If you enjoy the mildly strong flavor of yellow onions, then you’ll love growing them. These onions are just as easy to produce as green onions, leeks, shallots, scallions, and other onion types, and they grow well in a garden bed, raised bed, or containers. Discover how to grow yellow onions at home and harvest them at the end of the growing season.
There are many different onion varieties, from bunching onions and red onions to white and yellow onions, and they are all great additions to the vegetable patch. However, the yellow onion is the perfect cooking onion, and its versatility makes it an ideal choice if you cannot decide which onions to plant.
Onions are biennial plants that require cool weather to get a head start and warm weather to form bulbs. Planting onions (Allium cepa) in the early spring after the last frost date ensures that you get a healthy crop of organic onions in late summer or early fall.
- Planting and Growing Yellow Onions
Planting and Growing Yellow Onions
While yellow onions are relatively easy growers, there are a few things to understand about these alliums before growing them. Learn about the different types of yellow onions, their growing needs, and how to plant onions and care for them for optimal growth. The main difference between yellow and white onion is the taste, so choose your variety accordingly.
Things to Know about Growing Yellow Onions
While growing yellow onions is pretty straightforward, there are some things to know when planning the garden. Find out the difference between long day onions and short day onions and the soil and sun requirements these veggies want for germination and bulbing.
How do yellow onions grow? There are two main types of onions, short day and long day onions, and they have varying day length requirements.
Short-day onions like ten hours of daylight, while long-day varieties need 14 to 15 hours of full sun daily. All yellow onion types grow best in well-drained, fertile soil with a pH of 6.0 to 6.8, and most yellow onions are short-day varieties.
Growing Yellow Onions from Seed
Growing onions from seeds takes a little longer than planting sets, but it’s worth it since there are more onion varieties. Here is how to plant yellow onion seeds indoors with proper spacing, water, and warmth.
Growing yellow onions from seed is simple as long as you plant them at the right time of year. If you live in a cold region, sow the seeds indoors during late winter and transplant them outside after the last frost for late winter or early summer harvest. Direct sow seeds in late summer or early fall in a southern area.
To sow seeds indoors, fill a seed starting tray with seed starting soil and sprinkle the onion seeds over the top. Cover them with an eighth-inch of dirt, press them down lightly, and spray them with water.
Cover the seed tray with a humidity dome or plastic and keep it in a warm area where the temperatures are 70 to 75°F. After the seeds sprout, remove the plastic or dome and keep the dirt evenly moist.
Harden off the onion seedlings before transplanting them, and then plant them three to four inches apart. Water the onions gently and frequently, and remove weeds as soon as you notice them.
How to Grow Yellow Onions in the Garden
Since it takes up to 5 months for yellow onions to grow, the best way to grow yellow onions for faster growth is to plant onion sets grown from seeds the previous year. Garden centers sell a variety of onion sets, and you plant them directly into the ground.
The way to plant onion sets is to put them no more than one inch beneath the soil, and space them four to five inches apart, with rows 12 to 18 inches apart. Pat them down lightly and water right after planting.
Caring for Yellow Onions through the Season
It’s essential to provide your plants with proper care when growing yellow onions from seed or sets. Provide water and fertilizer to your onions to keep your plants healthy and productive.
Onion roots are shallow and want a steady supply of water since they are ineffective at taking up moisture, and stress causes them to bolt or grow a flower stalk.
Water them about an inch per week, and spread mulch over the bed to keep the ground consistently moist and prevent weeds from taking nutrients from the onion plants. Onions need a lot of nitrogen, and applying a nitrogen-based fertilizer three weeks after planting and every two to three weeks after that helps promote bulbing.
Dealing with Common Yellow Onion Problems
Food and water are not the only things to worry about while growing onions. There are some common issues your plants may deal with as they grow. Check out our tips for preventing them.
Several pests attack onion plants. Thrips are tiny insects that are most damaging when they feed on the plants during the early bulbing stage, while onion maggots stunt and wilt seedlings, and the insect overwinters as pupae in the dirt.
Leafminers leave white, winding trails on leaves, causing a yield reduction, and mites stunt plant growth. The best way to eliminate these onion pests is to remove them by hand, apply insecticidal soap, and avoid successive planting in the same location.
Fungal and bacterial diseases are also common in onion plants, including black mold, downy mildew, leaf blight, and pink rot. To prevent the spread of these diseases, and so you don’t have to learn a great way to tell if a yellow onion is bad, disinfect tools after each use, remove dead or diseased plant material, perform crop rotation, and water your plants at ground level.
When and How to Harvest Yellow Onions
How long does it take yellow onions to grow? Discover how long these alliums take to mature and how to harvest, cure, and store them after growing yellow onions through the season.
Yellow Onion Harvest
When the green tops on the onions turn yellow and fall over, they are ready for harvesting. Late summer is best time to harvest yellow onions. Gently pull the bulbs from the ground, shake off the excess dirt, and lay them in a warm and airy location to cure for seven to ten days.
After curing, clip off the onion tops and roots with shears without disturbing the papery skins, and store the onion bulbs in a cool and dry place to prevent sprouting.
Make a Tangy Side Dish with Yellow Onions from the Garden
For a fun way to prepare yellow onions, this fried onion and apple recipe is one you should try. As strange as it sounds, the onions and apples combination creates the perfect melody of sweet and tangy, and it’s simple to prepare. Feel free to substitute red onion for yellow, although the taste is slightly different.
Saute the sliced onions in a skillet with butter until tender. Combine the brown sugar, salt, paprika, and nutmeg in a bowl. Lay the apple slices over the top of the onions and sprinkle the sugar and spices over the top. Cover and simmer for ten minutes, take off the lid, cook for five more minutes until the apples are tender, and serve hot.
In many recipes, it’s possible to use onions instead of shallots if you don’t mind the change in flavor.
Planting yellow onions is pretty straightforward, as long as you provide your plants with everything they need to thrive. They are simple to grow from onion sets or onion seeds, take up very little space in the garden, and there is not much more rewarding than harvesting onions you grew yourself.
Now that you’ve learned how to grow yellow onions from start to finish, why not share our yellow onion growing guide with your gardening friends and family on Pinterest and Facebook?