If you’re in the southern part of the US, or in a USDA zone 7 or higher, you’ll want to plant short day onions in the fall. They are also one of the first greens to emerge in the garden, well before the ramps. When planting in the spring, onions can be planted by seed or with bulbs (onion sets). Early on during their growth, onions will prefer cooler weather, so plant in early spring. Or you can also plant your seedlings or transplants closer together and thin them for use as green onions or spring (immature) onions. Before planting your onions, work in aged manure or fertilizer. In cold winter regions plant leeks and shallots in the garden three weeks before the last spring frost or later. One of (for me) the most interesting discussions that I have with my gardening customers relates to the topic of when to plant onions. How you intend to use the onions determines the proper planting technique. Onions are relatively hardy, so planting can begin as soon as the soil is dried out and workable in spring. They are ready to harvest in the spring. And without a doubt, our fall crop always seem to bring a much larger and better tasting onion than our same-year planted onions. Regardless of how thickly they are sown or planted, onions should be thinned to a spacing of 2 inches apart in the row if you intend to harvest green onions, and 4 inches apart if you intend to harvest moderate size bulbs and 8 inches apart for large bulbs. Green onions are harvested before they form bulbs, in 40 days or less. aggregatum group. As a rule, before winter they plant the smallest onions, which are not able to reach the next season. Alternatively, you could plant a winter-hardy variety of spring onion in the late summer or early autumn months. Spring onions form small, immature bulbs and are harvested in 40 to 60 days. Plant seed for bulb onions in the early fall. Treating them as annuals is about as labor intensive as planting spring, scallion, or long-storing onions. These Egyptian or walking onions produce bulblets at the tops of tall stems each spring. As a rule of thumb, green onion tops will grow in cooler weather, and bulbs will form in warm weather. Purchase onion bulb sets from garden centers and nurseries in the spring, which is the best time to plant onions. Onions do not thrive on acid soils (below pH 6.5). Fall onions grow in much the same fashion as a fall crop of garlic does. The onions are ready when the main stem begins to get weak and fall (Fig. If possible, till in aged manure the fall before planting. You can also wait until late winter or early spring to plant seeds outside. Next, we plant the bulbs with the point end up, setting them into the compost a bit. Onions need a sunny, sheltered site with fertile, well-drained soil. Since onions like a well-drained, crumbly, fertile soil, raised beds work well. You will, however, want to side dress your onions with blood meal and compost or a fish emulsion solution regularly throughout the spring. And that means adding compost before planting is a BIG plus! This helps blanket the crop from the deep freezing and thawing cycles winter brings. Prepare the ground in advance by getting your soil down to a fine tilth and adding a granular general purpose fertiliser about a week before you expect to sow.. Make drills 1.5cm (0.5") deep and 15cm (6") apart and sow thinly. Once seedlings are well established, thin to an inch apart. Planting Leeks and Shallots in Autumn and Spring Leeks and shallots are easy to grow from seeds or sets. 3 Big Secrets For Planting Fall Garlic & Onions #1 Plant The Right Way – At The Right Time! You will, however, want to side dress your onions with blood meal and compost or a fish emulsion solution regularly throughout the spring. We like to space our crop bulbs about every 4″ to 6″ to allow plenty of room for growth. 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