The more room within a certain limit, of course, the larger the bulbs produced, and vice versa.

The two systems by which the seed is put in the ground - the drills, and broadcast in beds - have each their advocates. So far as the quality of the crop when ripe is concerned, the merits of both may be said to be about equal. On account of the greater speed and ease with which the crop can be put in, and afterwards freed from weeds, the regularity with which it can be thinned, and the smaller quantity of seed required, the drill system is much the preferable. When sown broadcast in beds the ground looks very unsightly (a point not to be lost sight of in all well-regulated gardens), unless the beds are very nicely edged, the doing of which requires a deal of labour and consumption of much valuable time. Then there is the stooping and crawling and weeding by the hand, instead of the speedy destruction of weeds by the hoe, which make a great difference in favour of the drill.

To do the work nicely with drills, first level the ground with the spade, tread firmly with the feet, and make the surface smooth and fine with the rake; draw the drills 1 foot apart, and sufficiently deep, so that the seed may not be disturbed at the final raking. Deep sowing is to be avoided, because the more on the surface the bulbs are formed, they are the more likely to ripen well and be free from thick-necked bulbs, which never keep well. The drills are most speedily and easily filled in with the feet; and especially on light soils the ground should afterwards be trodden: the nearer it approaches to sandy soil, the more firmly it requires to be trodden. The final raking will require to be but slight, and, last of all, a light roller may be passed over the ground in cases where the soil is light and porous.

The proper thickness to sow the seed is a point that has to be decided by several considerations. Thicker seeding is necessary in cold heavy soils than in lighter warmer soils. Very thick or very thin seeding is neither of them desirable. It is, however, more comfortable to have a good many to thin out, than to have to transplant at a time when the season is not most favourable for the latter operation.

As soon as ever the young plants are discernible in rows, the Dutch hoe can be very lightly passed up between the rows, to kill seeding weeds and break up the crust of the soil. This operation should be performed at intervals, with the view of keeping the ground free from weeds, and especially in dry weather preventing the soil from cracking, as well as the evaporation of moisture. The first and partial thinning should be done when the plants are large enough to bear drawing without breaking, and should leave the young plants about 2 inches apart. The second thinning should not be too hastily done on soils where the maggot is troublesome. It is safe to defer the last thinning until they begin to form their bulbs, and this should leave the crop 4 to 5 inches apart, which gives space enough for moderate-sized and useful bulbs. The thinning should be performed with care, so that those left are not broken nor bent, till they fall over of their own accord in the natural process of ripening. Those of them which show signs of being thick-necked after the bulk of the crop has collapsed, should be bent down with the hand to stop further growth, and induce them to ripen.

When ready to harvest, which is known by their roots giving way and being easily pulled up, remove them to a sunny place, and lay on a gravel walk or on boards, to be frequently turned, and well sunned and dried for fourteen days. Of course the state of the weather may render this a long process outdoors, and may require that they be removed to an open, dry, airy shed; but it is preferable to have them well sunned if the weather be fine. When thoroughly dry they should be removed to a dry airy loft, or some similar place, to be either laid on shelves or tied up into ropes, which work can be done in wet weather. The cooler and drier they are stored, the longer they keep without rotting or growing.

In most families, Onions for pickling are in demand, and are best when the size of a small marble. The silver-skinned, sown thickly on very poor hard soil about the end of April, answer this purpose. They should be drawn immediately they are perfectly ripe, and before they begin to mould in the ground, which impairs their quality, or at all events their appearance for pickling.

To get large Onions to succeed the spring-sown or main crop, the Tripoli, sown about the 12th August, or perhaps a week earlier in late districts, will give good-sized bulbs by the end of May, and continue the supply till the spring-sown ones are a considerable size. Most persons have their favourite sorts for the main crop. Those generally considered best are the Strasburg, James's Long Keeping, and White Globe. There are many other varieties more or less useful, but these three are the most generally acknowledged as desirable for extensive cultivation. James's Long Keeping is probably the best-keeping Onion in cultivation, and is otherwise a fine Onion.

On soils where the maggot is most troublesome, it is recommended to grow a good proportion of the ground with Potato Onion. This increases itself by the production of young bulbs from the parent. Moderate-sized bulbs, planted in February, are ready for harvesting in July, and sometimes earlier. This is a hardy variety, and resists the attacks of insects better than the common Onion.