Getting Ready to Grow Onions

March traditionally spurs a flurry of activity in the vegetable garden! I’ve got big plans for my own vegetable plot this year and am starting work now in the hope of harvesting a bumper onion crop.

But ever before the soil has had a chance to dry a bit, I’m working it a little. Once you’ve had four or five dry days, dig liberally with a spade or fork and soften up the soil. Overworking after it has dried can damage the soil structure and impact on your entire vegetable crop.

Now is a great time to plant onion sets.

While we are still a good few months off from sowing most vegetable crops, it’s time to get planting your onions.

How to grow your onions at home

Top tips for growing onions

  1. Get your onions in the ground as soon as possible so they’re ready to harvest in late Summer/Autumn. Planting sets rather than seed is the only way to grow them I believe. Growing onions from seed require a lot of time and patience. With sets, you speed up the process and are almost always guaranteed a good quality crop in the end.
  2. Plant your sets approx. 4 to 6 inches apart or you can plant closer and thin out every second one to eat as scallions.
  3. Plant them by simply pressing them into the soil, pointy end up!
  4. Choose the right variety for your own use. CountryLife stocks many different varieties of onion sets Red Karmin (a great red onion) and Radar (a really reliable white onion) are popular with customers. Shallots are growing in popularity each year, particularly among gardeners with an interest in cooking.
  5. Mix it up! Lots of customers are leaning towards buying a mixed packet of onion sets. These contain a mixture of ordinary, white and red onions and are great for gardeners working with limited space who want to grow a variety of onions.
  6. Caring for your onion crop: Apart from feeding, watering and keeping weeds under control, onions will happily sit in the vegetable garden until August when you have to start thinking about drying them and getting them ready for harvesting. We will take a closer look at this process later in the year.
Onion ready for planting, pointed side up!
Red onions are always popular
Shallots are growing in popularity each year