Common onion info tells us that it is often easier growing big onions from plants than from seed. Onions are shallow-rooted and require constant moisture for proper growth. Danielle – growing onions is something I want to add this year, so thank you for this timely post! Onion Sets Versus Seeds. Onions can be grown from seeds, sets, and plants (transplants). Growing Onions from Seeds. The Nitty Gritty on How to Plant Onion Seed. To plant: Plant onion seeds when the soil temperatures are at least 45 degrees. Starting onion plants from seed takes the longest for onions to fully grow, but onion seeds give you the most choices in variety. When the seedlings grow to 4 inches in height, they can then be carefully lifted from the flats and transplanted to their permanent places. To grow your own onion sets, sow the seeds thickly, and to do so, broadcast them evenly over the bed. Plant the onion seed down the line, maybe 1 seed every quarter inch or so. It is just one of those onion facts that the key to growing big onions is early planting, with fertilizer or compost. A quick guide to onions. Growing from both sets and seed in long-season regions allows for two harvests; one early in summer and the second in late summer and fall. In late April or early May, place the small bulbs about an inch deep in the garden, with four bulbs together, touching each other, and each bunch of four onion sets about 6 inches apart within rows. It can take up to five months of onion growing … If you're in a milder area, you may be able to get away with starting onion seed directly in the garden. Onions can be planted in either the spring or fall. Onion plants grow well in raised beds or raised rows at least 4 inches high. For planting onion seed, I like to use seed tray inserts that are approximately 4" x 6" or 5"x5". Germination rates fall as the seeds age, and though I have had three-year-old onion seeds that sprouted well, germination is always highest with fresh seeds. ), and will be ready to start planting by February. Should I Grow Onions from Seed or from Sets? You can grow onions from seed, transplants or small bulbs called “sets.” Plant onions early in spring. I am half way through cleaning out my greenhouse (I would have had it finished, except for all this rain! Draw 4 furrows about a 1/2" deep the length of the tray. Growing Onions from Seed and Sets. If you’re a Square Foot Gardener, plant onions 9 per square foot. I use a chop stick to help place them. Growing Onions from Seed Onion seed of both white and yellow varieties, can be sown indoors in flats, early in the spring. Sets are little dried onions that you can use to get a head start on the onion growing season without the need to start indoor seeds months prior. Sets are available from seed catalogs, garden centers and hardware stores. For those of us that have a real winter, plant onions inside 8-10 weeks before your last frost date in spring (earlier is better). Onion seeds can be kept for two years in a cool, dry place such as a properly monitored seed storage box, but fresh first-year onion seeds germinate best. Soil for onions should be well-drained and high in organic matter. Growing from seed is difficult for many home gardeners because onion germination rates are often poor. Growing onions from seed is a little more difficult than growing onions from sets, especially for the new vegetable grower, but seed does provide some compelling advantages over sets. Harvest onions when about half the tops are falling over and dry. The easiest way is to plant “sets” (small onions) in the spring. It does look easy, and I am less intimidated now about growing from seed. Help, My Onions Won’t Grow Big – Growing Big Onions. 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