Starting Onions

Jul 20, 2017
Starting Onions
Celeste Longacre


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I love onions. They are great for bringing out the flavor of meats.

I put them in all of my stir-fries, include them when cooking a pot roast or chicken and add them to all my bone broth stocks.

Now is the time to plant onions if you are going to grow them from seed. It’s wonderful to grow a real “keeper” that will last well into next summer. Check your gardening catalogues to see which varieties are recommended.

Fill a flat ⅔ with potting soil. Add a bit of kelp meal for additional minerals and dig this in.

Broadcast the onions seeds all over the top of the soil. Cover with ¼ inch of new dirt. Even though the onions will be crowded while they live in the flat, they don’t seem to mind.

When the onions come up, they look like blades of grass.

They will continue to grow becoming quite long. Cut them back to four inches when they get longer than that. Place them in a sunny window but don’t give them any extra light at night. Many onions are day-length sensitive. This means that they put all of their energy into growing greens while the days are getting longer. As soon as the days begin getting shorter, they form their bulbs. Keep them warm until the weather outside has softened.

Learn more on the Almanac's  page on planting, growing, and harvesting onions.

You're welcome to ask any questions or share your advice and experience growing onions below!

About This Blog

Celeste Longacre has been growing virtually all of her family’s vegetables for the entire year for over 30 years. She cans, she freezes, she dries, she ferments & she root cellars. She also has chickens. Celeste has also enjoyed a longtime relationship with The Old Farmer’s Almanac as their astrologer and gardens by the Moon. Her new book, “Celeste’s Garden Delights,” is now available! Celeste Longacre does a lot of teaching out of her home and garden in the summer. Visit her web site at for details.

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Okay, once the weather is

Okay, once the weather is conducive and I have this "lawn" of onions in my flat, how is it best to transplant them without killing off the little tender things?

Hi Suzan, You can

Hi Suzan,

You can transplant them by gently pulling them apart and placing them in a hole created with a sharp stick or dibble.

What is a good onion to grow

What is a good onion to grow that will store well? Mine always end up rotting from the inside out. thanks

Hi Laurie, Copras store

Hi Laurie,

Copras store quite well. Of course, you have to get them ready by sunning them for 7 sunny days (bringing them in at night).


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