Growing Onions

The Where and How of Growing Onions

Onions are grown in different shapes, tastes and sizes around the world. The climate effects onion production hugely. From the variation in day length, temperature and rainfall: results in onions that are of countless different variations.  Onions are photothermoperiodic; which means they are sensitive to temperature and light.

Day Length

Day length and day light hours are determined by the sun tracking north in the northern hemisphere during the spring and summer and south during autumn and winter, this process stimulates the onion plant to stop making leafy growth and to start making a bulb.

There is a certain number of hours of day light for a certain amount of days that is needed for each onion type before a fully formed bulb is grown. Onions are therefore categorised into 3: long-day (northern), intermediate-day (central), and short-day (southern) varieties.

Temperature

Onions are cool-season biennial plants, which means they need two seasons to complete the cycle from seed to seed; the two seasons are separated by cold in the winter. The temperature effects when the onion plant stops making a bulb and begins flowering and forming seeds, this is called bolting. Once an onion reaches a certain size (which varies as per variety) temperatures of between 4° to 10°C will cause the onion plant to bolt.

Onions therefore grow completely different in each country. Onions in Poland are small due to the climate there; Scottish onions do not have flat ends and have no uniform shape; English onions are very unreliable varying in size and taste due to unpredictable weather conditions; Russian onions have a very short growing time as temperatures can reach -40°C.

M&P Engineering is a UK based manufacturer of onion peeling machines. M&P has developed commercial onion peeling machines that suit all types of onions, which is why they have been sold in almost every continent across the globe.  Its onion machines are world leaders, being famed for their ability to expertly peel smaller onions and shallots, as well as unusually shaped onions such as the Indian Onion.  Ordinarily, onion peelers struggle to peel small onions, or Indian onions, but the M&P large onion peeler which is available in two versions, one for larger onions, and the shallot peeling machine for smaller onions and shallots. They also manufacture a small machine for pickling onions.  The M&P onion peeling machine does not hold the onion during peeling unlike some other commercial peelers and uses compressed air to remove the skin. M&P’s machine is a dry onion peeling process, and is able to process up to 750kg of onions per hour. The hassle free maintenance onion peeling machine is loved as it produces peeled onions comparable to hand peeled onions, with little waste, and at very high speeds.

M&P Engineering also develops and manufactures other food processing machinery such as depositors and fillers. Their food depositors and food filling equipment is designed for countless applications, such as filling free flowing products and solids. M&P offers an extensive range of supporting attachments and accessories and can also design and develop bespoke nozzles and systems. M&P provides all their customers with a comprehensive warranty with excellent customer care. M&P also supplies refurbished and used food processing machinery.

For more information about M&P’s products of services, contact us here.