Planting, Growing, and Harvesting Onions



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Onions are a cold-season crop, easy to grow because of their hardiness.

We recommend using onion sets, which can be planted without worry of frost damage and have a higher success rate than direct seed or transplants.

Onion plants grow well on raised beds or raised rows at least 4 inches high. If you’d prefer to keep your plants inside, check out our tips for growing onions from seed indoors.


  • Select a location with full sun where your onions won’t be shaded by other plants.
  • Soil needs to be well-drained, loose, and rich in nitrogen; compact soil affects bulb development.
  • Till in aged manure or fertilizer the fall before planting. Onion plants are heavy feeders and need constant nourishment to produce big bulbs.
  • At planting time, you can mix in some nitogen fertilizer, too, and side dress every few weeks until the bulbing process begins.
  • Seeding? Onion seeds are short-lived. If planting seeds indoors, start with fresh seeds each year. Start seeds indoors about 6 weeks before transplanting.
  • Plant onions as soon as the ground can be worked in the spring, usually late March or April. Make sure temperature doesn’t go below 20 degrees F.
  • For sets or transplants, plant the smaller sets 1 inch deep, with 4 to 5 inches between each plant and in rows 12 to 18 inches apart.
  • Think of onions as a leaf crop, not a root crop. When planting onion sets, don’t bury them more than one inch under the soil; if more than the bottom third of the bulb is underground, bulb growth can be restricted.
  • Practice crop rotation with onions.
  • Find more tips for planting onions in different regions and soils.


  • Fertilize every few weeks with nitrogen to get big bulbs. Cease fertilizing when the onions push the soil away and the bulbing process has started. Do not put the soil back around the onions; the bulb needs to emerge above the soil.
  • Generally, onion plants do not need consistent watering if mulch is used. About one inch of water per week (including rain water) is sufficient. If you want sweeter onions, water more.
  • Onions will look healthy even if they are bone dry, be sure to water during drought conditions.
  • Make sure soil is well-drained. Mulch will help retain moisture and stifle weeds.
  • Cut or pull any onions that send up flower stalks; this means that the onions have “bolted” and are done.


  • Thrips: To control thrips—tiny insects about as fat as a sewing needle—take a dark piece of paper into the garden and knock the onion tops against it; if thrips are present, you will spot their tan-colored bodies on the paper. A couple of treatments with insecticidal soap kills them. Follow the package directions. Spray the plants twice, three days apart, and the thrips should disappear.
  • Onion Maggots: Cover your emerging onion crop with a fine mesh netting. Seal it by mounding soil around the edges. The onion maggot likes to lay its eggs at the base of plants, so the netting should prevent that. You should also keep mulch away because the insects like decaying organic matter, and make sure you completely harvest your onions as the season progresses. Onion maggots are usually a problem in very rainy periods, so these precautions may be unnecessary if you have a dry season.


  • When onions start to mature, the tops become yellow and begin to fall over. At that point, bend the tops down or even stomp on them to speed the final ripening process.
  • Loosen the soil to encourage drying, and after a few days turn them up and let them cure on dry ground. Always handle them very carefully—the slightest bruise will encourage rot to set in.
  • When tops are brown, pull the onions.
  • Be sure to harvest in late summer, before cool weather. Mature onions may spoil in fall weather.
  • Allow onions to dry for several weeks before you store them in a root cellar or any other storage area. Spread them out on an open screen off the ground to dry.
  • Store at 40 to 50 degrees F (4 to 10 degrees C) in braids or with the stems broken off.
  • Mature, dry-skinned bulbs like it cool and dry, so don’t store them with apples or potatoes.

Recommended Varieties

Wit & Wisdom

Onion’s skin very thin,
Mild winter coming in;
Onion’s skin thick and tough,
Coming winter cold and rough.


Cooking Notes

Chopping onions can sometimes look like a daunting task: There’s the skin, and the layers… Where to begin? Check out our tips for chopping onions in four easy steps. Onion skins actually have several health benefits, so don’t throw them out!

For more tips on using onions in the kitchen and cooking them correctly, click here.

Reader Comments

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Flowers on my onions

I planted Spanish onions and they have flowers on them what does that mean

onion sets

Can you help me? I have very nice onions growing but they are going to seed. There is a big stem in the middle that grows into seeds I cut off that stem but the bottom The bulb is only about an inch around. What am I doing wrong? Two years ago I grew beautiful onions that were a really good size.....Paulette I live in Sk. Canada

onion bolting

Your onions are bolting, probably due to temperature fluctuations such as a heat wave or cold spell. It happens to the best of us gardeners. The onions are bolting because they might die and throwing out seed to reproduce before they die. Has it been hot? The only to prevent this is to keep the plants well watered in hot summer especially when heat waves strike.  If you try onions next year, remember that seedlings are less likely to bolt compared to bulb onions grown from sets.

Yellowing onions

My soil was too acidic at a 3. I added garden lime after planting to help, and watered it in. My onionsets are 6 inches tall and yellow the bulb being not much larger than when I planted them. Can I carefully dig them up, mix the soil to the. Right pH and replant them again?


I want to use Preen between the rows in my garden. Will it damage the onion bulbs before they start to grow?


We’d recommend contacting the manufacturer for best advice. Looking at a label, it appears that for onions, they recommend applying Preen Garden Weed Preventer to the soil before transplanting onions. But best to double-check with them. Customer service number for Lebanon Seaboard Corporation that makes Preen is: 1-800-233-1067.

Onion farm

Hi to you all. I would like to thank for all this information about onion farming. My question is what are the key attacks (diseases) that I have to worry about, and how to deal with it.

onion pests

Hi Paul, See the Pests and Diseases section above on this page. We also provoide the links to more information.

overwinter onions

I live in a Chicago suburb and leave onion sets in the ground and cover with leaves all winter long. By mid April the green onions are ready for an early harvest. I just remove the soft outer portion,rinse and they're ready to eat.

Onion seeding

In the South, short day onions are seeded in late Sept to mid Oct. It is a little late but still possible to plant directly or plant a bed to transplant sets in late Nov. There are many varieties, but Yellow Granex types are popular with names like "Century" & "Sapelo Sweet". There are also red varieties that are either sweet or pungent in the short day type, with names like "Red Hunter & "Chianti", respectively.

Gardening tips

I am so impressed with all your data for planting, maintaining and harvesting vegetable. I am so glad I found your articles on line. I hope to be a good gardener as I love gardening vegetables, flowers, shrubs and trees. Thank you kindly.

caltivation of onion

I like the information how do I test pH and nitrogen content at the farm.

Soil testing

Contact your local Agriculture Extension Office for a soil test kit. The results will provide a wide spectrum of information and advice on steps to take to change the soil to improve it.

Would like to keep up on

Would like to keep up on ideas !

bulb size

Our onions have beautiful tops but the size of the bulb is about the same as when we planted them. I read here that depth of planting appears to be critical and we may have planted too deep but we followed instructions on the package - we used onion sets, red and yellow. It appears we may need more nitrogen but are there any other options for us with fall coming in the not too distant future to increase the size of the onion bulb. We're in region 5. Suggestions would be appreciated. In advance, thanks for your assistance.

small onions

Glad you asked, Dick! I had the same outcome when I pulled a couple of reds recently. There are several factors involved and most have to do with soil. pH is critical; it should be between 6.0 and 7.0 (even 6.8). And it should have a couple of inches of composted organic matter in it. A good slow-release fertilizer helps, too. Or you could fertilize ever couple of weeks or so. Good drainage is essential…and so is consistently regular watering. And weeding. You could be right about nitrogen; do a soil test. And consider that onions are light/sun-sensitive. You need to know that they are suited to your latitude (day length).

Does any of this sound like something/s you could have done differently?? (It does to me!)

Bulb Size

I think your Bulb Size problem is you're using onion sets... Use the onion plants if you want large storage onions like you buy at the grocery store... I've been growing a garden for almost 50 years... We only use onion sets for green onions They never get large bulbs only about 1-inch bulbs... We always use onion plants you can buy at your local garden centers in a bunch with about 60 plants per bunch... There is a good site online called Dixondale Farms with all the plants and growing info you would need to know to grow nice large onions... Google it...

Your info on growing onions

Your info on growing onions was great and to the point.

growing onions

If the onions are breaking ground and the stalks are still real green should I cover the exposed onion with more dirt.

Protecting Onions

The area at the base of the stem, where it meets the bulb, is indeed vulnerable. If the bulbs are still small and far from ready to harvest, you might want to cover them with a light mulch that will simultaneously protect it, keep moisture in, suppress weeds, and allow air circulation. 

Yellow onion

My onions are flowering is this ok

Onions flowering

Nope. You don’t want your onion to flower (or, bolt) or it’s ending its harvest and bolted onions do not store well. Snip the flower bulbs as soon as you see them. 


i like the knowledge

An onion in our kitchen has

An onion in our kitchen has sprouted leaves and my daughter wants to plant it. Can we grow any new onions this way?

sprouting storebought onion

Onions are biennials, and will flower the second year. Sprouting storebought bulb onions, if planted, will continue to grow leaves and then a flower stalk. Eventually, it will form seeds. These seeds can be planted the next year, although they may not produce onions that contain the same characteristics of the original; also, the variety of onion may not grow well in your area. However, you can harvest the onion leaves when young, for salads etc. The old, mature onion will not make more onions–only through its seeds.

However, bulb onions can be regrown by cutting off the bottom inch or so that contains the roots and planting it. These will form leaves and bulbs eventually, if the onion variety is appropriate for your climate.

You can regrow green onions by harvesting the tops and replanting (or placing in a jar of water) the bottom bulb with roots (about 2 inches in length); the leaves will grow back for you to harvest again.


i would like to know if i can grow onion sets in ridges and what could be the recommended spacings of the ridges? finally what periods will they take to mature and ready for harvesting?

onions in ridges

We’ve grown onions and always in flat, level ground. Spacing has a lot to do with the type of onion you’re growing; in general, a few inches between each and several inches between rows.  You can find lots more specific information here: http://cru.cahe.wsu.edu/CEPublications/FS097E/FS097E.pdf


Thanks for your goodwork. Am enlightened. Would like to grow onions on my small farm. Where do i get the seedlings. Garlic or red creole

Try dixondalefarms.com

Try dixondalefarms.com


I would like to know if there is an onion type to plant in the rainy season
Where i am planning to grow them, in Ethiopia, rains day night between june and august
I am very thankful for every tip i can get

Growing spanish onions from sets

What are the cultural practices for growing Spanish opinions from sets in Montreal area in Canada .SAFB

If you grow Spanish-type

If you grow Spanish-type onions from seed they should be started indoors in February. If you can buy onion sets you can plant the small bulbs in the ground about the same time you plant peas. Spanish onions need long days to produce their bulbs. The onions will grow tops in cool weather and form bulbs when the weather warms.

I plant my onions in a raised

I plant my onions in a raised bed bed approx. 4 ft. off the ground.my box is 10 ft. long and 6-7 in. deep.i plant my sets about 4-5 in. deep so that I get more of the white edible part of the onion. I use a hand trowel to remove them when it is time.been doing it that way for years. planted lettuce last year in the boxes to keep the rabbits from getting to it. if a rabbit jumps 4 ft. to get to my lettuce, he deserves it !!


can you email me at tim.a.buell@culinary.edu to tell me how you built your box. I'm very interested in growing my own onions. thanks I go to the CIA right now and am very curious about the subject thanks!

planting onions

I have a raised bed also, so did I understand you to say you plant your onion sets 4 to 5 inch deep? Everything I have read says only 1 inch but mine didn't do very well, so you might be onto something good. Also, do you water when you first plant them?


All good ideas here that anyone who visits this page can benefit from. Thanks for sharing, Dale. (Sounds like the most work here is building the box!) Best wishes for a bountiful season!


onion farming

Hi, am planning to start onion farming kindly advice me. Am from kisii Kenya

Leftover Onion sets from spring harvest

Hello. I live near Dallas TX and planted onion sets in March in a mature, raised bed. I was able to harvest and eat some of the 1015 sweet onions but the red onions wasn't worth bothering with. As an experiment I left some of the onions in the garden to stalk and flower. These flowers produced seed pods, dried out and have since produced small sets about 6-8" tall where the seed pods fell. It's now November 20 and I've harvested my fall crop of other vegetables and the only thing left are these mature, segmented bulbs from spring and these new sets. I'd like to have onions again in the spring. Should I leave them in the ground as is, dig them up and transplant now or dig them up and transplant in the spring? If I dig them up for spring, how do I care for them over the winter?


For advice for your climate, you might check out these pages from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension:



Common onions are biennial, normally flowering the second year, although unusual weather flucuations may trick them into thinking it is time to flower that first year.

Note that if you grew a hybrid variety, the seeds may not yield plants with the same characteristics as the parent.

Red Onion Sets

Over the years, I have had the same problem with red sets. Out of 100 red sets, I would be lucky to get 10 bulbs worth keeping. On the other hand, my yellow sets have always produced at least 90% yield. Does anyone have a trick to getting red sets to produce?

onion sets growing in fall

The onion sets that I have that just fell off the plant in the fall are already starting to grow green should I plant these now in the fall or should I wait until the spring seems to me like they would die since they are already growing someone please answer this question I've been looking all over the internet for an answer found nothing

Kyle- It depends on where you

Kyle- It depends on where you live. We assume you do not live in the south, since you are talking about planting onion sets in the spring. You should store the sets in much the same way you would onions. Put them in a mesh bag and hang in a cool place with good air circulation (not the basement). Check periodically throughout the winter for damage or rot. If you see damage or rot, remove it right away so it does not ruin the rest. Plant in the spring.

One other question.......we

One other question.......we have noticed some of the fallen greens have started to turn brown on the very tips. Why, already?????

In answer to both of your

In answer to both of your queries, some gardeners have had some of their onion leaves fall over early on; as long as the leaves look healthy, they should be OK. However, if you notice brown tips, wilting, yellowing, fuzzy growth, etc., it might indicate a disease, pest, or environmental issue. For more information, you might check this page:

We live in Northern VA. We

We live in Northern VA. We planted yellow onion sets about 4 weeks ago. We planted in raised beds. The green tops are up about 6-8 inches tall. They have 3-4 greens per plant. About one green per plant has already fallen. Why has this happened? Thank you for your time.

My mom always talk about

My mom always talk about topping onions in onion fields in the 1920's in northern Indiana when she a little girl. I see today's folks call it pruning the onion leaves to get bigger onions. what is your take on pruning the onions.

Hi, Andrew, trimming or

Hi, Andrew, trimming or pruning the onion tops, or greens, found favor years ago in some circles. You will still find mixed opinions, and success as a result, on doing it today. We do not believe it to be beneficial or necessary. (To be sure, we trim the tops after the onions have been harvested and dried but not while they're growing.)
The more important concerns should be your soil quality and pH, plus proper watering.

Hi, I have planted red onions

Hi, I have planted red onions and they have flowers, which is fine, I have found a small like bulb among the flowers, I have seen onion flowers before however none with the bulb growing before, could someone tell me what it is please :-)

That would be a bubil, a tiny

That would be a bubil, a tiny onion, most often seen on Egyptian Walking Onions. The flower heads bend down, due to weight, and the bulbils plant themselves, giving the "walking" effect of the plant moving around.

You may not have Egyptian walking onions, and these may not perform as described, but these are likely to be tiny onions. Egyptian walkers are the variety that displays this most often.

Garlic also produces bulbils and some people eat them. You could try eating these——or plant a few.

sounds like worms. squat over

sounds like worms. squat over a bowl of milk & whistle till they come out.

When starting onions from

When starting onions from seed indoors shoul you use a heat mat?

Which is the best type of

Which is the best type of onion buld is recomendent on high Kenya?

I read that long day onions

I read that long day onions are better for the south, and short day or neutral day are better for the north. Could the information on your page be inaccurate?

Long-day onion varieties do

Long-day onion varieties do well in the northern states that have between 14-16 hours of daylight length in the summer. Short-day onions do best in the southern states.

sir what is time of

sir what is time of cultivation in onion? pls tell me

The cultivation is actually

The cultivation is actually all the time of the year, they tolerate hard frosts

I pulled the onion up and

I pulled the onion up and they started to grow. I live in Wisconsin and I pulled them up late October. Do I cut the new growth off?

I am from Ontario, Canada. I

I am from Ontario, Canada. I have just harvested my onions. Can you tell me why so many of them rotted in the middle of the onion? (cooking onions). They look perfect and are dried, but so frustrating when you cut them and they are rotted in the middle.

I am from Ontario, Canada. I

I am from Ontario, Canada. I have just harvested my onions. Can you tell me why so many of them rotted in the middle of the onion? (cooking onions). They look perfect and are dried, but so frustrating when you cut them and they are rotted in the middle.

Hi, Donna, Yes, this can

Hi, Donna,
Yes, this can occur even with store-bought onions. The problem is bacterial soft rot, which can affect nearly every known fruit, fleshy tober, root, and succulent bud or stem of vegetable plants. As you experienced, infected onions go unnoticed, can not be detected, until after harvest. Soft rot bacteria exists in the soil and plant refuse. There are no resistant onion varieties. Heavy rain, high winds, and hail can cause injuries that serve as entry points for the bacteria. It's impotant to control any diseases in your garden; crop rotation, organic soil, proper pH are among the common corrections when a garden might have disease. It sounds like you did all the right things in terms of harvesting and curing.
Sorry to bring this unpleasant news. . .

Hello, thanks for all the

Hello, thanks for all the great information. I just saw some red onion sprouts at the local home depot and decided to get some. I read somewhere that onions can be planted in the end of summer for a fall crop. Are there things that need to be done differently? This is just for my garden box. Any tips would be greatly appreciated. I'm in southern California BTW.

Hello, thanks for all the

Hello, thanks for all the great information. I just saw some red onion sprouts at the local home depot and decided to get some. I read somewhere that onions can be planted in the end of summer for a fall crop. Are there things that need to be done differently? This is just for my garden box. Any tips would be greatly appreciated. I'm in southern California BTW.

Hi, Luisa, By some estimate,

Hi, Luisa, By some estimate, a critical aspect of growing onions in Southern California is choosing the proper "day-length"—onions are uniquely sensitive to the amount of daylight that they receive. The particulars of growing them in your area, as well as recommended varieties, are available here
A plant tag, or perhaps the vendor, should tell you what variety you have. Presumably, the local store is offering varieties that have promise in your area.
Good luck!

Am from southern africa

Am from southern africa zimbabwe . l need to purchase onion called Arad f1 hybrid from lsrael to resale here . l hope you will be able to give me some contact details of the supplier.Many thanks in advance.

we planted onion sets, in

we planted onion sets, in central minnesota. The leaves are still green as are the onions on top by the leaves. Can they still be eaten at this time, even if they are green

Usually you harvest onions

Usually you harvest onions when the tops start turning brown and the onions under ground start pushing through the soil. The green tops of onions can be cut and used the same way you use scallions.

I appriciate yo guidlines on

I appriciate yo guidlines on onion growing,they're clear & I hope to get started soon with a very clear image.

Dear sir I have Texas early

Dear sir

I have Texas early Grano seeds short day kind , we need to grow it at September 01 , we are in Iraq - Erbil and degrees on September average will be around 30 - 35 mid and 15 degree night

Please your opinion on this kind of Onion and time ?

Best regards
Ahmed aziz

I live in southern Wisconsin.

I live in southern Wisconsin. Temps can drop to -20F during winter. I still want to try planting onions in the Fall for next year's crop. What advice do you have for me?

I left some small onion bulbs

I left some small onion bulbs in the ground all winter because they were too small at the end of summer 2013. This summer, 2014, they grew and flowered, and some of the bulbs started dividing around the original's now hard central stalk. If I leave them in the ground until summer of 2015, will they divide into multiple onion bulbs, like garlic does?

Hi Stephanie, If you leave

Hi Stephanie,
If you leave mature onions in the ground over winter they will flower the next year and the onion under the soil will form segments (much like a garlic bulb). You can dig this up in the fall and plant segments (onion sets) in the spring for a new crop of onions. You can also save the seeds after the flower on top of the stalk has faded.

Almost all of my red onion

Almost all of my red onion sets grew seed balls quickly. Onions are small. What did I do wrong?

Hi, Joann: Hard to tell, but

Hi, Joann: Hard to tell, but this may be because your soil was not rich enough in nitrogen. Thanks for asking!

This question may have been

This question may have been asked already, but I went ahead and pulled up my onions because we were getting a ton of rain and I was afraid they would rot. The tops were starting to turn yellow. Should I go ahead and cut the tops ofd and let them dry in the sun or what do I need to do at this point?

amateur gardener who has had

amateur gardener who has had problems storing onions

Hi Peter, See the new Q&A

Hi Peter, See the new Q&A above regarding how to harvest onions. Then, for storing onions, place the "cured" or dried onions in a wire basket or crate or mesh bag so they get air circulation. Store the onions in a cool, moderately dry location. Storage temperatures should be 32 to 40 degrees F. The relative humidity should be 65 to 70 percent. Usually a basement cellar or garage will do, but if the basement is too humid, the onions will rot and if your garage is unheated, you'll need to move the onions before winter.

To harvest onions: Wait for

To harvest onions: Wait for the tops of storage onions to fall over and turn brown before you pull them.  Dig up the bulbs carefully with the tops attached. Then let them dry (cure) in a shed or greenhouse or warm area for 2 to 3 weeks until the tops are totally dried out and the skins are papery. Spread out the onions in a single layer on a clean, dry surface.  Then cut off the tops (about 1 inch above bulb).

Hi! I am a first time

I am a first time gardener... In North East Ohio... Anyhoo, we have been doing an amazing job with this garden and a lot of advice we got from you guys! So here is my question... I have pulled all the rest of my onions. The bulbs are about the size of a ping pong ball... Do I clean off the dirt on them or just let them dry out a little and store them? Just not sure exactly what to do yet?? Thanks for everything!

Thanks for your kind words!

Thanks for your kind words! For bulb onions, shake off any clumps soil gently (but don't wash every bit off). Then you need to cure the onions. Let them rest in a dry, sheltered place outdoors for a few days. Then cut off their tops, leaving a couple inches, and bring them indoors to further dry in a cool, dry place. After this, you can further cut down the stubs and store.
In terms of storage: It depends on the onion. Most can be stored in the basement or a cool, dry place (50 to 60 degrees F). Otherwise, the refrigerator is fine.

This is my first year growing

This is my first year growing a good amount of onions from sets in my garden. I am zone 5A, and planted white yellow and red onions (about 75 of each) I am noticing that in one garden the 20 onions in it are thriving, and in my other one they are only doing fair... both gardens have the same soil and were prepared identically, and all onions were planted at the same time. The ones doing fair have the stalks rotting, and when I pulled a couple samples, the skin was very slimy, but the bulb was fine (and tasted fantastic). Any Ideas on what may be causing the rot? Thank you!

Can I freeze onions for later

Can I freeze onions for later use, and how do I prepare them?

Onions are very easy to

Onions are very easy to freeze because they don't require blanching. Simply peel, chop, and freeze.

Hi I want to be Onion Famer.

I want to be Onion Famer. I've 1/2 Hectare land. I want to farm in 1 Hectare land. Land is near to river and there is no lack of irrigation. But I'm little bit afraid of temperature. I've heard that temperature should be 13-25 degree Celsius. But in my area
Feb (3-24)
Apr (9-34)
June (16-32)
July (17-31)
Aug (12-31)
Sep (16-31)
Oct (11-31)
Nov (5-24)
Dec (0-22).
Can I start Onion farming in this temperature range?
and If I started onion farming in 1 Hectare how much ton it can produce?
I'm new in farming. I'm expecting Your opinion, suggestions and experiences.

Thanks and Regards

That climate should be fine I

That climate should be fine
I don't know where you live so I can't tell you when to plant and harvest but if your temperature doesn't go below -5 you should be good.
If everything goes ideally you could get up to 80 tons off 1 hectare but you'll probably get less than half of that at first.
In case you're still deciding on what type of onion to grow I'd recommend Walla Walla. They're sweet, big, hardy and will get more profit.
You'll need about 400,000 seeds per hectare. You want full sun and loose, just-barely-acidic soil without too much sulphur. 800 pounds of fertilizer should be good for 1 hectare.
Be careful with pesticide. Too much will kill pollinators. Which you need.
Also you should have a detailed plan for everything and a decent irrigation system or you could fail miserably.
Good luck!

- An onion farmer

can you leave the onions in

can you leave the onions in the ground till you are ready to eat them or will they rot,(red onions)

Hi, Mark: No, don't dig 'n'

Hi, Mark: No, don't dig 'n' eat. Wait until 3/4 of your plants fall over. Count 10 days. Harvest your onions. Take half of a big onion and cut it into slices. Make an onion sandwich, wrap it in oiled (well, you can use waxed) paper, then go fly-fishing (OK, you can go for a hike or walk). Pretend you are Nick in Hemingway's "Big Two-Hearted River." Oops, a little more than you asked for, wethinks.

I am new to Onion

I am new to Onion Cultivation, Please Guide me on the Insecticides to be used on onions and on what stages.

what are the possible insect attack on onions while cultivation.

The Onion Cultivation is at Sri Lanka (The Country near to India in Indian Ocean)

Whats are the Best Products to use on Onion Thrips and Onion Maggots.

Is there one product for Both Onion Thrips and Onion Maggots.

Please Guide and Help


i planted georgia sweet

i planted georgia sweet onions this year....how big do the bulbs get?...and when do i harvest...the are about as big as a golf ball now.

Congrats on your nice-size

Congrats on your nice-size onions! A mature Georgia Sweet bulb is about 3 inches if you space correctly.  But there is no perfect size, just pull when they are big enough to suit you, even if they're smaller "spring" onions.

how to pinch onions

how to pinch onions

I know this questions has

I know this questions has been asked but I'm not seeing an answer. If an onion plant has not matured and instead produced a flower, you advise that it should be pulled. But does that mean the entire row of onions should be pulled as well? Is there any way to save the remaining plants so that they develop into mature bulbs?

Temperature fluctuation is

Temperature fluctuation is the most common cause for onions to flower. If an onion plant is exposed to temperature changes from cold to warm to cold again it will go dormant before resuming growth again and this will cause the onion to flower prematurely. The entire row of onions will experience the temperature changes and  probably produce flowers. Flowering can be prevented by planting the onion sets or seeds at the right time, not too early in the season.

I've got a two-crop rotation

I've got a two-crop rotation of 250 Stuttgarters in my greenhouse (planted six weeks apart, at the beginning of March and the middle of April), trimming greentops as I use them (they do taste amazing) and letting them grow in a mixed compost of shredded bamboo, potash from my incinerator, commercial potting compost and commercial all-purpose compost. They're growing at a stupendous rate, faster than I can eat them! I think I probably got lucky in my choice of growing variety, as I'm at fairly high latitude (53N) yet the average early planting shoot height is more than 18 inches! Oh, and I'm using no dressing fertiliser, just feeding with pure rainwater!

I have a really dumb

I have a really dumb question:
I'm not much of a gardener but I love to watch things grow.
I planted an onion a couple months ago in a planter outside. It has long sturdy stalks (as well as long leaves that smell good to eat) with interesting "flowers" at the end of the stalks.

Here's my dumb question: how do I get more onions? The bulb under my plant is the onion I already paid for.

The top of the onion will

The top of the onion will flower then go to seed when they are dry they can be planted for more onions.

Thank you ... I will search

Thank you ...
I will search the forum for the proper procedure for collecting those seeds.

How do I turn the bulb of

How do I turn the bulb of seed on top of the onion stalk into seeds to plant. Just wait for them to dry (how long?) and then break them apart and plant them (how deep)? Thanks

Are you talking about onion

Are you talking about onion seedheads (the flowers that form seeds)? If so, harvest the flower when most of the seeds are dry, then store in a cool, dry location for 2 or 3 weeks. You can store them for up to 1 to 2 years. Keep in mind that onions cross-pollinate readily, so the seeds will probably not be like to the parent plant unless the plants have been isolated. Also, the seeds of hybrids will not come true (they will vary in characteristics).
If you are talking about perennial Egyptian onions, they form a cluster of tiny bulbs, called sets, on top of the plant. They rarely form flowers. When the sets become heavy enough, the plant will bend over, and the sets will root in the soil. Thus, another name for this plant, Walking onion. Meanwhile, the onion bulb below ground will start to divide, forming 2 or more bulbs. To harvest the top sets, wait for the stalk to dry, which may occur in midsummer to fall; you can eat these or plant them for more onions. Once an onion bulb in the soil has divided, you can harvest some of the divisions in fall, but leave at least one bulb to continue on for next year. Or, you can leave these alone; they will produce, in a cluster, more stalks with topsets.

If you harvest your bulb and

If you harvest your bulb and cut the base (root portion) off you can place the base in a shallow bowl of water with just the roots emersed, it will begin to grow new staulks and new small bulbs will form. Break bulbs apart and plant, eventually you will have more onions and you can do the same to them once they mature. Or you could always plant the seeds that formed from your flower, i've never had much luck with the seeds though. :)

Planting by the Moon is a

Planting by the Moon is a great way to help plan your above and below ground crops.
Plant flowers and vegetables that bear crops above ground during the light, or waxing, of the Moon: from the day the Moon is new to the day it is full.
Plant flowering bulbs and vegetables that bear crops below ground during the dark, or waning, of the Moon: from the day after it is full to the day before it is new again.
See the Planting by the Moon calendar here: www.almanac.com/content/planti...

I want to grow onion. Please

I want to grow onion. Please help me how can do this, and how much need money for 1 acre till harvesting.

I want any trending in onion

I want any trending in onion

I plant sets for use as

I plant sets for use as pulled green onions. I plant in early march and live in central Tennessee. the last two harvests have resulted in mushy bulbs remaining on the bottom of the stem. while it comes off easily and does not affect the remainder of the onion it results in loss of the meaty part of the onion. I plant 1-2 inches deep and use miracle gro fertilizer. I have planted onions in the same location for several years and last year was the first time I encountered this problem. any suggestion for the remainder of this year or next year

You may have bacterial soft

You may have bacterial soft rot. Check for onion maggots in the soil. They may carry the bacteria from one bulb to another. Discard the soft bulbs and plant your onions in a different section of the garden next year.

I bought a yellow onion in

I bought a yellow onion in the grocery store, and then didn't get around to using it. My husband and I noticed that the onion started to grow greens, so I decided to see what would happen if I popped it into a pot with some regular soil in it. Now it's thriving and I'm not really sure what to do. It has about 2 foot long greens, and there seems to be two main stalks. The two stalks started out extremely close together, and now they are a lot farther apart. I planted it a lot deeper than the article says (whole onion under the soil in my case). I was wondering if I can harvest some of the greens and use them like green onions? And how will I know when to use the onion or not? And how will I be sure to harvest it without killing the plant completely?

can i cut the onions top and

can i cut the onions top and use them after they have grow so tall where they are bending over?

The tops are the way the

The tops are the way the onion grows and also how you can tell when it's mature and ready to be harvested.
When the tops begin to dry and fall over in the fall, you know the onion can be lifted out of the ground. Let them dry out for several days.
After the drying, clip the tops and remove the roots, leaving about 3/4 to 1 inch of the neck to seal and prevent entrance of decay organisms.

Best day to plant onion sets

Best day to plant onion sets April 2014

Greetings! The planting dates

Greetings! The planting dates depend on where you live. Look under GARDENING tab on our home page for our Planting Date tools.
Specifically, see regional Gardening by the Moon planting dates: 
and the best planting dates by zip code:

My Husband planted onions and

My Husband planted onions and there is no green leafs coming up from the set's. the bulbes are growing nice but it has lots of roots coming from the bottom of the bulbs .What did he do wrong?He has been planting for atleast 70 years.

It’s still a little early, so

It’s still a little early, so they should sprout pretty soon. I live in North Western Nevada and don’t plant onions until the first week of April, or this week.

I have onions sprouting out

I have onions sprouting out of the onions that I did not get harvested last fall. Are these going to be okay? Is it as though I have planted onion sets?

Since onions are biennials

Since onions are biennials they will probably go to seed.

My onions bulbs end up more

My onions bulbs end up more flat, than round.
I notice from all the comments and suggestions perhaps I am blanting the sets too deep? Will try a shallow planting this season. Thank for the advice.

The final shape of your

The final shape of your onions has more to do with variety than planting depth. Some of my tastiest onions are flat shaped when harvested. Onion plants and sets should be planted about 1” deep.

I plant at least 10 bunches

I plant at least 10 bunches of 10/15 and bulb red onions every year. Be sure to fertilize. When the onion bulbs are about quarter size I completely uncoverthe onions just leaving roots in the ground Our family has been doing this for 5 generations. You will be amazed how big they will grow. Good luck!

10-10-10 is fine.

10-10-10 is fine.

Are Kelsae and Ailsa Craig

Are Kelsae and Ailsa Craig the same variety? If they are different varieties, where can Kelsae slips be bought in the U.S.?


They are different varieties.

They are different varieties. Go on to Google and just do a search such as "Buy Kelsae Onion Seed" and you'll see some options come up.

George Wilson is correct.

George Wilson is correct. Ailsa Craig and Kelsae are different varieties. Ailsa Craig is a variety that originated in Scotland in 1887. Kelsae is a variety that dates to some time around 1980. Johnson Seeds of Cambridge, England bought the plant patent for Kelsae in 1990 and still owns it. When Johnson got control of Kelsae other seed companies began to market Ailsa Craig as a substitute. The difference is Ailsa Craig usually averages 7 lbs. while Kelsae holds the Guiness World Record at over 15 lbs. Johnson’s uses the name Kelsae Exhibition, but the variety is also called Kelsae Giant, Kelsae Sweet, and Kelsae Sweet Giant and all are the same variety. There are no other strains.

I bought some small onion

I bought some small onion sets, can I start them off in the greenhouse and then transplant them to the raised beds that I made for them or should I wait and put them directly in the beds?

Last year at about this time

Last year at about this time I started some sets in trays in the house. I found that they benefited from an early start, growing bigger than sets I planted direct in beds around end of March. This year I've just started some in greenhouse as it's currently warmer than last year (northern UK).


thank you for your response

thank you for your response

Oops! Apologies, as I might

Apologies, as I might have got this wrong. With the onions I started in troughs in late February, after planting them out the bulbs have all shrunk and gone soft. I guess I don't yet know my onions. I'm only a year two allotmenteer and last year might have been beginner's luck, I'm not sure. I've checked out the more experienced gardeners and they planted out their sets direct in second week in April, with the ground getting a bit warmer - I planted some more then too and they're doing OK.

I read through everything

I read through everything very carefully, but I am still unsure what "set out plants" mean. Do you mean for me to plant the "sets" in the ground outside? Even if it is before my zones last frost?

We're not sure what your

We're not sure what your question is. On this page, we are referring to "onion sets." Onion sets are small, immature onions, planted in spring or late summer.  You can grow onions from "seed" or from "sets."

yeah, "set out plants" is

yeah, "set out plants" is another way of saying "plant out sets." Onions can (and usually, should) be planted before the last frost. Even before broccoli, spinach, cabbage, beets, chard, and potatoes.

Hi,Im From Tanzania,East

Hi,Im From Tanzania,East africa,i want to grow onions(red bombay) during rainy season(the price is good this season),but it doesnt grow well during this season,what technique should i use to ensure better results.

thank you for your tips and

thank you for your tips and advice. how best can i fertilise my onion crop for high yields? how can I get Hazera onion seed variety from Israel? it performs so well in Zimbabwe

I found some interesting

I found some interesting things about harvesting and storing Onions. I harvest them and show people how to properly store them for 8-12 months.

Here is the article: http://organicornatural.com/ma...

how do u prepare an onion

how do u prepare an onion nursery bed and what causes the drying of onions on the nursery



Onion "sets" are bulbs. You

Onion "sets" are bulbs. You can grow onions 3 ways: from bulbs or sets, from transplants (young, non-bulbing onion starts) or from seed.

I grew onions for the first

I grew onions for the first time this year. I started from seed and now they are onion sets. I want the sets to grow to full size onions. Do I leave them in the ground or do I harvest and store until Spring? If harvest/store, what are the conditions? I live in southern New England.

Few people seem to do this.

Few people seem to do this. We are impressed!
Our sources suggest lifting the onion sets before the ground freezes, setting them in a cool, dry, dark place (such as a basement) to cure, or dry. You could braid the greens and hang them, if you like.
When the onions are dry, the roots and the greens—the source of nutrition—are dry (almost papery), cut them off and put the sets into a paper bag and leave in the same cool, dry, dark place until early spring. Then plant them.
We also had a thought, because we like to experiment . . . How about leaving a couple or a few in the ground, but mulched heavily, just to see how they fare.
Let us know how these all fare next season.

I live in MN. I left 4 onions

I live in MN. I left 4 onions in the ground over the winter(mulched) and they came up in spring, grew 3 ft tall, flowered and produced 2 in. onions, my biggest ones so far

You can purchase onions sets

You can purchase onions sets such as Walmart, but I purchase mine at any farm store. Onion sets can be purchased individually or in little bundles. They look like baby onions. I buy maybe 5 red, 10 white and 5 yellow. I have a very small raised garden.

sir i want to know white

i want to know white onion plant growing row to row and plant plant distance

sunindercont- 7837450001

We answer this question on

We answer this question on the page above.

Your ideas are helping me so

Your ideas are helping me so much

Can I do a fall planting in

Can I do a fall planting in Zone 7b of Yellow Sweet Spanish Onion (Long day variety)?

Long-day onions need about 14

Long-day onions need about 14 to 15 hours of daylight to bulb. In zone 7, you should grow short-day onions. The light in the South doesn't vary as much as the North.

What about in zone 6? Would

What about in zone 6? Would short-day or long-day onions be best? I'm in North-Western Kentucky.

Google the Dixondale Farm

Google the Dixondale Farm website and look up your location on their map. You should be able to grow both short day and intermediate day varieties. They also have downloadable PDF files with very good instructions. You can plug in your zip code and they’ll give you the best ship date. I’ve bought onion plants from them for years with very good results. For the biggest onions be sure you fertilize and water regularly.

yes but mid-late fall in this

yes but mid-late fall in this region I live 7b and it works great some others to try are spinach and broccoli those are early fall or spring depending...

I planted onion sets the

I planted onion sets the first week in June. Red and yellow onions. it is now August. They have grown quite well as far as I can tell. However they are more like giant green onions. They have not gotten any big bulbs on the bottom. The necks are an inch or so around. What do I do to have them get a big bulb like they are supposed to be and not so big of a top?

There are many reasons for

There are many reasons for lack of bulbing. Is your soil rich in nitrogen? Onions are heavy feeders and need nitrogen at planting and while growing until they bulb up. Is your soil loose and crumbly--not too compact? Did you plant at the right time? This is often an issue. We don't know where you live, but June sounds late. Did you plant with the right spacing and not too deep? It they are planted more than an inch deep, they won't bulb up well. Did they get enough water to bulb? Please review this planting guide for more tips.

I live in SE Idaho at an

I live in SE Idaho at an elevation 6100 ft. The last Saturday in May we had a hard frost.How early should onion sets get planted here? The nitrogen is an issue. The rest I believe are fine, spacing, water and loose dirt. Thank you!

From what we can find, a

From what we can find, a general planting guideline seems to be either March/April as soon as the soil can be worked, or about 2 weeks before last expected spring frost. Choose a short-season variety.
However, we'd suggest calling your county's Cooperative Extension to make sure you get the best information for planting times in your area and elevation. For contact information, see:

I checked the map and the

I checked the map and the border of southern Idaho is 42 degrees North latitude. That means that long day varieties will perform best in your area, You can find those varieties at many websites. Since it’s too late to start plants from seed I would suggest you order plants of long day varieties.

I would also google for the “Average Last Day of Frost” for your city or Zipcode, or call your local agriculture extension. At 6100ft. elevation that may be around the end of May, but you should know what it is. Once you have that information you should plan your planting date for plants one month prior to the ALDF.

About growing conditions and fertilizer, you won’t be able to grow large onions without the proper amount if nutrients and regular, even moisture. I would suggest 10-15-10 applied at 3 to 4 week intervals. If your soil is poor, you may have to fertilize every 2 weeks.

Good Luck and may your onions grow large and sweet!

my white onions have green

my white onions have green onion like leaves and now they have produced a white sort of flower at the end of them...what do I do?

If your onions have flowered,

If your onions have flowered, they have prematurely bolted; the usual reason is usually some type of temperature variation shifting between cold and warm. There's not much you can do. It may still be edible, albeit smaller; use right away. One tip: use only transplants that are pencil-sized or smaller in diameter. Generally, a large onion plant will produce a seed stalk after planting instead of forming a large bulb.

can you harvest the green

can you harvest the green tops of red onions to dry and use for seasoning

The green tops provides the

The green tops provides the energy for the onions bulbs so we probably wouldn't. Once the tops die back, the onion is ready to harvest.

I did not know how to harvest

I did not know how to harvest my large red onions and I noticed they were very large and looked ready to pull. the leaves were still tall and green (2-3 feet). I pulled most of them and now read that I should have waited. What do you recommend I do?

Onions are "mature" when the

Onions are "mature" when the bulbs are big and the tops begin to turn yellow and fall over. Don't worry though; onions can be harvested at any stage. There is no rule.

Have a good day,how many days

Have a good day,how many days or months before the onion will harvest?

It depends on the variety and

It depends on the variety and your climate, but the "days to maturity" are generally 100 to 120 days for mature bulbs. 

My onion sets grew

My onion sets grew wonderfully, nice big onions. Now I'm finding that the onions have split, not into two onions, but layers have split open and they aren't going to be usable! I don't know why??

The usual reason for split

The usual reason for split bulbs is moisture stress, such as dry soil or waterlogged soil, especially when bulbs begin to form and enlarge. Even moisture is very important; Keep onions evenly moist, but not waterlogged, throughout the growing season.

i am from india from tamil

i am from india from tamil nadu. my onion plants leafs are became yellow and it couldn't able to continue its growth and became waste. the age of the plant is abt 40 days. how to make them to regrow...

The Old Farmer's Almanac is a

The Old Farmer's Almanac is a North American publication addressing needs of North American readers. We suggest you speak to gardening experts in India who understand your climate and conditions!

My onions are extremely tall

My onions are extremely tall and have fallen over, but it started only 1 1/2 months after being planted. They're still green, they just can't hold themselves up and are about 2 ft tall.
I feel like this is stunting bulb growth. What can I do without damaging or interrupting the other plants in my raised bed?

The bulbs are probably small.

The bulbs are probably small. You can eat them now or let them keep growing as long as the tops are green.  It will just take longer. You may be harvesting in August. Onions send out a leaf for each layer on the bulb. If some of the leaves fall over, it will send out more. No worries.

I planted onions last year

I planted onions last year and the grasshoppers ate them down to the ground. The onions came back up this spring and now have what looks like onion sets forming at the top. What is that? What do I do now?

It sounds like you have

It sounds like you have bulbils forming. These are onion seeds. They are too tiny to plant for significant results. You could pull one up and see how big the onion is underground. (Is it big enough to use/eat?) Or cut off the bulbils and give the onions a little more time. They might grow a bit more.

Can I cut the green stalks

Can I cut the green stalks and use/eat as Green Onions? Will that help my Red and Yellow Onions that are growing (that I'm cutting them from)? I hate stomping them and just letting the great potential green onion rot on the ground. Could actually cutting them ruin the growing potential of the onions in the ground?

You can snip the very top of

You can snip the very top of the greens, but those stalks provide the energy that the onions need to mature. Snip sparingly.

My onions did not mature fast

My onions did not mature fast enough last year and of course are flowering now. The are huge and beautiful so green. I know to pull them now anyway because of the bulb at the top but I do not see how to cure these. Can anyone tell me what to do at this point.

I planted my onions with the

I planted my onions with the bulb just under the surface. Do I need to remove some dirt from around the bulb to get them to grow properly?

When to harvest planting from sets?

Hi. I planted onion sets in Oct 2012. I live between Baltimore and Wilmington, DE. I also planted another round of sets in April 2013. When do you think I can stomp the greens and harvest? Thank you.

What with weather conditions

What with weather conditions (not just now but since you planted) and the potential variability of any given area, we can't say exactly. Watch for the tops to become yellow and begin to fall over. Stomp (per our advice on this page) and pull the onions when the tops are brown.
Here in New Hampshire, that's usually in late summer.

How long from bulb to ready

How long from bulb to ready to pick

Months. If you plant in the

Months. If you plant in the fall to let the bulbs overwinter in the ground, they would mature near the end of summer, when the green tops dry and flop over. If you plant in the spring, you have to look for the same signs before harvesting.

will you give me adviceon

will you give
me adviceon sex?

will you give me adviceon

will you give
me adviceon sex?

Regular onions

I cant figure out when you harvest the regular onions. I dont think they really have a color and the stems on mine are tall but I don't know if the bulbs are mature enough.

Onion bulbs are mature when

Onion bulbs are mature when the foliage--the green tops--dry, turn brown and fall over. It's usually late in summer.

wild green onions

I have wild green onions growing between the rocks in my ditch. theyre about 3ft tall. are they good to eat?

wild green onions growing in ditch 3 ft tall

This is a cattail! not a green onion, You can eat the roots.

planting onions from the grocery after they began growing.

I have store bought onions that began growing. I would like to plant them and see what happens. What can I expect at harvest time? Will I have more onions or just bulbs that grew, flowered and seeded?

You will not get an edible

You will not get an edible onion out of this, but you will get onion seeds (and green onion cuttings, I suppose).

Actually I had the same idea.

Actually I had the same idea. I had an onion that had begun growing during the winter and I planted it in the spring. I now have 3 beautiful onions which I have just harvested so it is possible to get onions this way.

Tiny white bugs destroying bulb. Not maggots...

A week ago I noticed my onions weren't doing so great.. My mother suggested digging one out to see what was going on. I did. They were loaded with reddish brown ants carrying around these tiny white things on their heads! I assumed they were ant larvae or something. So, I put some organic ant killer down and waited a week. I dug up another one and they are still looking sickly as ever, but now, if you peel back the first layer there is a multitude of these teeny tiny crawling white bugs! I also spotted one crystal clear super thin, like 1/2 the size of a sewing needle, worm?? Help!!! I'm pretty sure they aren't maggots. They have legs.

It sounds like you have onion

It sounds like you have onion maggots. The adult onion maggot fly lays it's eggs in the soil around onion plants in the spring and the maggots appear when the soil warms up. Yellow sticky traps will capture the flies in the early spring or you can use row covers to protect the onions. Plant a new row of onions in a different spot of your garden. Try red onions which are more resistant.

hail storm

Had a freak hail storm here in Texas the other day. It trampled the green stalks. Will this "speed up the ripening process" like if you stomped them? They still needed another 25 days or so to mature.

bent onion leaves

Garden lore tells us that bending the green leaves of onions close to maturity will help the plant to spend more energy on bulb growth. Unfortunately, this is not the case. The plant needs the leaves in working order so that they can make food for bulb growth. Bending or otherwise damaging the green leaves (such as via storm damage) will harm the growth of the bulb.

Because of hail damage, it is possible that your bulbs will be smaller this year. Harvest time might actually be delayed, depending on the percentage of leaves lost on each plant and the ability of the plant to recover. Some leaves might heal and help with bulb growth, or new leaves start to form, so we'd recommend leaving the plants alone in case they will perk up again. Wait until the leaves have yellowed and browned on their own before harvesting the bulbs.

onion blooms

my 1015 onions tops are about 10" and are setting blooms. A onion bulb has only begun to form. I planted them 62 days ago.
Is this normal?

onion flowers

Flowers on onions are not desirable (unless saving seed), as it compromises the quality of the bulb. Flowers can be triggered by temperature fluctuations (such as a period of warmth, followed by cold, followed by warmth).

A bulb uses energy to send up a flower stalk (called bolting), so once it does, the bulb will be smaller and won't be as large as an onion that does not bolt. It is still edible, but lower in quality. It is not necessary to cut off the flower stalks (some gardeners do, some don't), but you should harvest the bulb as soon as you can, and use it promptly--it will not store well.

When buying onion sets, look for those that are no thicker than a pencil, and plant them out at a time recommended for your area; larger sets tend to bolt. Also, keep in mind that 1015 onions are a short-day variety; make sure that type is recommended for your area. Short-day varieties form bulbs when daylength is between 10 and 12 hours; intermediate-day (day-neutral) onions start to form bulbs between about 12 and 14 hours of daylight; and long-day varieties form bulbs at about 14 to 16 hours daylight. If a short-day variety is planted in an area best suited for a long-day type, for example, then the bulbs might form early and not get very large. A general rule of thumb for the U.S. is that northern gardeners use a long-day type, gardeners in the mid-section use day-neutral, and southern gardeners, a short-day type.

no bulb

I live is San Diego county. I've planted several onion sets this past fall. None of them have actually formed a bulb. They're almost straight up and down. What am I doing wrong?

Onions come in

Onions come in long-daylength, medium-daylength, and short-daylength varieties, based on amount of sunlight needed. You grow long-daylength in northern latitudes and medium-daylength in central latitudes. In the southern latitudes, you need to plant short-day onions. Short-day do not come in sets. You need to seed OR plant bareroot transplants from local nurseries.


Is 10-10-10 fertilizer just as good as 6-12-12 ? Thanks

For home garden use, either

For home garden use, either usually type usually meets the plant's requirements. Leafy veggies usually do better with a complete balance, and tuber/root veggies as well as flowers usually do better with 6:12:12.


What kind of fertilizer i need to spray to make the onion good? Thanks

Fertilizing onions is

Fertilizing onions is critical to success. Before planting, work 4 to 6 inches of well-composted organic matter and an all-purpose fertilizer (16-16-8) into the soil to a depth of 6-8 inches. Then, 4 to 6 weeks later, sidedress onions with nitrogen fertilizer (21-0-0) as directed. Do not
fertilize after mid-July as extra nutrients stimulate late season growth and reduce storage potential of dry onions.


I bought a bundle of white onion bulbs. I can not plant for 5-6 weeks. How do I store them sothey do not dry out and die.

Store sets (the tiny immature

Store sets (the tiny immature bulbs) in a cool, dry, dark environment if planting must be delayed after purchase.

leaf crop or root crop

It says to consider onions a leaf crop, not a root crop. Does that mean that I should plant onions in a waning moon?

Onions are considered a

Onions are considered a belowground crop. Plant during the dark, or waning, of the Moon: from the day after it is full to the day before it is new again.

sweet onions in Mississippi

I am about to set Georgia sweets and purple sweets. how far apart do i set them?

Georgia Sweet onions are

Georgia Sweet onions are planted 6 inches apart in rows 12 inches apart for full sized bulbs.

when to plant?

Bit old of a post but I'm still going to try. I would like to plant onions but I'm a little confused. I'm in zone 7 on north Carolina...when do I plant? Fall or spring? It says don't let temps go below 20..so if I plant them in fall the temps do sometimes go unto the teens in the winter. But summer seems to hot its been getting over 100 and that seems to hot for them so I'm not sure when to plant them. Any suggestions?

Planting dates in North

Planting dates in North Carolina for onions SEED are: Jan 15-Mar 31; Sept 1-30. Date for onion PLANTS or SETS are: Feb 1- Mar 15; Sept 1-15. Gardeners in plant hardiness Zone 7 and south will succeed best with short-day onion varieties.

Onion harvest

ok, so I'm supposed to stomp on the onions to speed the final ripening process, and in the next paragraph I'm supposed to "handle them very carefully, as the slightest bruise will cause rot" Would you please explain this????

Onion Harvest

They mean to stomp on the green tops after you have bent them over but be careful not to tramp on the onions themselves as they will bruise.

Yes, you stomp on the onion

Yes, you stomp on the onion tops, not the onions in the ground.

You guys do a great job and I

You guys do a great job and I love your site, but I have to reply to the onion stomping comments. I've been successfully grown large sweet onions for over 40 years and have yet to stomp my first onion! Onions are easily brusied and they usually rot when that happens. After the bulbs form and the tops of a few begin to fall over, I carefully fold or bend the rest of the tops over. After about a week I harvest and dry them in my garden shed. This year I raised over 150 lbs of 'Candy' and 'Superstar' in my Zone 5 garden at 37.35 degrees latitude. Some were over 3 lbs.!

Thanks for sharing! It sounds

Thanks for sharing! It sounds like you have a wonderful garden. We appreciate hearing from experts! The onion stomping is something that comes up now and then in older gardening books and borders on folklore.

No Stomping

I agree with J Bush. Tipping the tops should happen naturally. I got fooled once when I first started growing onions, and tipped the tops and "stomped". It was a disaster for the bulbs. Never again!
Now I grow over 6,000 onions every summer. Mostly "Candy" from plant starts, not bulbs. They will average near 1lb. with some getting over 2lbs.

Harvest time

How many days are typical until harvest time?

Days to maturity for most

Days to maturity for most onions are: 100 to 120 (Mature bulbs)

Green Onions (scallions)

Plant sets deep for green onions? (scallions)

Set 1 to 2 inches apart and 1

Set 1 to 2 inches apart and 1 to 2 inches deep in the row.

Botanical Name: 

Allium cepa

Plant Type: 

Sun Exposure: 

Soil Type: 

Soil pH: 

Hardiness Zone: 

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