Tuesday, 22 March 2011


Click here for the 'Seeds of Eaden' seed shop

Onions can be grown either from seed or from onion sets, which are readily available in shops.

Prepare the ground in autumn, digging in plenty of organic matter such as well rotted farm yard manure. The advantage of digging over the bed in autumn is that the winter frosts will break down any clods of soil. Choose a location that is well drained and in a sunny location. 

It is an advantage to have a onion bed that can be planted with onions every year as this will build up soil fertility and improve your onions.  It may be necessary once in a while to rotate the bed as this will encourage the build up of disease.  Check your onion harvest carefully every year and if the vigour of your onion starts to decline than move the bed the following year.

Onion sets can be planted as a main crop in February. Onions like a soil pH of  6 - 7.5, so if your soil is more acidic than that you will need to add lime to the soil. Firm the soil lightly by treading on the raked area and add a general fertiliser such as grow more. Water the ground if necessary prior to planting to achieve uniform soil conditions.

Plant onion sets about 10 cm apart in rows 30 cm apart. Use a trowel to plant the onion sets to a depth where the tips are just showing through the soil, as they may grow out of the soil if you just push them into the ground. Ensure the tips are mostly covered as they may be prey to birds otherwise.

You can feed your onions with a liquid feed of seaweed fertiliser if they require a boost. Onions are shallow rooted and do not compete well with weeds so ensure that the rows are well weeded in order to ensure they are not in competition for the soil nutrients. Weeding should always be done by hand near the base of the onion. Check the vigour of your onions for pest and diseases, and if they occur remove the affected soil and onion.  The soil can be treated with diluted jeyes fluid after harvesting to kill off any bacteria and fungus if required.

They will be ready to harvest in August/September depending on variety.  The onions are ready to harvest a few weeks after the foilage has started to to turn yellow and fall over.  Lift the onions on a dry day and move them to a suitable location to dry for 3-5 weeks. This will allow them to mature prior to using in the kitchen.

For related articles click onto:
Growing herbs
Growing rhubarb
Growing potatoes
Growing tomatoes
Growing tomatoes from seed
Harvesting potatoes
How to grow broccoli from seed
How to grow cauliflower from seed
How to grow garlic
How to build a cold frame
How to grow artichokes from seed
How to Grow Asparagus from Seed
How to grow cabbage from seed
How to grow carrots from seed
How to grow cucumbers from seed
How to grow french beans from seed
How to grow lettuce from seed
How to grow onions from onion sets
How to grow onions from seed
How to Grow Pumpkins from Seed
How to grow runner beans from seed
How to grow runner beans from seed
How to grow seeds indoors
How to grow strawberries from seed
How to grow tomatoes from seed
How to make compost
How to propagate using division
How to propagate from seed

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