How to Grow Onions

It is very easy to grow Onions, 7savings Garden gives you easy Step by step guide on how to grow Onions in a garden. Here is how to grow Onions.How to grow onions

This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product or service with the links that I provide I may receive a small commission. There is no additional charge to you! Thank you for supporting so I can continue to provide you free content each week! You guys are amazing!

How to grow onions

Onions are a cold season vegetable that is grown mainly for the flavor they add to other foods. onions begin to form base on the  length of day light. Onions can be started from seeds. sets or transplants. Onion seeds have two different varieties, white and yellow which can be started indoors in flats or containers in the winter and transplanted to the garden in the spring.

Types of Onions

How to grow onions

There are three types for onions, Short day Onions Intermediate-day onions and long day onions.  The day length is one of the most important factors when selecting the variety of onion you want to plant. The next factor is flavor/ color. In most cases, red onion has more flavor than yellow and Yellow onion has more flavor than a white onion.

Short Day Onions

They need mild winter climates like in zone 7 or  warmer. they can be grown in the north but the bulbs will not be as large

short day onion form bulbs with 10 to 12 hours of daylight,

they are planted in the fall and mature late spring to early summer

Intermediate Day onions or Day Neutral Onions

Best grown in zone 5 and 6

Form bulbs with 12 to 14 hours of daylight

Can be planted in the fall where there is mild winter

Can also be planted in the north in the spring

Long Day onions

Planted in the northern region like zone 6 or colder

Form bulbs with 12 to 14 hours of daylight

Best planted in early spring or late winter



Ways To Grow Onions

Grow Onions from Seeds

onion seedsIn most areas seeds need to be started indoors in the winter because the temperature outside is not suitable for it to germinate and grow.

Start with fresh seeds each year and plant them about 6 to 8 weeks before transplanting them to the garden.

Transplant to the garden about 4 to 5 weeks before the last freeze and as soon as the ground can be worked.

Plant when the temperature will not go below -6.66 degree Celsius or -20 degrees Fahrenheit.

seeds can be sown directly in the garden in the springs, cover the seeds with one-fourth inch of soil if you sow it directly in the garden.

choose a location where there is a lot of sunlight and not shaded by trees and shrubs.

Soil should be well drained and loose and not too compact, the soil should be rich in nitrogen and organic matter, I use rich compost and organic fertilizer because Onions are heavy feeders and as a result need a constant supply of nutrients to produce large onion bulbs. You should feed the plants with fertilizer every few weeks until they start producing bulbs.

How to grow onionadd aged manure, compost and or fertilizer to the soil before tilling.

once sown in the soil, the seeds should sprout between 6 to 11 days. If planted thickly (too close together) plants can be pulled and utilized as green onions for cooking and salads. You can also transplant them to other areas when they are still young(6 to 11 weeks).  add organic fertilizer once the plants start growing.

If you are like me you would want to grow large onions so you can store and use for months. after Thinning the onions you should have a spacing of about 3 to 4 inches, this will give the onion bulbs more space to expand.

Seeds are the least recommended way to start onions especially as a beginner

Grow Onions from Onions Sets

Onions sets are a lot better way to plant in order to achieve a better result as compared to onion seeds. sets are small, dry onions that have been grown the previous year(s) Sets are one of the most popular ways many people grow onions.

You can get a bag of onion sets from garden centers and online seed sellers. they are usually sold as white, yellow or red onion without a variety name.

Tip: If you want to know what variety you are planting then do not use onion sets.

Onions sets are the most likely to bulb because they were produce the previous year.

Round onion sets will produce a flatten onion meanwhile an elongated shaped onion will produce a round shaped onion.

Large sets are best used for green onion because they are already closer to bulb size and might not grow a lot better but will produce green leaves. The small onion sets will form bulbs.

How to plant Onion sets

choose a location where you want to plant, the location should have a lot of sunlight and not shaded by trees and shrubs.

Till the garden bed or raised bed with a lot of compost, aged manure and or fertilizer mixed in. Onions need a constant supply of nutrients to grow and produce large onion bulbs. feed the plants with fertilizer every few weeks until they start producing bulbs.

The soil needs to loose and have good drainage.

lightly water the soil

push a single onion set into damp soil until just the top of the onion is showing

plant the onions sets about 3 to 4 inches apart. If you are planting them in a row, let the rows be about  12 inches apart. within a week or so you should see it start growing.

Onion plants or transplants

How to grow Onion PlantThe best way to grow onions is with onion plants especially if you are new to growing onion. to get large firm onion bulbs, use onion plants. they are produced from seed in the same year they are sold. They usually come in a bundle

Where to get them.

You can get Onion plants from garden centers like at Wal-Mart, Home Depot and Lowes or at a hardware store, online and seed USA, LLC


How to grow onions  from Onion plants or transplants

Plant your onion plant or transplants about 4 to 6 weeks before the last spring freeze.

choose a location where you want to plant, the location should have a lot of sunlight and not shaded by trees and shrubs.

Onions are heavy feeders and as a result, it needs a constant supply of nutrients to grow and produce large onion bulbs. I feed My plants with fertilizer and or compost tea every few weeks until the start producing bulbs.

Till the garden bed or raised bed with a lot of aged manure, compost and or fertilizer mixed in. the soil needs to loose and have good drainage.

separate the onion bundle

Soak the plants in water for about an hour before you plant it or follow the plant label

Plant the onion about 1 inch deep, making sure you bury the roots. Do not bury it too deep as this might inhibit bulb growth. after planting water the plants and it should start growing.

They should see the onion produce new roots and leaves.

Tips: the onion plants or transplants are live plants and should be planted as soon as possible. If you are unable to plant them right away, untie them and spread the onions in a cold dry area until you are able to plant them. The roots and or tops may begin to dry out, don’t be worry about that as long as you plant them within a week or two. the bulb can survive for up to three weeks on the nutrients in the bulb.

Onion Growing Tips

Onions are Bi-annual ( takes 2 years to grow from seed to bulb)

Start Fertilizing your onion plants about 3 weeks after planting and continue to Fertilize every 2 to 3 weeks  with a fertilizer high in nitrogen

Don’t apply any more fertilizer once the neck starts feeling soft or bend.

The neck usually bends about 4 weeks prior to harvest.

Onions require more water as they get closer to harvest.

Use (eat) onions that are flowered first because they don’t last long in storage

It is difficult to do weed control when growing onion. I use grass clippings (couple of inches) to limit the amount of weed and this also helps retain moisture.

Do not move soil on top of the onion once it starts coming out of the ground.


Onions are fully mature when their tops have falling over, pull the onions from the ground and leave them on the garden bed to dry, clip off the roots and cut the top about an inch or two.


Onions can last for a very long time if stored properly. store the dried onion in a cold, dry areas and keep them separated from each other.

eat onions that are flowered first because they don’t last as long as the others in storage.



Related Posts

growing onions

Thanks for reading and watching, be sure to share this info with your friends and family using the social share buttons on the right . See you on the next article.