When to Plant Onions From Seed?
Onions are biennial plants, which means that they take two years to complete their life cycle. In the first year, the plants produce leaves and roots. In the second year, the plants flower and produce seeds. Once the seeds are produced, the plant dies. So, how to grow onions?
Onions can be planted as soon as the ground can be worked in the early spring. If you are starting your onions from seed, you will need to start the seeds indoors about 6-8 weeks before the last frost date in your area. Once the seedlings have grown big enough to handle, they can be transplanted into the garden.
Where to Grow Onions?
Onions prefer a sunny spot in the garden with well-drained soil. They will also do well in raised beds or containers. If you are transplanting seedlings, be sure to space them about 6 inches apart.
How to Grow Onions – Soil
Onions need a rich, well-drained soil to grow their best. Add compost or manure to your garden bed prior to planting. If your soil is very sandy, you may also want to add some peat moss to help it retain moisture.
How to Plant Onion Seeds in Your Garden?
So, how to grow onions? Place the onion sets 2 to 6 inches apart, gently pushing them into loose soil no more than 1 inch deep. If you want to harvest immature onions as scallions, use closer spacing. Space them about 4 to 5 inches apart, and rows 12 to 18 inches apart.
Try using straw as mulch between your rows of plants to help with water retention and preventing weeds. It’s best to plant them in the spring, then the temperature does not get below 28 degrees Fahrenheit.
How to Grow Onions – Watering
Onions need to be kept evenly moist throughout the growing season. How to grow onions, and what are their water requirements? Water them deeply about once a week, or more often if the weather is very hot or dry. Be sure to keep the onions well watered during bulb formation. Onions need about 1 inch of water per week.
How to Grow Onions – Fertilizing
Onions are heavy feeders and will benefit from a monthly application of fertilizer. Use ammonium sulfate or ammonium nitrate every 2-3 weeks. The first application should be made 3 weeks after planting.
How to Harvest Onions?
Onions are ready to harvest when the tops begin to fall over, around late summer or early fall. When the leaves of the onion plant start to flop over, it means that onions stopped growing and are ready to be harvested.
Use a garden fork to loosen the soil around the bulbs and then lift them out of the ground. Brush off any excess dirt and allow the onions to cure in a dry place for a few days before storing them.
How to Store Onions?
Store your onions in a cool, dark place for several weeks. Be sure to keep them in a well-ventilated space, such as a paper bag or basket. Check on them periodically to make sure they are not rotting or sprouting.
Onions are relatively pest-free, but they can be susceptible to onion maggots. These pests are the larvae of flies that lay their eggs at the base of onion plants. The larvae then tunnel into the bulbs, causing them to rot. To prevent this, cover your onion bed with a floating row cover as soon as the plants emerge.
Onions can be affected by a number of diseases, the most common of which is powdery mildew. This fungal disease appears as a white powder on the leaves of the plant. It can cause the leaves to turn yellow and eventually die. Powdery mildew is most common in humid weather. To prevent it, water your onions at the base of the plant instead of from above. You can also use a fungicide to treat powdery mildew.
How to Grow Onions – Tips for Growing Onions
Onion bulbs are easy to grow in your vegetable garden. There are many onion varieties that are typically grown as bulbs. How to grow onions? Here are some tips to be aware of.
- When growing onions, it is important to start with high quality bulbs or seeds. You can purchase these from a garden center.
- Most onions are started from bulbs, rather than seeds. To plant onions from bulbs, break apart the bulb into individual cloves. Plant each clove about 2 inches deep and 4 inches apart.
- Onions may be grown in a variety of soil types, but they prefer a well-drained soil that is high in organic matter.
- Onions are typically planted in the spring, after the last frost date.
- Onions need full sun to grow well. They should be watered regularly, especially during bulb formation.
- It’s important not to cover growing onions.
- Tomatoes and carrots are common companions for onions in the garden in order to deter thrips.
- You can plant a sprouted onion in a pot, but you won’t get many onions.
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