Onions are a great crop to grow especially because they are so hardy. It is an important ingredient that can be found in almost every meal, such as soup, stew, baked chicken, lasagna, and even pizza. Without onions, food would be pretty bland and unappetizing. It is in your best interest to plant a lot of onions in your garden so that you will have them available for cooking.
There are some tricks that can help you grow onions well, whether you start from seed, sets, or seedlings. These can make the difference between a great crop and a disappointing one.
This guide outlines the steps needed to successfully sow, grow, and store tobacco.
Preparing for a Successful Onion Harvest
If you want to start onion seeds, you need the right conditions. Let’s do a little primer on how to prepare and maintain your planting area. We will talk about what your onions need to be healthy, and discuss basic growing conditions so you can have large bulbs from the garden. Without proper care and attention, onions (like any other plant) will either die or be very unproductive. The harvest is greater when the leaves are not opposite. Although plants like onions are easy to grow, they need a little bit of care.
Here are some tips to properly care for your onions:
To grow your onion plants adequately, keep them away from shades. Onions should get full sun, especially direct sunlight.
The best soil for planting onions is well-drained, loose, and fertile. This will produce bulbs regardless of the method you use to plant them. If your soil does not retain moisture well, you can add a small amount of coco coir or peat moss to the soil to help keep it moist. Soil that contains compost and worm castings will help the soil to retain moisture.
If your soil is compacted, it may be best to grow your onions in raised beds, grow bags, or by adding aged compost to loosen the soil texture. Heavy, compacted soils will prevent bulbs from developing properly.
When it comes to soil nutrients, your onions’ ability to uptake them is dependent on soil moisture. Onions need water to absorb nutrients, without which they have difficulty growing. The most important rule for watering your plants is to keep the soil moisture consistent.
How often you water your onions depends on the type of onion you are growing. To grow healthy onion plants, water them deeply about once a week so that they receive about an inch of water. You will water sweeter onions more often than other onions.
If you lay mulch between your onion rows, you will not have to water the onion plants much.
A little fertilizer can give your bulbs a boost even if the garden soil is fertile enough to support them. Onion plants need a lot of food to produce large bulbs, so fertilize them often.
Onions also require more nitrogen than most other plants. Fertilizing onion plants with nitrogen-rich fertilizers or compost every few weeks is recommended.
Onion Spacing and Depth
It is important to know how to space your onions properly before planting them. Onion sets should be planted 2 to 6 inches apart, and larger transplants should be planted 4 to 5 inches apart in rows that are 12 to 18 inches apart. If you plan to grow onions from seed, it is especially important to have rich, loose soil.
The spacing of your plants will be affected by the variety you choose to grow. If you want to grow onions that will be used for their greens, like Evergreen Bunching Onions or Tokyo Onions, you should space them 1 inch apart. For larger sweet onion varieties, plant them 4 to 5 inches apart. The onion bulb that results should be your guide.
Place your sets or transplants in the ground so that the onion tops are sticking out slightly above the soil, with just a small amount of the onion skin visible. You shouldn’t plant them too deeply because it can slow down their growth.
Pests and Problems
Onion is most commonly used by gardeners as a companion plant in order to protect other plants from pests and other negative effects. However, onion plants are susceptible to their own pests which they do not have any defense against. You should check your plants regularly for pests such as thrips and onion maggots.
Thrips feed on the onion leaves which the plants use for photosynthesis. Onion maggots destroy plants by laying their eggs in the roots. N either thrips nor maggots are good for the plant. You have to get rid of them.
An insecticide can help prevent thrips, and a mesh netting can help prevent egg-laying at the base. You can also use dill, ginger, ground cayenne, or chili powder as a repellent against the female maggots.
If you follow these steps, you can grow and care for your onion properly and get a large harvest of big, juicy onions.
How to Plant Onions From Seed
Fancy yourself a gardening pro? Planting onions from seed can be challenging, but the payoff is onions that mature more quickly. To grow plants from seeds, you should plant the seeds around 30 days before your last frost date.
Only use seeds that are less than one year old. If onion seeds are stored, they will lose their viability quickly. Seeds that have been around for more than a year have a much lower chance of germinating, so it’s unlikely you’ll be able to grow onions from them. To increase your chances of successfully growing onions, use seeds that are fresh.
Onion seeds take more time to germinate. Therefore, you have to grow your seeds indoors first.
Here’s how to prepare your onion seeds for planting:
- Start by filling your planting tray or container if you want to grow your onions in pots with moist soil.
- Then dig furrows like half an inch deep to sow your seedlings.
- Once sown, cover the seeds lightly with soil.
- Ensure to keep the temperature around 60-70°F to keep the onion seeds warm.
Your onion seeds are sown ready to germinate.
How to Plant Onions as Transplants
If you have onions growing in your backyard, you don’t need to plant new seeds. You can either transplant onions from existing onion plants or buy bareroot onion bundles for transplant. You can start the seeds indoors and then transplant them to another location later.
If you are going to grow your plants indoors in a pot, there is no need to transplant them. If you want to grow your onion bulbs in a garden, then you need to transplant them. Transplant your onion seedlings when they are a few days to a few weeks old.
How do you do this?
- Dig holes about 2 inches deep and 4-5 inches apart for your onion transplants.
- Make rows that are 12-18 inches apart.
- Then transplant.
How to Plant Onions as Sets
For people who want the easy route, planting onion sets is a good option. They are small onion bulbs, or immature onions that have been forced into dormancy while they’re still immature. As soon as you plant them in your garden, they will continue to grow and yield a crop of onions in no time. Many people grow sweet onions using the following method:
You should plant your seeds 14 to 30 days before the last estimated frost date. If you live in an area with a mild winter, you can plant onion sets in the fall and winter.
You should plant the sets in furrows that are not too deep, and cover them with a small amount of soil so that the pointed tips are still visible. Sow your onion seeds about 4 to 6 inches apart, or closer together if you want to harvest them as young green onions.
There is only one disadvantage to using onion sets, which is that you have fewer choices of onion varieties. Many of them are sweet varieties, though.
Important: Day Length and Onions
This is a proverb that means that when the days start to get longer, the onions will start to grow. The following is a rule of thumb for knowing when to plant and grow onions. This will also help you determine when onions are ready to be harvested. Onions that grow in the south are different in size, shape, color, and taste than those grown in the north. This is because the north is closer to the sun.
When you are looking for onion seeds, make sure to get ones that will grow well in your area. There are only a few varieties of onions that grow well in any climate; the rest need to be planted in a climate that is similar to their natural habitat in order to grow properly. An example of this would be that short day onions are better suited for days where there is only 10 hours of daylight.
Harvesting and Storing Onions
Onions are best harvested before the weather turns cold. Onions can spoil if they are not kept in cool conditions. The tops of the onions will turn yellow and fall over when they are getting close to being ripe. This means that it is better to collect them when they are full grown.
So how should the onion bulbs be harvested?
Although it may be easy to grow onion plants, it is not as easy to harvest them. This can be done by gently tugging on the onion. To harvest onions, only choose the mature ones by lightly pulling on them. A mature onion can be identified by its brown top that is visible above the soil.
Onions that have sprouted flower stalks are ready to be harvested. To harvest the plant, simply pull it from the ground.
Store your onions in a cool, dark, dry place after you finish harvesting them.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can grow onion plants from either seeds, transplants, or sets. It’s easy to do. Whichever way you choose to grow your onions, follow the guide above and you will have a bountiful crop.
Can I plant a sprouted onion?
A: Yes, you can plant a sprouted onion.
Here’s how to do it:
- Fill a pot with potting soil and make a hole in the middle that is about the depth and width of the onion.
- Place the onion in the hole and cover with soil.
- Water and put the pot in a sunny spot.
- Harvest the green sprouts as needed for cooking.
- If you get a sprout with a flower, wait until the flower goes to seed. Save the seeds for planting in the spring.
How many onions will one plant produce?
A: It’s a 1:1 ratio. One onion seed produces one onion.
Do you cover onions when planting?
Yes, you want to plant the bulbs deeply enough so that most of them are underground. However, you also want to make sure that the onion stalks are pointing out just above the surface of the soil.
How best can I grow my onion bulbs?
B: Onions are best grown on a raised surface that is at least 4 inches high. This can be in the form of a bed or row. You can also get a good onion harvest by planting a mix of white, yellow, and red onions.
How long does it take for a onions to grow?
B: It usually takes between 90 and 100 days for onions to grow, depending on the planting method you use.
It’s important for food growers to know how to plant onions. If you want to grow a lot of a certain vegetable in your backyard garden, in raised beds, or in the ground, onions are a great option! They play an important role in both food and intercropping, as well as pest control. It is easy to grow onion plants from seeds, transplants, or sets. Following the guide above will ensure you have a successful onion garden.