Onions are a great addition to home gardens or raised beds. They take up very little space, and they are easier to grow than you think. However, it’s important to know how deep to plant onions to ensure that you get the best onion crop at the end of the growing season.
Discover ways to grow onions, whether onion seeds or bulbs, and how to use your home-grown onions to prepare a delicious recipe.
The best thing about planting onions is there are many onion varieties, including bunching onions, green onions, red onions, shallots, yellow onions, and white onions. With so many options ranging in flavor and appearance, you’ll never get bored while gardening.
How to Plant Onions
There are short-day and long-day onions, and your region plays an essential role in which types you decide to plant. Short-day onions form bulbs with ten to twelve hours of daylight, while long-day onion sets need a fourteen to sixteen-hour day length for bulbing.
How do you plant onion bulbs, and where is the ideal place to grow them? How you plant onions depends on whether you plant onion bulbs or seeds, and where you live determines if you should plant long or short-day onions. These growers love full sun, and some types require longer days of sunshine than others.
Learn ways to grow onions and how deep to plant onions bulbs and seeds with the proper spacing. Find out how to care for your onion seedlings as they mature and when the green tops and bulbs are ready to harvest.
How Deep to Plant Onions Bulbs
Onion bulbs or sets are small onions grown from seed the previous year. They are harvested as immature bulbs instead of being allowed to mature, and they are easy to find in mesh bags at your local garden centers. Here is how deep to plant onions bulbs when starting a new garden.
Start by sorting through the large and small bulbs. Large bulbs are ideal for growing green onions, and bulbs smaller than a dime are perfect for growing bulb onions. Plant the onion bulbs an inch to two inches deep in garden soil and space them five to six inches apart with rows twelve to fifteen inches apart.
If you live in an appropriate climate with a mild winter, plant short-day onions in October or November for a June harvest and long-day onions in the early spring for a late summer crop.
How Deep to Plant Onions from Seed
Unlike onion bulbs or sets, onion seeds are bulbs that have not grown yet, and sowing them produces onion seedlings for transplanting during the current growing season. Learn how deep to plant onions from seed and how far to space them for optimal growth.
Before the last frost in early spring, fill a seed starting tray with pre-moistened potting soil and sprinkle onion seeds evenly over the top. Cover them with an eighth of an inch of soil. Press the dirt down lightly and keep the tray in a warm area where the temperature is around 70 to 75°F to encourage germination.
When you’re ready to transplant the seedlings in the garden, harden them off, gently remove them from the container, and transplant them three to four inches apart in a prepared garden setting.
How Do You Plant Onion Bulbs?
How do you plant onion bulbs? The quick and easy way to grow onions is from bulbs since seeds take longer to grow. Discover how to plant onion bulbs, the best way to plant onion sets, give your plants care as they grow, and when the onions are ready for harvesting.
Pick a full sun area for your garden and prepare it with organic matter before planting. In early spring or fall, depending on the onion type and the best time to plant onions in your zone, plant the onion bulbs with the recommended onion spacing and depth, and water them right after planting.
Fertilize the onions every few weeks with nitrogen to promote large bulbs. However, stop feeding the plants once the bulbing process begins. After you stop fertilizing, mulch them with a half-inch layer of straw to retain moisture and prevent weeds.
Ideal green onion growing conditions yield tastier onions. Water your onions as needed during dry spells to ensure they receive about an inch of water each week to prevent bolting and flower stalks.
Thrips and onion maggots are common pests of onions. There is no difference between yellow and white onions and other types regarding these bugs. Thrips are tiny insects as fat as a sewing needle and easy to eliminate with insecticidal soap, while fine mesh netting over your plants keeps onion maggots away.
Harvest green tops throughout the season and add them to salads, quiche, and other dishes, or harvest bulbs at the end of the season when the tops turn yellow and fall over.
Using Fresh Garden Onions to Make Pickles
Making pickles is an excellent way to use garden onions before they go bad. The pickling process helps preserve the onions, and the result is a unique and tasty condiment for adding to burgers and hot dogs. This recipe can use all types of onions and uses vinegar and honey for a tasty combination.
Stir the apple cider vinegar, salt, water, and honey in a saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until it reaches a simmer. Place the onion slices in a jar or container and pour the hot vinegar mixture over the top to cover them. Let them cool, put the lid in place, and keep the quick-pickled onions in the fridge for up to two weeks.
There is nothing more satisfying than starting a new garden in early spring, especially when you plant aromatic veggies like chives, leeks, scallions, and onions. The only thing more enjoyable than planting the seeds is harvesting the food at the end of the growing season.
Now that you understand how deep to plant onions and give your plants the TLC they require to thrive, why not share our onion growing guide with your gardening friends and family on Pinterest and Facebook?