Sowing to Harvest: Growing Onions


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Growing Onions from Sowing to Harvest

Yellow, red, and white varieties of bulb onions are available to the home grower.You can find a list of varieties by double-clicking on the Onion icon in our Garden Planner. Add some onions to your plan then view the Plant List to check recommended sowing, planting and harvesting dates for your garden.

Planting Onion Seeds

Sow onion seeds into plug trays or pots in a greenhouse or cold frame for the earliest start, at least a month sooner than outdoors sowings. Sow four to eight seeds per plug tray cell.

Onions prefer a sunny, open spot in rich, well-drained soil. Grow them in raised beds or on mounds if your soil is heavy and tends to remain wet.

Transplant the clumps of seedlings while still quite small so as not to disturb the roots. Planted each clump about 4in apart.

Sow seeds direct into the soil once the soil has warmed up in spring. Mark out seed drills about half an inch deep and a foot apart. Plant the seeds thinly, cover back over then water. Thin the seedlings in stages until they’re about 2in apart for smaller bulbs, or 4in apart for fewer but bigger onions. You can enjoy the thinnings as green onions. Cover early sowings or transplants with row covers.

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