Improving Onion Bulb Firmness

Firmness is a critical characteristic of onion crops, particularly in dry bulb onions which are stored for long periods. Growers can influence bulb firmness by applying balanced nutrition.

Crop Nutrition and Onion Bulb Firmness

Nitrogen plays an important role in bulb firmness. Potassium and calcium deficiencies can also lead to bulbs with lower densities.

Nitrogen can help to increase the specific weight of the outer skin, which results in an improvement of the bulb’s resistance to pressure, therefore reducing handling and storage damages. However, overall bulb firmness may decrease with high rates of nitrogen due to a softening of internal tissue.