Do you need a sweet and juicy onion variety to add to your home garden? Bermuda onions are a cold-hardy, low-maintenance, and delicious variety that will make the perfect addition to your recipes.
Keep reading to learn more about this onion variety and how you can care for them in your vegetable garden!
Are you looking to buy Bermuda onion seeds? Check availability here!
History of the Bermuda Onion
Bermuda onions, like other onion varieties, come from the lily family (Allium). You’ll also find leeks, shallots, garlic, and other root vegetables within this family.
This specific type of onion variety’s Bermudan cultivation started in the early 1600s. They generally grow very well on the archipelago (Bermuda is a group of islands).
So, it became a popular crop among farmers here. People often called Bermuda The Onion Patch due to their abundance of good-quality onions!
It can be a little challenging to find Bermuda onions in grocery stores. They were, for the most part, replaced with other sweet onion varieties. But you may be able to find them at farmer’s markets, and you can grow them at home.
Characteristics of the Bermuda Onion
Onions are a type of root vegetable, so you won’t see the bulbs until harvesting time. But here is some general information about what they look like.
Bermuda onions are large, circular, and almost flat. It almost looks like someone squished the onion into a disk shape. The color of the onions will vary between white and yellow depending on the type. Varieties of this onion include White Bermuda, Yellow Bermuda, and Crystal Wax.
The onions have stalks that can get as tall as 18 inches. They’re typically a beautiful bright green and can produce flowers that range from green to white.
White and Yellow Bermuda onions have a large diameter of 3-4 inches wide. But, the Crystal Wax type tends to be a little smaller at an average of about 2-3 inches in diameter.
Growing and Caring for Bermuda Onions
Onions are one of the easier root vegetables to grow at home. Use the following planting information to help grow healthy Bermuda onions in your home garden!
Bermuda onions can grow in any USDA hardiness zone. Onions, in general, enjoy mild and cool weather, so they do best in zones 5-6.
The Bermuda onion’s growing season usually lasts from spring through the fall. It’s roughly 7-8 months in total. You’ll typically plant the seeds in the spring and harvest them in the summer through the fall.
However, you can also choose to plant the seeds in the fall. This will give them a growing head start in the spring.
Size and Spacing
When planting your seeds, they should be about 4-6 inches apart, with rows at a minimum of one foot apart. Four inches is the absolute minimum amount of spacing, as this onion’s diameter will usally reach four inches.
The seeds should also be ¼ – ½ inch deep in the soil. Burying them deeper than this can affect their development.
Bermuda onions prefer well-drained soil with a pH between six and seven. Mixing organic matter into their soil is a great and easy option to help with drainage. And using a pH tester can come in handy when trying to figure out your soil’s acidity level.
If your soil’s pH isn’t in the correct range, you can use pH-adjusting fertilizers to fix it.
Onions need full sun to grow properly. This means your onion patch will need 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day. So don’t plant your seeds under trees or any other shady areas.
Bermuda onions don’t need watering every day and often only need watering 1-2 times a week. They’ll normally need about an inch of water per week if there is no rain. And you won’t usually need to water them at all in a given week if it does rain.
Besides the pH-adjusting fertilizers (if needed), onions generally like high-nitrogen fertilizers. These will help the onion bulbs develop correctly.
After planting and initial fertilizing, your onions will only need fertilizing every 2-3 weeks.
Onion pollination occurs through cross-pollination with the help of pollinators like bees, butterflies, and birds. The wind can also aid in the movement of pollen to the onion flowers.
Bermuda onion stalks can get quite tall. So you should trim a few inches off the stalks when they reach a height of around 5-6 inches. Doing this will help the stalks stay strong and promote stronger and fuller bulb growth.
As with most garden vegetables, there are some diseases to look out for. Onions, like the Bermuda variety, are susceptible to diseases such as the following:
- Botrytis blight – a type of gray, fuzzy mold.
- Purple blotch – a fungal infection that shows itself as purple sections on the stalks of the onions.
- Downy mildew – a type of water mold that creates yellow blotches on the onion stalks.
If you see signs of these diseases, your first line of action is to get rid of any diseased parts of the stalks. Then you can use a vegetable garden fungicide to kill any remaining fungus spores.
You may also come across some nasty pests in your Bermuda onion patch, such as the following:
- Nematodes – microscopic worms that will feed on all parts of your onions.
- Onion flies – small flies that produce onion bulb-eating larvae.
- Thrips – skinny, small insects that feed on your onion’s stalks.
Vegetable-safe insecticides can help treat onion fly and thrip infestations. But nematodes are a little more difficult to get rid of. Your line of defense for these guys is sanitation through soil rotation and solarization with farm plastic. Heat is great at killing these pests.
When to Harvest Bermuda Onions
These onions are usually ready to harvest by the end of summer or about 90-100 days after planting. You can tell when they are ready when the stalks start turning yellow or brown and begin to flop over.
Eating Bermuda Onions
Bermuda onions are great for eating raw or cooked. They aren’t as pungent as other onion varieties. So feel free to enjoy them in uncooked or cooked dishes!
What Do They Taste Like?
The Bermuda onion is a sweet onion variety, so it has a very mild onion flavor to it. They lack that eye-watering spiciness that other onions have. And their texture is deliciously crunchy and juicy.
Cooking With Bermuda Onions
Due to its mild flavor, this type of onion is perfect for eating raw on salads, burgers, and sandwiches. But, if you’d rather cook the onions, they are deliciously sweet in soups, mixed with roasted vegetables, or even fried!
They go well in almost any meat-based dish and make a great complement to things like stir-fries. Bermuda onions have no limits!
Bermuda Onion Recipe Ideas
After harvesting, try out some of these recipes with your delicious Bermuda onions:
Health Benefits of Bermuda Onions
Onions are chock full of all kinds of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C and other antioxidants. Along with this comes the following health benefits:
- A lowered risk of heart disease
- A lowered risk of cell damage from things like cancer or diabetes
- Regulation of blood sugar
- Improvements in digestive health
Where to Buy Bermuda Onion Seeds
Do you want to add Bermuda onions to your vegetable garden? Check Etsy for seed availability!
Wrapping Up the Bermuda Onion
If you’re thinking about planting onions in your garden, try planting Bermuda onions! These funky-looking onions are easy to grow with their generally low-maintenance needs. And they’ll offer a mild and sweet onion flavor to all your raw and cooked dishes!
Are you looking for more interesting details on onions? Take a look at our onion page for more information on growing, harvesting, and eating different onion varieties!
- About the Author
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Ashley Masiello is a home gardener, outdoor lover, video editor, artist, general freelance writer, and a writer for Minnetonka Orchards. She has a bachelor’s degree in film/media and two minors in writing and art.
She loves to tend to her plants, participate in all kinds of outdoor projects, and looks forward to planting a beautiful garden every spring.
Ashley loves sharing her knowledge about planting and fun outdoor DIY projects!
Ashley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.