Different Ways to Plant Onions in Your Backyard This Year


There’s an onion for almost every flavor and culinary purpose: mild to pungent, tiny pearl onions to big Bermudas. Home gardeners get a preference in how they plant onions, too, with popular techniques inclusive of sets, transplants, and seeds. Some even appoint all three techniques underneath the principle that you could’t have too many onions!

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First, find out which sorts do pleasant on your location. Since the lengthening days of overdue spring cause the transition from developing leaves and roots to the enterprise of forming bulbs, the forms of onions that succeed in Northern states fluctuate from the ones within the South.

Seed packets and catalog descriptions should reveal which types paintings properly in brief-day regions (those who form bulbs while day duration is only 10 to 12 hours), intermediate-day regions (12 to fourteen hours), or long-day regions (14 to sixteen hours). A few onions are taken into consideration day-neutral and can develop anywhere.

Dixondale Farms, which grows and sells onion transplants, presents this map to aid in variety choice. Note the place of overlap between lengthy-day and intermediate-day regions where varieties of both kind can develop and a comparable overlapping region for intermediate-day and brief-day varieties. Canadian gardeners ought to pick out long-day varieties.


Once you’ve got discovered the proper kind for your lawn, right here’s how each planting approach works and how to get commenced:

Set are tiny onion bulbs grown from seeds and pressured into dormancy at an immature level. Once planted within the lawn, they resume developing. Sets are the very best of the 3 planting techniques and a great way to produce a variety of large onions for storage.

Plant sets to four weeks before the common closing-frost date; your county’s cooperative extension carrier can let you know whilst that is. In moderate-iciness climates, plant onion sets in fall or winter.

Place the sets in a shallow furrow and cover with simply sufficient soil to go away their pointed recommendations on the soil surface. The spacing among onions need to ultimately be 4 to six inches — relying on the mature length of the range — but you may region the sets closer together to start with and harvest thinnings to be used as inexperienced onions.

A disadvantage of relying on units is the confined choice of varieties. Most lawn facilities label their containers of units by means of coloration (white, yellow, or red) as opposed to through cultivar. You is probably tempted to pick out the most important sets from the bin, but these can go to seed quick rather than forming a big bulb. Sets which might be 1⁄2 inch in diameter — approximately the size of a dime — are the first-rate buy.

Bundles of bareroot onion transplants are to be had from mail-order outlets in winter and early spring. With a greenhouse or indoor mild setup, you may additionally produce your very own. In the North, sow seeds in a flat of seed-beginning medium eight to 10 weeks before the closing frost for planting outdoors approximately six weeks later. In the South, time the seedlings to be set out in fall or winter. Thin the rising seedlings within the flat to stand as a minimum 1⁄2 inch aside in rows approximately 2 inches apart so they may be less complicated to separate at transplant time.

Harden off the seedlings by means of setting the flat in a sheltered spot outdoors for some hours a day, step by step acclimating them to a complete day of direct daylight. On the day they’re to be planted inside the garden, lift the seedlings cautiously from the flat and shake the soil from their roots. If the tops have grown tall and wispy, trim them returned to about 6 inches.

Dig a trench for the seedlings and location them barely deeper than they had been in the flat. As with sets, seedlings may be planted nearer than their ultimate spacing of 4 to 6 inches, with the extras harvested as inexperienced onions.


To grow the largest bulbs, onions enjoy the head start they get from units or transplants. However, bunching onions or scallions are quicker to mature and that they can be seeded directly into the garden.

Sow seeds outdoors approximately a month before the frost-unfastened date and on the other hand each few weeks through fall for persistent harvests; inside the South, the season is fall thru spring. Start with sparkling seeds no extra than a year old due to the fact they lose viability quickly in garage.


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