Tips For Growing Onions
1. Always buy onion "sets". Sets are basically bags of tiny little baby onions. Simply pop them into the ground and watch them grow! You can literally push them into the ground with a finger (in good, soft soil) and your planting job is complete.
2. Don't plant them too close together. Onions get pretty large under the ground and on top of the soil, so give them some room. When onions are planted too closely together, they end up growing oddly and neither of the two compromised onions turn out particularly well.
3. White onions are fine. Yellow onions are better. Red onions are most favorite. Everyone has different tastes, some preferring the sweet yellow onions (like Vidalias) while others like the bite of a fresh red (purple) onion.
4. Onions help other plants. Onions are beneficial to a ton of other plants when they are planted amidst them. It is super easy to shove an onion bulb and there amidst other plantings each spring.
Onions are beneficial to:
- fruit trees
- nightshades (tomatoes, some peppers, potatoes)
- brassicas (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower)
Potatoes also are easy to grow with onions. Just toss your potato chunks (from sets) in a bowl with starter onion babies and plant them all together. Super easy! Just keep them away from beans, peas and parsley. Onions don't play nice with them and both plants will suffer.
5. Onions need nice soil. Like potatoes and other root crops, a nice loose soil will allow the root crop to grow into the form it should. Hard soil will produce small, dented onions and potatoes and carrots that looks like someone smashed them.
6. Harvest onions after the stems have died. Wait for the stems to go from green to brown, then they will fall over, then you pull those onions up out of the ground!
7. Don't wait too long to harvest your onions or the stems will wither completely away and it will be harder to remember where all of the onions are and you will most definitely leave some in the ground where they might rot.
That said, a lot of onions that get left in the ground will make it through the winter and just start growing again come spring.