Of all the vegetables out there, onions are a consistently easier crop for farmers to grow. Cool, not cold, weather is conducive to growing onions. That said, harvesters can plant their onions in either spring or fall and expect to harvest them come midsummer. In addition to abiding by onions’ weather preference, Globe Bag Company offers a plethora of general tips for growing and harvesting onions for novice farmers to consider.
First—Sets or Seeds?
When starting your onion-growing journey, you’ll need to figure out whether you should pick onion seeds or onion sets. For the sake of this article, we’ll talk about general tips for growing and harvesting onions from onion sets
, as we’ve found that these are easier to plant.
Onion sets are small onion bulbs intended for gardening. They’re less susceptible to frost damage than onion seeds, which is especially important when planting in the fall and spring. Because onion sets have a greater success rate than onion seeds, we suggest opting for sets instead.
What to Plant Your Onions In
You can plant your onions in either the ground or a raised garden bed—onions grow well in both. Whichever location you decide to plant your onions, it’ll need excellent drainage and ample sun exposure. Listed below are a few other necessary components to ensure ideal onion growth:
- Onions thrive best in soil with a pH level that lies between 6.0 and 6.8.
- Plant your onion sets roughly an inch deep.
- If you opt for a raised garden bed, be sure to utilize soil with weight and texture designed for bed gardening.
- Plant your sets six inches apart in furrows a foot apart. This will help prevent onions from invading one another’s soil space when growing.
- To give your onions a variety of nutrients and adopt an eco-friendlier lifestyle, consider composting.
Tips for Caring for Your Onions
- Because onion roots are shallow, they struggle to soak up an adequate amount of water. Provide a steady supply of water to ensure that your onions get the hydration they need.
- When onion sets grow and start to emerge from the soil, don’t cover them back up; let them rise out of the soil.
- For bigger bulbs, fertilize your onions with nitrogen every few weeks.
- For sweeter onions, water your bulbs more frequently.
Harvesting Your Onions
If you planted your onions in the spring, they’ll be ready to harvest by mid-summer. Onions are more susceptible to rot in storage since they don’t cure well when wet, so always harvest your onions in dry conditions.
Once the tops of your onions turn brown, they’re ready for the taking. Pull carefully, as any damage may prompt rotting. Once you’ve cured them, store your onions in mesh or nylon bags, preferably in a cool, dry area with airflow. For plentiful harvests, purchase onion bags in bulk
so that you can properly store each and every crop.