Planting Onions

Last week when I made my usual stop at the feed store, I peeked into the plastic basket with a sign that said "onion sets, buy one lb get one free, $1.50". 

There were a few small bulbs left in the bottom, along with a lot of dirt and chaff. I felt sorry for the ones that were left, and I told the owner I would buy them all if he didn't charge me for the debris. 

He laughed, said that sounded like a good plan, and bagged them all up for me. 

I came home with over a pound of onion sets at a very, very deep discount.

There are three ways to buy onions: seeds, sets, and plants. 

Sets are what you'll probably find at the store, although I saw bundles of plants the day that I bought these sets. 

Onion sets will give you onions long before seeds will, and if your garden isn't quite ready to plant, or the weather isn't perfect yet, sets will wait better than plants will. 

Sets are simply onion plants that have been started from seed and then dried, to be planted in your garden at home. Sets can be any onion variety, just like onion seeds and onion plants come in many varieties. 

Plant onion sets one inch deep and six inches apart in each direction. 

You can plant them slightly closer together if you plan to harvest some early as green onions, so that you are thinning the row as you harvest. The remaining onions will have enough room to form bulbs.

Grass and weeds compete with onions for moisture and nutrients, so keep the bed well-weeded.

I planted over half of the sets in the onion bed. I gave half of what was left to a friend when she visited, and tucked the rest randomly among the tomato and pepper plants.

Earlier in spring I'd bought yellow and purple onion sets. They've been in the ground awhile and are growing well. The new sets are white onions. 

In my house, you can never have enough onions. It's a little late to put onions in the ground, but for that price I'll take a chance.

This post has been shared at some of my favorite blog hops.


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  1. There's nothing better than plucking onions out of the garden, is there? That's a lot of onions!! :)

  2. Once again the ants visited and love to eat the tops off our onions! Any suggestions? Well, we will prevail :) Thanks for sharing at the Art of Home-Making Mondays!

  3. JES, that's the first time I've heard of that. Diatomateous earth? It cuts the exoskeleton of insects. Don't breathe it in, it is made of very, very fine particles. You'd need to reapply after rain. Try looking at your feed/hardware store, and be sure to buy food grade, not pool grade. Let me know if it helps!

  4. What a deal! We use onions in almost everything too. Thanks for sharing on The Maple Hill Hop!

  5. NEVER too many onions! Love them! Wish I had more room to plant them, lol...I've been tucking them in every spare nook of the garden this year. :)

  6. I'm happy to find another onion lover, Rose. :-)

  7. I'm an onion lover and love to cook it in almost everything. We just planted our onion sets last weekend and I can't wait!

  8. Mary, I can't wait either! I have yellow and purple onions already planted and doing well. I especially love those purple ones! What's your favorite?

  9. In the early spring, I have some sort of wild onion weed or grass ( I don't know :) that comes up all along one side of the house...I pull them , mow them, whatever...not sure what it is but if you weed-whack versus pulling you smell onions for a good 5 or 6 hours :)

  10. Thanks for sharing this post at the Green Thumb Thursday Blog Hop. We hope you will join us again Thursday!
    What a great find on the onions. We planted so many this year but I am enjoying the yummy spring onions right now.

  11. Anonymous8:06 AM

    This is my first time on your blog and I have to say that you take wonderful pictures! I have been enjoying looking through your posts.

  12. Thank you very much! I hope you've found a few things of interest. :-)


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