We sell Onion Starts at the Garden Center each spring. These are little bareroot plants that were started from seed and harvested after growing for 6-8 weeks. They come to us dormant with dried roots. However, once planted, they plump up and turn bright green. We'll have the following varieties for this season:
- Red Wing - red onion, stores 8-10 months
- Walla Walla - white onion, famous, big bulb, sweet, short keeper that stores for 1-2 months
- Highlander - white onion, good for long keeping
- White Bermuda - white onion, good used in soups, stews and pickling, short keeper that stores for 2 months
Choose an area that gets full sun all day and prep your site by loosening the soil. Onions prefer to grow in loose, fertile soil that drains well. If it is compact add some compost and fork it in.
Onions do well in a raised bed of sorts (or a raised row). A bed or row 4 inches high by 20 inches wide is good. Plant the onions either 2 or 4 inches apart. When planting, fertilize onions with a 10-20-10 fertilizer spreading at half a cup of fertilizer per 10 linear feet. Do not put the fertilizer directly on top of the onions; instead work it in the soil about 4 inches away from the onion. If you planted your onions 2 inches apart, thin them to 4 inches apart after 45 days and eat them as spring onions. This allows the others to mature to a larger size.
It is important to research whether the onions you're growing are best eaten fresh or if they are good for both fresh eating and storing. Not all onions are good keepers. And nothing smells worse than a bunch of rotten onions.