Ready to start growing onions? Onions are space-efficient and low maintenance plants, perfect for beginner gardeners who are short on space and time. As we mentioned in the previous article, you can grow onions almost anywhere, starting at almost any time. Whether you plan to grow white, yellow, or red onions these everyday vegetables are a must have plant for you.
So, if you have found the space to start growing onions, go grab an onion seeding or set to start growing! As you begin your journey to gardening consider some of these simple quick tips as you go from planting to harvest.
Don’t want to start with a seed? You can grow onions by using a part of a whole onion. Just keep the bottom part of the onion, its roots, and plant it no more than an inch under the soil. That’s it! If you're using seedlings or transplants, shorten the roots before planting it.
How much space do onions need? Individually, onions do not need much space, a small four-inch ceramic pot will do. If you are growing multiple onion plants keep each plant three to four inches apart and leave twelve inches between each row.
Unsure where to grow onions? Onions like sunlight and colder temperature, around 13 to 25 degrees Celsius (55 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit). If you live in a hot climate, it's best to grow your onions in a partially shaded area outdoors. If you live in a colder climate, you'll want to plant your onions in an area with full sun. If you grow your onions indoors, put them by a window that gets some natural light. If you do not have a window with plenty natural light, use grow lights or place the plant under flourescent lights.
How deep do I plant onions? No deeper than one inch under the soil.
How do I know if my seedling is ready for transplant? Once the onion seedling sprouts a third leaf, it should be ready to transplant.
How do you know when your plant needs extra attention? Onion’s resiliency minimizes its risk of insects and infections. It can even ward off a number of pests from your garden, such as aphids. But if your onion plant’s shoots start getting shades that are not green, it may need extra attention. Here’s a simple guide to troubleshooting your onion plant.
How often do I water them? Once every three days, less if it’s raining. Onions love moisture, so give them a nice shower every now and then. If you're unsure about whether the plant needs watering, insert your finger into the soil. If it feels dry, the nit needs more water.
What do I need to know about maintaining my onion plant? Aside from watering, regular weeding is important for an onion’s plant growth. Spend the extra few minutes to cut out any growing weeds after watering your plants. Also, once the weather starts warming up, consider mulching, covering the soil with things like leaves or grass clippings, to aid in keeping your soil moist.
What do I do if my onion plants start growing flowers? Cut off the flowers.
How long until the plant is ready for harvest? Dry bulb onions can take 100 to 175 days to reach maturity. But you’ll be able to cut off the shoots for in a month to use as green onions.
Need to know if your onions are ready for harvest? Once the onion’s tops start turning yellow and its shoots start bending over, the plant is about ready for harvest. You can help the plant fully bend over by stomping or pushing the plant. Wait about a day to a week for the onion tops turn brown. Once, the onion top is brown, it is ready to harvest.
Here’s an example from No Dig of an onion plant almost ready for harvest
How do I harvest the plant? On a sunny day, pull the whole plant out of the soil and let it dry under the sun. Once dry, the onions are ready for use. If it is an exceptionally sunny day you can use the shoots to cover the onions from the sun.
Any tips on storing onions? You can keep the shoots on the onions and braid them together. If you don’t plan on braiding the onions, trim out the roots and cut of the onions top, leaving only about a couple centimeters.
With all these simple tips you almost guarantee a successful life for your onions. If you’re ready to start, jump right to your My Green Space app to set up your onion plant today!
Header photo by Thomas Martinsen