How to Plant Onion Sets? When to Grow & Harvest

planting Onion Sets

Onions are great for cooking and used in many recipes I cook all year round. Below is my step-by-step guide on how to plant onion sets.

Planting onion sets is straightforward and there’s no mystery to it. So if your seeds never took, and you feel too lazy for planting seeds, you can solve the problem by planting onion sets instead.

What is the Onion set?

Onion sets are the little onions you get when you plant onions. They are tiny, about an inch across. They look like tiny onions. Or like little green onions.

An onion set is a pre-germinated plant which is also known as an onion transplant. It is easy to plant and really convenient for beginners. It can be a great option for those who want to grow their own onion bulbs during the harshest months of winter.

When to grow onion sets?

Onion sets can be planted any time during the growing season after the danger of frost has passed. Onion sets should be planted in the spring or fall when the soil is cool.

You should plant onion sets any time from late March to mid-April, depending on the weather. Spring varieties need 6–8 hours of sunshine a day, summer varieties 8–10.

How to Plant Onion Set? A complete guide

Onion sets, which look like onions but have sprouted shoots, are transplants.

  • To plant onion sets, wait until the shoots are about 8 inches high.
  • Plant the onion sets, with the bulb end down, 4 to 6 inches deep and 1 foot apart, in a sunny spot well-draining but not too dry.

To plant onion sets, you need two things: onion sets and soil. You can buy onion sets at the gardening center. They look like little onion bulbs. The instructions on the packets tell you how to plant them. Just plant them 6 inches deep and 6 inches apart in rows 12 inches apart.

You can’t plant onion sets in soil; they don’t grow well that way. So first you need to prepare the soil. Mix a 1-1/2-inch layer of compost over the soil, and rake it level.

Onion sets need moisture but don’t allow the soil to dry out. In hot weather, water them every day. In colder weather, only water them every other day. It will take about 2 weeks for onion sets to grow big enough to be transplanted.

When To Harvest Onion Plants:

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when growing onions is to harvest them before they are ready.

If you harvest your onion plants too early, the result will be onions that are very green. They will be immature, bitter, and tough. In winter, when temperatures drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, the onions will turn black, and in a high wind, they will blow away.

So how do you know when to harvest?

First, look at the stalks. You want to see a hint of yellow beginning at the tips. You’ll know it when you see it, and if you don’t, plant another onion.

Second, look carefully at the leaves. You want to see any yellow or brown spots. When you find one, cut it off.

Third, gently squeeze one bulb between your thumb and forefinger. If it feels soft, not firm, it’s ready to harvest. If you try to squeeze a bulb that isn’t ready, you’ll just bruise it. Once you harvest, dry the onions on racks or on screens hung from the rafters of your house.

When they’re dry, store them in paper bags in a cool, dry place. Don’t put them in plastic bags, or they will sweat and spoil.

In spring and summer, inspect the bulbs every week or two. They’ll turn yellow or brown and shrivel. When they do this, pull them into paper bags and leave them until the next season. Some gardeners say that they can tell when to harvest by looking at the leaves. If so, these gardeners are unusually observant. Because onions dislike the cold, the leaves will turn yellow before the onion bulbs. This is another reason to harvest early.

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