Growing onions from seed can be tricky

Growing onions from seed can be tricky

For those of us who have had issues with growing onions from seed unsuccessfully, don’t be sad. You’re not alone. Growing onions from seed can be tricky and if you are not armed with the right information you can be wasting your time and your money. There are several factors to consider that can make or break your onion growing season.

First, it is important to know what type of onion to grow. There are two types of onions. Bulbing and Green onions sometimes called spring onions or bunching onions. The main difference between the two are that bunching or spring onions do not form a bulb. They are quick to mature and work well in a wide range of conditions and climates. Bulbing onions on the other hand are day light sensitive and you must grow the right kind in your area for success. Here are the three kinds.

Short Day Onions: Onions that form bulbs when the day lengths reach 10-12 hours

Intermediate Day Onions: 12-14 hours of sunlight required to form bulbs.

Long Day Onions: requires 14-16 hours of sunlight to form bulbs.

For those of us south of San Fransisco, you want to grow short day onions. Those are the bulbing onions that we carry.   Here is a step by step guide to growing them successfully.

  1. Start seeds in a cool area of the garden or transplant anytime from October to December.
  2. Transplant out after 4-5 weeks. Onion seeds are notoriously slow growers, be patient!
  3. If you are growing bulb onions be sure to thin them to leave at least 6” between plants, the larger the area in between them, the larger the onion bulbs can get.
  4. Keep onions happy by mulching and watering evenly.
  5. By early summer the bulbs on the onions will start to form and when the tops fall over, harvest!
  6. For green or spring onions, harvest at any point they are big enough for your use.

Happy growing!

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