The Best Beginner’s Guide How To Grow Onions In Your Garden

Onions are a wonderful vegetable to grow in your garden especially for beginners, but just how to grow onions is a good question. Yes you can throw them in your garden and hope for the best, or you can learn how to nurture those onions to get a good harvest. 

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Growing Onions In Your Garden

Why Should You Be Growing Onions?

Onions are a great one to grow in your garden because it’s something that you can grow a lot of in a small amount of space. They are also fairly easy to grow without a lot of work required to keep them happy. 

How Many Onions Will One Plant Produce?

Onions grow from a single onion bulb, which means you will have to grow quite a bit of onion sets to have enough to store or feed your family. Unlike potatoes, onions don’t produce multiple plants from one bulb or onion. 

Can You Plant Onions From The Grocery Store?

You can try to plant onions from the grocery store, but because they have already reached maturity they most likely will just go to seed. 

Do Onions Come Back Every Year?

Because when you harvest onions you remove the entire bulb from the ground, they do not return every year. Onions are a harvest once kind of vegetable. 

Do Onions Multiply? 

Yes, some varieties do multiply! Multiplying onions, sometimes called bunching onions or “potato” onions, grow on a pretty simple method: You plant one bulb, and as that bulb grows, it divides into a clump of several more bulbs.

How To Grow Onions

Growing onions is easy- once you know what you are doing. So we are going to dive into every step when it comes to how to grow onions to help you succeed in growing onions in your backyard garden or even on a larger scale. 


How To Grow Onions: Where To Plant Onions

How to grow onions begins with where to grow them, to grow onions you will want to pick a location with full sunlight and good drainage for your onions to do the best. You don’t want to plant onions in a place where it is prone to flooding because your onions will rot or get washed out. 

How To Grow Onions: Preparing The Soil

The next step in how to grow onions is preparing your soil for planting onions. Work the garden soil only when it is dry enough not to stick to garden tools. Before seeding or transplanting, work the soil 8 to 10 inches deep. Work in 1-2 inches of well-rotted manure or compost to fertilize your soil. Remove all rocks and trash from the soil; then break up the remaining clods and rake the soil smooth. 

When To Plant Onions

Onions are a cool-season crop and can stand temperatures well below freezing. They may be planted from seeds, from small bulbs called sets, or from transplants.

How To Grow Onions: Planting Onions

There are three ways to plant onions in your garden, we’ve used all three methods and had great success with them in our garden. Any of them are fine it just depends on what you are comfortable with and what is available in your area. You can order onion bulbs (or buy at a local garden center) or you can purchase onion seeds and start from those. 

We’ll teach you how to grow onions both ways below!

How Do You Plant Onion Bulbs?

If you choose to start with onion bulbs put them in the ground ¾ inch deep and 3 inches apart. Use a finger to poke a hole in your soil and gently insert the bulb into the ground roots first. 

How Do You Plant Onions From Seeds?

When seeding onions for large onion bulbs, plant them ¼ inch deep during October through December. Place the seeds 1 inch apart.

When your onions plants have reached about 6 inches high, thin them to one plant every 2 to 3 inches. Eat the extra plants as green onions.

How Do You Plant Onion Transplants?

Gently remove your onions from the container you started them in, poke a hole in your prepared garden soil, and plant onion transplants or sets ¾ inch deep and 3 inches apart.

How To Grow Onions: Caring For Onions

Weeds are easy to pull or cut when they are 3 to 4 inches tall. Do not let weeds or grasses grow large because they compete with onions for nutrients If you use a hoe to remove weeds and grass, do not chop too deeply. You may be cutting the onion roots. Pull all weeds by hand when possible.

Fertilizing Onion Plants

When your onion plants have 5 or 6 leaves, apply an organic fertilizer again to encourage your plants to grow larger and create bigger bulbs. Each leaf on your onions forms a ring in the onion bulb. The more leaves, the more rings, the larger the bulbs. 

Use about ½ cup of well-rotted manure, compost, or organic fertilizer for every 10 feet of onion row. Scatter the fertilizer evenly between the rows. Water the onions after adding the fertilizer.

Watering Onion Plants

In the spring watering once a week usually is ok, but you may need to water more often during dry or windy weather. Make sure you water your onion plants slowly and deeply to help grow strong, healthy roots.

How To Grow Onions: Pests & Diseases

Onions are pretty resistant to insects, they can however get thrips, which are very tiny insects, that can be found between the center leaves. Using an insecticide like Neem oil which is organic can help with this.

Diseases can be a problem with onions, Brown leaf tips or brown spots on the middle and lower parts of leaves may be caused by plant diseases. Sulfur, Neem oil, and other organic fungicides can be used for this. 

How To Grow Onions: Harvesting & Storing

Your onion plants are ready to harvest when the tops begin to fall over. Onions seeded in October/December or transplanted in January/February should produce bulbs in May/July. 

If you are wanting green onions, you can pick them from the time they are pencil size until they begin to form bulbs.

For dry-bulb onions, they are ready when the main stem begins to get weak and fall. Pull the plants out of the soil on dry sunny day and leave them lying in the garden for 1 to 2 days to dry. Then remove the roots and let them keep drying in baskets or boxes. When they are dry store in a dry, airy place such as in a wire net in the garage or carport or braid the onions together and hang. 

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