LUK STURON REPLACES STUTTGARTER RIESEN
All the years of gardening, which is more than 30 years, I have grown the Stuttgarter Riesen variety from onion sets. In the first years I planted it in the spring, and then switched to winter planting with very small bulbs - up to 1 cm in diameter. There were practically no other varieties, and I had to grow what I had.
Recently, Dutch varieties have begun to appear on sale. At first I was distrustful of them, I thought that our conditions were unlikely to suit them. But you need to experiment. In 2021 I decided buy the Sturon variety. I didn’t know anything about it, but I liked the round-oval shape of the bulbs. I bought 300 g of small ones as a test for autumn planting. I planted them, and occupied the rest of the bed with Stuttgarter (600 g).
All the onions overwintered well, although they were not covered. Compared to the long-grown Stuttgarter, Sturon's bulbs have grown beautiful and large. The shape of the bulbs is rounded-oblong, the bottom is small, convex outward. They are convenient to peel and cut. And they were stored all winter better than Stuttgarter Riesen.
Last fall, I expanded the plantings near Sturon and planted 700 g of seedlings. But I didn’t forget about Stuttgarter, I planted 300 g. Although the spring and first half of summer of this season were not entirely favorable, Sturon did not disappoint, compared to Stuttgarter, its yield was twice as high, individual bulbs weighed about 300 g, and presentation is much more attractive. I picked all the onions on July 23, when all the stems finally died and softened at the neck, and the bulbs began to become covered with dry yellow scales. I trimmed the stems, leaving 5 cm of stumps from the shoulders of the bulbs. I also removed the roots.
I always plant onions before winter in mid-October. I prepare the beds in advance, 7-10 days in advance, so that a little the soil, dug up and fertilized with humus, ash and dolomite, settled. I never bring in fresh manure.
I make sure to observe crop rotation so that the onions return to their old place after 3 years. I mark the rows with a marker across the ridge every 25 cm, and plant the bulbs at a distance of 7 cm from each other to a depth of 3-4 cm. I do not cut the sets before planting or treat them with anything, I plant them dry. If there is no snow at the beginning of winter, then I mulch the plantings with well-rotted dry compost. There were years when the bulbs not only took root in the fall, but also sprouted. But during the winter they did not die and did not drive out the flower arrows.
In the spring, when the first shoots appear and the soil dries out a little, I scatter ammonium nitrate or urea and loosen the row spacing. In dry weather, once every 5-7 days I generously water the onions directly from the hose with cold tap water. After each watering or rain, I destroy the soil crust and remove dying leaves. I feed the second time when the bulbs begin to actively grow. I stop watering 2,5-3 weeks before harvesting.
It takes little time to plant and care for onions during growth. I spend more time drying. After trimming the bulbs, I lay them out in two layers in flat boxes and dry them in the sun. At night I put them under the roof of the house and cover them with film in case of rain, and in the morning I expose them to the sun. And so - 3-4 weeks. But I am sure that the onions are well dried and will be stored well all winter.
Reference by topic: Growing onions in the Yaroslavl region - Exhibition, Sturon and Yalta
© Author: Yulia Dubrovina Photo by the author
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