Guide to Onion Farming Services and Tips from Onion Doctor

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Planting Onions

Onion Seedlings: Onion seedlings are first established in a nursery. Preparation of the nursery is done as follows: Make a raised nursery bed 1 meter wide and any desired length. Apply well-decomposed manure at a rate of 15 kg per square meter. Mix DAP at a rate of 20g per square meter. Make shallow furrows 15cm apart and mix the seeds with sand to help spread the seeds. Drill the seeds and cover lightly with soil, then apply mulch. After drilling the seeds, mix 10g of Loyalty, 100g of Pyramid, and 20mls of Optimizer with water, and apply the solution in the nursery. This mixture helps control early pests and diseases and also breaks the seed dormancy.

Transplanting: Transplanting is done 6 weeks after germination. Transplant the seedlings when they have a pencil-size thickness and are 15cm in length. The seedlings should also have 3-5 well-formed leaves.

Weed Control: Keep the onion field free from weeds as they act as alternate hosts for pests and diseases and compete for nutrients. Chemical control of weeds is the most ideal method in an onion field. This is done by applying a selective herbicide known as Commander two weeks after transplanting. Once sprayed, the herbicide will kill all the weeds that have already germinated and also suppress further germination of weeds.

Pests and Diseases Management Thrips: Thrips suck sap from the onion crop. Attacked leaves turn silvery white and affect bulb formation. Control: Alternate Profile and Alonze at the rate of 30mls/20 liters and 5mls/20 liters respectively. Leaf-Eating Caterpillar: Control: Alternate Escort and Profile at the rate of 30mls and 10mls per knapsack respectively.

Diseases: 1) Downy Mildew: Affected leaves turn yellow and die from the tip downwards. Control: Alternate Absolute with Fortress Gold at the rate of 10g and 50g per knapsack respectively.

2) Purple Blotch: Characterized by water-soaked lesions on the leaves that quickly develop with white centers. Control: Spray Tower/Fortress Gold at the rate of 50g per knapsack.

Onion Doctor supports smallholder farmers across Africa with quality and affordable Onion and Garlic seedlings, farm planning services, soil testing, drip irrigation installation and maintenance, agronomic support, Onion and Garlic value pack, farm management, e-extension, and on-farm training for farmers to optimize yields and achieve maximum profits.