For the earliest supply, sow from the 1st to the 20th of August, according to locality, on moderately rich, firm soil. Some people sow in beds, but we prefer to sow them in a sheltered spot in rows one foot apart, because they are much more easily kept free from weeds when thus sown than when in beds, as the hoe can be worked between the rows, while that is impracticable in beds. Moreover, the stirring late in autumn and during spells of fine weather in winter and spring tends to keep the soil in a dry healthy state, which is of great benefit to the plants. Sow thinly, so that the plants may stand clear of each other after they are up. If they are clear of each other they will not require to be thinned till spring, when the thinnings may be transplanted in rich soil, where they will generally grow to a large size. They can be finally thinned further on in the season, when the thinnings will prove useful in the kitchen. These autumnsown Onions do not generally keep so well over winter as the spring-sown ones, and are considered coarser, but they come in before spring-sown ones; and on some soils where the grub is troublesome, it often happens that the autumn-sown ones are the only Onions which come to perfection.

For spring-sown ones the ground should be prepared during winter as advised for Leeks. A rich well-worked soil is necessary to the best results, and on this account many gardeners grow their Onions on the same ground year after year, with better results than they can attain on the rotation principles. The ground, in digging, should be left rough, and levelled with the Dutch-hoe early in spring. We prefer having ours in by the end of February or beginning of March; but it is better to be guided by the condition of the soil than by any dates. We have found that the crop is materially benefited by a slight dressing of soot and wood-ashes hoed into the surface at sowing time, and it is, at the same time, the best preventive of the maggot that we know of. A dressing of soot after the plants are well up - say in June - should be given for the same purpose, but a showery time should be chosen for this, so that the adhering particles of soot may be washed off the leaves. Sow the seed as advised for those sown in autumn, but make sure that the ground is level before drawing the drills, or the seed will be apt to be raked out when the ground is finished off. Draw the drills about an inch deep, and cover regularly.

Should the soil be of a loose sandy nature, a light tread will prove beneficial, otherwise the soil will be made firm enough by the treading necessary when hoeing and levelling the ground, and sowing and covering the seed, etc. A firm heavy soil gives the best results. In thinning them out, give them from two to three inches, unless the crop is likely to be all the finer; but moderate, well-ripened bulbs keep best, and are generally preferred. In wet seasons or late localities a difficulty will frequently be experienced in getting the bulbs properly matured. The ripening process may be accelerated by going over them by the end of August, and twisting their neck or laying them over. By the middle of September they should be pulled up, and spread in the full sun on a clean dry bottom. A good place is a frame, pit, or other glass structure which contains no plants requiring water, where they can be spread on a dry bottom in the full sun; but in ordinary seasons they may be matured by hanging them up in the sun in nets, removing them indoors at night. After they are thoroughly dry they should be divested of all husks, etc, and be stored for the winter in some cool, dry place, where they are safe from frost. Turn them occasionally during winter, and remove decaying ones.

The best keepers are Blood Bed and James's Keeping.

Onions #1

Our earliest supply of Onions are usually autumn-sown, the first fit for use being the Queen, and this is closely followed by the Early White Naples. Those who may not have sown an early variety, and fear a break in the supply, should at once sow seed of one or both of these varieties in pans or boxes, using fine light soil, and place in heat. Harden off before the plants become drawn, and transplant thickly, either at the foot of a wall or on a south border. Fully a month will be gained in this manner; and by sowing more seed as early as possible on the same border, the supply will be maintained. Even the White Spanish and other types may be forwarded considerably in this manner; and the smallest of seedlings transplant readily. They should be put in firmly, but not deeply; and Onions generally delight in a rich and gritty soil, made firm by trampling. If size of bulb is no object, when transplanting either autumn or spring sown Onions, place the rows 10 inches apart, and dibble them, 2 inches apart, alternately on each side of the line.

If large bulbs are required, they may be disposed 4 inches apart in the rows.