Everything that gets attention grows

by G.A. (Gijsbrecht) Gunter, Msc

Everything that gets attention grows. A quite simple truth and one of the universal laws of life. As the founder of biology, the Greek philosopher Aristotle discovered an unchanging regularity in natural events. And if he hadn't already written this aphorism so many centuries ago, it could easily have been a statement from a Dutch onion grower.

Every experienced Dutch onion grower knows that a healthy growth of a new Holland Onion requires attention. Attention during the arch stage following a successful germination. But especially a lot of attention during the formation of the first true onion leaf succeeding the flag leaf stage. Because at this very moment the young onion seedling becomes self-sufficient by starting its own root formation. And it is precisely then that a young Dutch onion is particularly vulnerable. From then on, the daily perceptible reality in terms of moisture, light and nutrients requires the full down-to-earth attention from the onion grower.

Onions germinate slowly and also grow slowly. It takes an average of 30-35 days for a germinated seedling to reach the first above-ground 'arch stage'. Called so because the onion seedling is then still grounded with his growing tip in his little seed cap while at the same time still attached to its primary root in the ground. The seedling then rises -like a little arch- above the earth. After a day or two the growing tip also releases itself from the earth and the flag leaf emerges.

This is how the growing season of a new generation of Holland Onions begins. Cherished and protected in those early days of their existence. It is wonderful to see how well the onion crop thrives with all that attention. Watch it all happen at