We’ve grown onions the last few years in our garden but never have we really gotten our onion sets to grow big for us. That is the goal, right?! So this year we decided to do a little more research and learn a few extra things to see if we could get our onions to get bigger for us!
The nice thing about growing onions is they are planted in early February or March, depending on where you live and from our experience they have minimal maintenance when it comes to pests and bugs. With a little planning you’ll find yourself growing onions and loving the process because they really are easy!
There are just a few simple tricks/tips that will help you so here we go. Don’t let the steps overwhelm you, I’ve tried to break it down into bite size steps to make it easy to understand and follow.
How to Grow Onions
1- Make sure you have prepped your soil with great fertilizer and compost. I’ve talked a little more about getting fertilizer/compost on a budget and you can read more of our tips –> here.
2- Dig a small trench by taking your trowel and creating the trench where you will plant your onions.
3- Sprinkle bone meal in the trench. It doesn’t take a ton of bone meal but sprinkle it – the phosphorous will promote root growth on your onions.
4- Cover the bone meal with the trench dirt.
5- Poke holes every 5-6 inches apart down through the trench where the bone meal is underneath.
6- Now place your onion sets into each hole and cover the base of your onion set with the soil.
7- Next mark your calendar for when you planted your onions!
8- Next mark on your calendar 3 weeks from planting your onions because you will begin side dressing your onions.
9- You will side dress with ammonium sulfate to promote green growth on your onions. You will side dress every two weeks until 70 days after planting. Side dressing is simply creating a small trench between your onion rows and sprinkling the ammonium sulfate, then cover it up with the trench dirt. Kind of like step #3 and 4.
10- At the 70 ish day mark you will begin pulling the dirt away from the bulbs and this will promote bulb growth. Your goal is to have 12-15 green growths – this is also how many layers your onions will have in the bulb.
11- When the necks turn soft and brown they are ready to harvest. You can either harvest now or turn the necks down almost “breaking” them to have the growth continue to the bulb vs. the green growth.
12- Success- with that planning and TLC you should have nice big onions to harvest and enjoy.
If you plan on storing your onions for use later – lay them out in a cool dark place and let the green growth completely dry up and you’ll have onions for a couple of months now!
What has been your experience with onions? Any tips or tricks for us to do next year? We are always wanting to learn to do our best.
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