Why grow onions when they are pretty cheap at the store? Because they taste better!
There are many different shapes, sizes and even colors of onions and most can be pulled young as green onions.
I like to plant my onions when the crocuses are blooming; they are a cool season crop and do best when planted early. You can grow onions from transplants, sets, or seeds. Transplants are seedlings started in the current growing season and sold in bunches, sets are immature bulbs grown the previous year and are the easiest to plant, the earliest to harvest, and the least susceptible to diseases. Growing onions from seed offers a wide choice in cultivars but it’s hard to start seeds here as we have such a short growing season. You will need to start your onion seedlings indoors.
If you are using sets then plant them two inches apart, 2-3 inches deep with the pointy side up. I like to lay them out on the bed before planting as I lose track what I’ve planted where.
There are short and long day onions. Short day onions form bulbs when the days reach 10 to 12 hours long and are better for southern latitudes. Long day cultivars need 13 to 16 hours and are the ones best suited for our area.
Once I have planted onions I cover them with Reemay less to provide heat than to protect them from the ravenous crows who view my yard as their private pantry.
With well prepared soil no fertilizing should be needed. If onions are in soil that has a lot of nitrogen then you will get great tops but small bulbs. Onion do like to be watered regularly but are a good crop if you are going to be on short vacations this summer as they will tolerate some gaps in watering.
Harvest onions when the tops turn yellow. Pull and hang in a dry place until thoroughly dry. If you harvest them too early or don’t let them dry enough they will rot. If well dried they will last 6 months to a year. If you don’t eat them all before then!