Are your onion bulbs splitting? some call it doubling.
The first symptom you notice when your onion doubles is the splitting of the basal plate. Another growth of the affected bulb usually takes place as one to several small bulbs, these are called bulblets. They protrude from the split basal plate. The split basal plate may provide an entrance for secondary micro-organisms, which may make your onions decay.
While this splitting does not necessarily make your onions a total write off, nor does it affect the taste of your onions, however, it does affect the market price of your produce should you want to sell your onions. therefore, anything that affects the selling price of your produce deserves your urgent attention.
Although onion is one of the easiest horticulture crops to grow, there are 2 major challenges that a farmer may face. these include cutworms eating and destroying your onions soon after transplanting and also this onion splitting that we are going to talk about today. Splitting of an onion bulb is a physiological disorder.
Besides, reducing your onion's selling price, splitting also affects the storage of your onions. Onions that have split won't dry very well and it means they won't store as well, they will quickly rot, much faster than usual.
There are several reasons why your onions are splitting and these include:
1. Planted too deep.
2. Planted too shallow.
3. Too much spacing in between your onions,
4. Inconsistent watering
5. Too much fertilisation
6. Too much organic manure
7. The variety itself
We are now going to discuss each of these 7 major reasons that cause splitting.
First reason: Planted too deep.
If you plant your onions too deep, there is a high probability of getting many splitting onions as the bulbs will struggle to push too much soil above them. onions are technically not an underground crop, such as carrots and potatoes. They grow just above the soil. So do not sow onion seedling too deep to avoid splitting.
Second reason: Planted too shallow
If you plant your onions too shallow, it causes the onion to grow slower and split. Onions have shallow root systems so avoid planting the seedlings too shallow.
Third reason: Too much spacing in between your onions
Do you know that if you want your gum trees to grow tall and straight, you have to minimize the distance between your gum tree seedlings. So in farming at times growing your plants a bit too populated is an advantage, especially when growing onions. If you leave space bigger than your fist between onion seedlings when transplanting, then be rest assured you are increasing chances of your onion bulbs splitting.
Fourth reason: Inconsistent watering
Inconsistent watering is a problem, not only to onions but to every crops in the horticulture sector. watering your plants should be regular and almost the same amount of water should be irrigated at consistent intervals. if you let the soil dry too much before watering your plants, you are encouraging your onions to grow inconsistently and therefore split.
Fifth reason: Too much fertilisation
If you eat more than enough you are likely to vomit. onions are prone to over-feeding too. they require fertilizer with lots of nitrogen to grow and form a bigger bulb, however, too much fertilisation will make the plants grow too rapidly and therefore split.
Sixth reason: Too much organic manure
Just like the fifth reason of too much fertilization, if you grow your onions on soils with too much organic manure, chances are that your plants will grow too rapid than their natural system can sustain and this will force your onions to split. Yes organic manure is an added advantage when growing onions, but too much of them will work against you.
Seventh reason: The variety itself
Last but not least. The variety itself causes onion splitting. There are varieties that are resistant to splitting and others that easily split when grown in non-favourable conditions. A perfect example is the Texas Grano variety. Now there are various hybrid varieties and I recommend you to grow hybrid varieties only as most of them naturally address most of these challenges. Hybrid varieties are usually more expensive, but they are often worth it as they produce better and more fruits than ordinary varieties.