to 13 %
  • The period it takes to mature is 125-140 days.
  • The yield of this variety is approx. 25 – 30 tons /ha.
The 4th important variety is Pusa Ratnar
  • Bulbs of this variety are available in Flat & Round Shapes.
  • The Colour of this variety is red.
  • The weight of this variety per bulb is approx. 70 to 90 grams.
  • Pungency in this variety is less
  • This variety is wonderful for storage for a long time.
  • The period it takes to mature is 145-150 days.
  • The yield of this variety is approx. 32 – 35 ton /ha.
The 4th important variety is Pusa White Round
  • Bulbs of this variety are in an attractive round shape.
  • The size of the bulb is medium to large.
  • The Colour of this variety is red.
  • This variety is wonderful for storage for a long time.
  • The period it takes to mature is 125-140 days.
  • The yield of this variety is approx 32  ton /ha

Another important variety for onion farming is:- 

  • Aground Dark Red:- Yield of this variety is 30-40 tons/ha &. It takes time up to 160 -165 days period.
  • VL 3:- Yield of this variety is 25 tons/ha & it takes time up to 145 days period.
  • Baswant-780:- The yield of this variety is 25 tons/ha & it takes time up to 125 days period.
  • S-148 :- Yield of this variety is 25 ton /ha – 30 ton/ha & it takes time up to 140 days period.
  • Brown Spanish:- Yield of this variety is 28 ton /ha  & it takes time up to 160- 180 days period.
Planting Methods in Onion Cultivation

Onion field in detail

We followed these three methods of onion planting all over the world depending on their climatic condition, economic condition, and topography.

  1. Broadcasting Method or drilling method
  2. Raising Seedlings and transplanting
  3. Planting Bulb directly
Broadcasting or drilling method
  • Broadcasting or drilling method in onion farming is done to save labour because transplanting requires many labourers and it is a cost to the process.
  • Seed requirement for broadcasting or drilling method is 25 – 39 kg/ha.
  • We should do a wedding at the initial stage at the interval of 10 days.
  • We should do the thinning process after 6 to 8 weeks.
  • The proper process of gap-filling should be done after thinning.

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Planting Bulbs Directly

  • We commonly practised this method in the hills and on terrace farming.
  • Medium and small-sized bulbs are used for direct bulb planting because large bulbs cost very high.
  • The medium and small-sized bulbs were got from seedlings, and we planted the seedling in June.
  • They require 10 to 12 quintals of bulbs for planting bulbs directly.
  • Distance between plant to plant should be approx. 5-8 cm.
  • We can plant on a ridge or in furrows, or in beds. It depends upon the climatic conditions, environmental conditions, and other factors.

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Raising Seedlings and transplanting

onion seeds for onion cultivation

  • The transplanting method is a well-practised method and also a commonly used method in the irrigated crops for high yield and good size of bulbs.
  • In the plain area, we showed seeds from mid-October to November month for rabi crops.
  • But in the hilly region of the seeds are shown in March to June.
  • In this process, we grow seeds in a well-prepared nursery.
  • The width of the nursery should be 90 – 120 cm and height of the nursery bed should be 8 – 10 cm and the length of the nursery beds should accord to the requirement and climatic condition.
  • Seed rate per ha from this method in onion farming varies from 8 to 10 kg per/ha.
  • The ideal condition for transplanting is when the seedling grows at the height of 15 cm and the neck diameter of the seedling archives 0.8 cm, then the seedling is ready to transplant.
  • The time period that is required by seedling to grow is 8 weeks, but depending upon the soil, climate and environmental conditions, it can vary from 6 to 10 weeks.
  •  Before transplanting, the field should be well ploughed, well levelled, and we should break the clods into fine soil particles.
  • We should divide the field into small plots to make the process of irrigation and weeding easy.
  • Row-to-row distance should be 15 cm and plant-to-plant distance should be 5 to 8 cm.

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Onion cultivation

Weeding & Intercultural Operation

  • Weed management in onion farming is very necessary because the growth of the crop in the early stage is very slow.
  • Apply Basalin weedicide at the rate of 2 kg ai / ha before the sowing of crops.
  • First hand- weeding is required 45 days after transplanting, It is very important for weed control.
  • As we know that onion is deep-rooted and roots are round in shape, so it is a chance that during deep inter – culture it can damage roots and also reduce the yield.
  • For losing the soil and covering the bulb, two hoeing are essential.
Manures and fertilizers for onion farming
  • onion requires an outrageous amount of nitrogen and potash
  • Farmer can decrease the requirement of nitrogen by using leguminous green manure in onion farming.
  • The nitrogen { N } requirement in onion farming is approx 120 kg per ha.
  • Phosphorus { P2O5} requirement in onion cultivation is approx 50 kg per ha.
  • Potash { k2O } requirement in onion cultivation is approx 160 kg per ha.
  • Magnesium  { MgO } requirement in onion farming is approx 15 kg per ha.
  • The sulfur requirement in onion cultivation is approx 20 kg per ha.
  • Application of farmyard manure should be done in the onion farm it increases the fertility of the soil and is also good for the shape and size of an onion.
  • FYM requirement for the onion is approx 20 – 25 tones.
  • We apply the full dose of phosphorus and potash at the time of land preparation.
  • The top dressing method should apply nitrogen and applied in two equal doses
  • We applied the first dose of nitrogen 3 to 4 weeks after transplantation.
Irrigation Management In Onion Farming
  • As we know that onion is grown as an irrigated crop.
  • Irrigation requirements in onions depend upon climatic and environmental conditions.
  • Requiring water in onion farming is less in the initial stage of growth and requires an outrageous amount of water after 3 months of transplantation and, after that, it requires less water.
  • At the initial stage, irrigation of the onion should be done at the interval of 13 – 15 days.
  • After the establishment of the seed, we should do irrigation after 7- 10 days.

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Harvesting and Yield of Onion

Onion harvesting

  • The harvesting period of the onion depends upon the variety of the onion.
  • Normally onion is ready to harvest approx in 3 to five months after the transplantation.
  • Harvesting of onion is done by pulling out of the plant.
  • Harvesting of onion is done in the hot season and soil is hard, so we pulled the bulb of the onion out with the help of a hand-hoe.
  • The yield of the onion varies according to the climatic condition and variety of the onion.
  • We produced approx 12 to 25 tons of bulbs from one hectare of the field when the crop is grown by the transplanting method.
  • When the onion is grown as rabi crops, the yield is high and we grow the crop as Kharif crop yield is low.

Curing of Onion

  • The two most common problems in onion are sprouting and rotting, which mainly occurs during storage.
  • To cure this problem with onion, we should remove the field heat before the storage of onion. The bulb should sufficiently cure for developing skin colour.
  • This process of curing should be done till the neck of the onion is tight and the outer scales of the onions are dried.
  • Curing decreases the chance of infection and it also reduces the problem of shrinkage in onion.
  • When the onion is grown as rabi crops curing of onion should be done in the field for 3 to 5 days, we cut the tops of the plant by leaving 2 to 3 cm from the bulbs.
  • Again, curing is done to remove the field heat, we do this for 7 to 10 days.

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Storage Of Onion 

  • We should do storage of onion bulbs in well-ventilated rooms.
  • Continue to turn onion bulbs for the proper aeration.
  • Continuous removal of the rotten and sprouted bulbs is very necessary to protect healthy bulbs.
  • Some chemicals, like maleic hydrazide, could prevent the bulb from sprouting and increase the self-life of the onion bulbs.

Grading of onion

  • Proper marketing grading is very important.
  • Naked onion-bolted onion, decayed, and damaged onion bulbs should be removed.
  • We grade bulbs of onion based on the size of the onion.

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