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The right irrigation method
The red onion of Tropea is a tuberous plant that is grown in some Calabrian territories, between Nicotera and Catanzaro, Cosenza and Vibo Valentia. It provides an excellent boost to the local economy and is protected by Italian legislation through the Red Onion Consortium of Tropea IGP. As far as irrigation is concerned, the onion is a plant with rather flexible water requirements: it is in fact necessary to administer nourishment water only when the soil is particularly dry. But we must pay attention to the amount of water administered: by exaggerating, in fact, we run the risk that the soil does not absorb it and therefore a stagnation is created, which is able to kill the plant in a very short time. Bulbs, in particular, suffer contact with stagnant water.
Take care of the Tropea onion
The Tropea onion, as is more generally the family of the Amaryllidaceae to which it belongs, is characterized by its peculiar resistance to climatic conditions and diseases. It is a plant that therefore requires little care and attention. A fundamental activity consists in the control and eradication of weeds: these in fact grow and expand without having a relevant agricultural function and compete with the growing plant, depriving it of space and risking to infect it with parasites. A good care is in operating the so-called weeding, or the work of the soil aimed at cutting and re-mixing the most superficial layer of the soil, and the hoeing, by which the more superficial part of the ground is removed so as to be able to oxygenate at best the plant is so as to attenuate the evaporation of the nourishing water.
Cultivation and fertilization methods
Being a superficial root plant, the red onion of Tropea needs frequent and abundant fertilizations; abundant because their composition inhibits the rapid absorption of the main nutrients it needs. The advice is to administer exclusively mineral fertilizers rich in nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus and to strictly exclude organic fertilizers that could make the plant sick. The cultivation of an onion plant can start by using the scraps of the same or by planting the seeds found in the flowers of the ripened onions. In the first case, just keep the lower part of the red tropea onions, leave them to dry in the open air for a few days and then plant them in the vegetable garden or in a pot; they must be facing the bottom and covered by at least two centimeters of soil. In the second case it will be enough to collect the seeds contained in the inflorescence of the onion and plant them in soil.
Tropea onion: Diseases and remedies
Recognizing the diseases to which the Tropea onions are subjected and adopting the right remedies can become the best method to allow the plant a long survival. Downy mildew is a fungal bacterium that attacks the aerial parts of the plant. It manifests as white or grayish lines, and in the presence of strong humidity the bacterium is able to attack the entire plant. To combat this disease it is necessary to turn to specialized centers that will provide the right antiperonosporic chemical agent. White mold is a fungus that can hit the plant at every stage of its life; it manifests itself through the classic mold that quickly leads to yellowing and the death of bulbs and roots. There are no remedies for this disease, but only adequate chemical preventions. Delia antiqua is known as the onion fly: it occurs in the bulbs and feeds on the plant's tissues. The remedy is to purchase pesticides.