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Intended for maximum storage, Rossa d'Inverno Rubino translates from the Italian as "Red Winter Ruby." This long day storage onion has a globe shape with deep red skins streaked with even deeper red longitudinal lines. Perfect for the home gardener or fresh market, it's an excellent choice for planting in the spring and harvesting by late August. Due to its dry-ish nature, if it is dried and cured carefully, it will store for five to six months. Its flesh is pungent and sharp, bringing a tear to the eyes of chefs as late as January from a summer harvest.
Matures in 110 days. (Open-pollinated seeds)
Start shallots and storage onions indoors in late winter and early spring, and transplant 2-4 weeks after the last frost date. Overwintering onions need to be started in early summer, and transplanted by the middle of August. Scallions can be direct sown every 3 weeks from two weeks after the last frost date to late summer. Optimal soil temperature for germination: 21-25°C (70-75°F). Seeds will emerge in 6-12 days, depending on conditions.
Transplants are preferred for home gardeners. Sow 3 seeds 5mm-1cm (¼-½”) deep in each cell of a 72-cell tray. Transplant as a clump, spacing each 15cm (6″) apart in rows 45-75cm (18-30″) apart. Scallions can be spaced at 2-5cm (1-2″) apart in rows 15cm (6″) apart.
The pungent odour of onions repels many pests and also protects nearby garden vegetables. Plant chamomile and summer savory near onions to improve their flavour. Onions also work well alongside beets, Brassicas, carrots, dill, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce, strawberries and tomatoes. Don’t plant onions near asparagus, or peas of any kind.
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