Growing red onions is as easy as any other type of onion grown in Uganda. Bulb Onion is one of the most widely grown & consumed vegetables in Uganda. All onions are biennials, meaning they take two years to complete their life cycle. In the first year the seed grows, forming modified leaves and tiny underground bulbs.
There are a number of red onions in Uganda. Some of these include B Red Creole, Bombay Red, Red Star, Neptune, Texas Grano and Tropicana.
Red Onion growing will require the following for you to get the best results;
Red onions seeds are first planted in a nursery bed. They are not planted in the main garden. So, if you are going to start planting red onions, then you should prepare a seed bed or nursery bed first.
Seedlings are transplanted from the seedbed 6 – 8 weeks after sowing or at 3-5 well formed leaves when base is pencil thick.
The seedlings are transplanted in 2.5 – 3 cm deep trenches at a spacing of 30 cm between rows and 8 – 10 cm between plants.
Soil analysis results should be used to determine the nutrient requirements of the soil prior to planting
Ensure the holes in which the Red onions seedlings are to be transplanted are large enough to hold the seedling’s root plug. Mix two handfuls of well-rotted manure with the soil in each planting hole help the seedlings get enough fertility.
In each planting hole place one seedling and ensure it is firmly positioned.
In the absence of rain, water daily; ensure that excess water drains off the planting area.
Pest and disease control
Pests and Diseases if left unchecked can hinder a plant’s ability to produce food for us. These problems can be managed with good cultural practices, biological agents, and chemicals. A combination of these methods is best and is known as Integrated Pest Management. Rocket is also a good insecticide which you can use and is readily available in the market.
As far as possible plant red onions varieties that are resistant to diseases. You can also follow preventive measures to help you curb the diseases that attack red onions below;
An acre of land can produce between 20-25 tonnes of onions depending on the climatic conditions, type of soil, and onion variety.
Red onions are highly marketable here in Uganda. Red onions powder is made out of it and then added to food or recipes with ease. Move around the different restaurants and you will find hot pepper on every table. Therefore, the market is there.
Seeds for planting red onions are readily available on the market. You can buy them from down town, Kampala. However you should be careful about the type and where you buy them from. It should be a qualified person to sell you the seeds.
You can export red onions from Uganda to other countries say Italy, USA, Canada, France Germany, southern Sudan, DRC among others. You will however have to be certified by the Uganda Export Promotion Board which will then refer you to the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) Uganda for a phyto-certificate. This process is compulsory if you are to export your agricultural produce.
Harvesting can be done 90 – 150 days after transplanting depending on the variety
Red Onions are an easy crop to grow; these guidelines will help you towards a bountiful harvest from your planting.
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