Onions grow best in zones 3-7. It should be grown in full sunlight but can also be grown in partial shade. Best suited to sandy or loamy soil with a pH level of 6.2-6.8. Plants should be spaced 3-4 inches apart and 2 inches deep as onions can grow 2 feet tall and 3 inches wide. Onions flower from June to July. The onions should be watered regularly and a layer of mulch should be added after the plant has been established to maintain the moisture. Add compost if necessary to make sure the soil is fertile. Onions can be harvested when the tops have fallen over and dried out. After the onions have been pulled, let them cure for a few days in the shade (2). Onions repel insects and moles which lowers the need to use pesticides. They are good companions to plants of the cabbage family like cabbage, broccoli, collards, kale, kohlrabi, and Brussels sprouts. Onions repel cabbage loopers, maggots, worms, and Japanese beetles. Onions also deter rabbits that might cabbages. They can be planted next to tomatoes or herbs like chamomile, dill, and parsley because onions repel insects that harm these vegetables.(5)

Culinary and Medicinal Uses
Eating onions has been known to lower the risk of angina, arteriosclerosis and heart attacks. It has been used to prevent oral infection and tooth decay. In folk medicine, onion juice can be used to treat earaches. Onions also aid in the formation of scar tissue on wounds. It can also be rubbed on the skin to repel insects. Onion bulbs are mostly used in different culinary dishes. They can be eaten raw and used in salads and sandwiches. They can be cooked or baked and used in soups. In Mexico, onion is applied to burns, cuts, bits, or arthritic joints (1).

Significance to Cultural Communities
Remnants of onions have been found in ancient Egyptian tombs dating back to 3200 BC. Chicago got it's name from a Native American word "Shikako" or "skunk place," which represented by all of the wild "stinky onions" that used to be native to the region and one of the staple crops for the Native Americans. (3) While onion is a staple crop in India, groups of Orthodox Hindus and Jainas regard the onion as strong and overpowering, compared to believing other vegetables as soft. (4)

1. “Allium cepa Onion.” (2006). Retrieved October 3, 2013, from Plants for a Future website:   http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Allium+cepa  
2. Christman, S. (2003, September 13). “Allium Cepa Cepa Group.” Retrieved October 3, 2013, from Floridata website: http://www.floridata.com/ref/a/alli_cep.cfm 
3. “Chicago, a Name of Indian Origin, and the Native Wild Onion to Which the Indians May Have Had Reference as the "Skunk Place" H. A. Allard Castanea , Vol. 20, No. 1 (Mar., 1955) , pp. 28-31 Published by: Southern Appalachian Botanical Society Article Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4031533 
4. “Vegetarianism in India.” India and its Neighbors. https://www.sscnet.ucla.edu/southasia/Culture/Cuisine/vegetar.html 
5. “Compatible Plants With Onion & Garlic.” SFGate. http://homeguides.sfgate.com/compatible-plants-onions-garlic-22804.html