How to Grow Onions

Growing onions can be a fun and rewarding experience – and you’ve got two options to consider. For starters, there’s the traditional route of sowing onion seeds. But if you want to get a jump start, try onion sets! These are miniature onions that can be planted in the autumn (for overwintering) or spring. To get the best results, opt for sets that have been heat-treated – this will keep them from going to seed prematurely.

From Seed

December through February is the best time to sow the seeds! You can place 4-5 seeds in each module, and no thinning is required. Make sure to keep the compost moist, and leave the modules in a warm spot. When the onion seedlings are big enough to survive on their own, it’s time to transplant them.

From Sets

Get started a couple of months before by adding a layer of manure and giving the soil a good dig. Plant the sets in drills and make sure the necks are just slightly above the surface. Don’t let your plants dry out – keep them hydrated with regular watering.

Harvesting and storage

As the leaves start to transition from green to yellow, it’s time for harvest! Gather up your onions and lay them out in a warm, dry place for a few weeks until they are completely dried out. When it comes to storage, you’ve got a few options. You can hang them in nets or braid them together, or you can box them up and store them away!

Pests and diseases

Onions are particularly susceptible to certain pests and diseases, so it’s important to change up the planting locations to avoid any potential issues. Potential pests or diseases include:

  • Onion neck rot
  • Onion white rot
  • Onion fly

You can also help prevent disease by purchasing new fresh sets each year.