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Growing Onions

How to grow onions from sets

Onions are easier to grow than you might think and are great for planting in spare corners in a garden. If dried correctly they keep for a very long time too.

Whilst you can grow onions from seeds, buying sets is by far the easiest way of growing onions. Sets are essentially dormant onion bulbs that will grow faster and are more resistant to disease.

Buy your onions

Sets can keep for about 3 weeks in a cool, dry place before planting, so don’t worry if are not ready to plant them straight away. Onion sets may appear very dry, but this is perfectly normal. Never place your sets in water thought.

Planting & watering

People often feel they have to fertilse the soil with rotten manure to get the best of vegetables. Whilst this is true for some like legumes, onions don’t do too well if there’s too much nitrogen in the ground. During growing months, give an occasional feed with a general liquid fertiliser.

Onions are better suited for open grown, although you can also plant them in raised beds. However, they are not suited for growing bags.

Plant your onions mid March to mid April. Place onion sets 2 inch deep and 4 inch apart. Gently push the sets into the soil until just the tips are showing. Remove any loose skin from your onions before planting, to discourage birds from lifting the sets.

Keep onions well weeded and watered. You can put a layer of mulch down when the weather warms up, to keep weeds at bay and help conserve water.

Picking your onions

Depending on weather variations, your onions will be ready to harvest between June and July. Remove any flowers spikes as soon as they appear to encourage bulb growth.

Harvest once the onion tops start to go yellow, at which point your onions are ready. Store onions in a dry place for a couple of weeks before consumption.

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