How To Plant Onion Bulbs in a Garden

Backyard Spruce

Planting onion sets is a great way to add flavor and variety to your meals along with indirectly benefiting your garden through companion planting. With a few simple steps, you can enjoy the delicious taste and texture of freshly harvested onions.  Onions are relatively easy to grow from bulbs!

In this article, we’ll show you how to choose the right onion bulbs, prepare the soil, and plant your onions. With just a little bit of care and attention, you’ll be able to reap the rewards of your hard work in no time.

So, let’s get started!

Select the Right Onion Bulbs For Your Garden

To get the best results, choose the right bulbs for your garden! When selecting onion bulbs, look for those that are firm, heavy, and have dry, papery skin. Avoid bulbs that are soft or spongy, have any signs of green growth, or have any mold or mildew.  Remember these tips for growing onions from bulbs when at your local gardening shop.

Additionally, select bulbs that are the right size for the purpose you have in mind; small bulbs are better for pickling, while larger bulbs are better for cooking. You may want to consider what you want to use the onions for before selecting the type of onion set.  For the highest yields, select larger bulbs that are healthy and free from disease and damage.

Once you’ve got the bulbs you need, it’s time to get planting!

Prepare the Soil for Onion Bulbs

Investigating the theory that the type of soil you use can affect the flavor of your onions, it’s important to prepare the soil correctly before planting.

To start, make sure the soil is free of weeds and any other debris such as rocks. Mix in some organic matter such as compost or manure to add nutrients and help improve the soil structure.  Onions prefer well-draining soil and can be planted in early spring once the ground soil is warm enough.

You should also check the pH level of the soil. Onions prefer slightly acidic soil with a pH of 6.0 to 7.0. If your soil is too acidic, you can add some lime to raise the pH level.

Once you have the soil prepared, it’s time to plant the bulbs. Onions can be planted in the spring or fall, depending on the variety. Make sure to space the bulbs about 4-6 inches apart and plant at a depth of about 2 inches.

If you want to maximize the flavor of your onions, make sure to fertilize the soil after planting. This will help ensure that the bulbs have all the necessary nutrients to grow and develop the best flavor.

How to Plant the Onion Bulbs

Get those bulbs in the ground as soon as possible for the best flavor! Planting onion bulbs is a fairly straightforward process that can be done in a few easy steps.

To begin, dig a hole in the soil about three times as deep as the size of the onion bulb. Place the bulb in the hole and fill the soil back in, making sure it’s firmly packed. The onion should be planted with the pointy end of the bulb facing up.  Again, space each bulb about 4-6 inches apart.

Water the onion bed deeply and keep the soil moist until the onions are ready to harvest. Once the onions have been planted, mulch the bed with straw, leaves, or other organic material. This will help retain moisture in the soil and keep the weeds away.

Additionally, it’s important to monitor for pests and diseases that can harm the onions. If any signs of infection or infestation are spotted, contact your local gardening center or agricultural office for advice on how to manage the situation.

Water and Care for the Onion Sets

Once the onions are in the ground, it’s important to keep them watered and cared for to ensure they reach their full potential.

For the first week, water your onion bulbs every other day, making sure to thoroughly moisten the soil. After the first week, you can reduce the frequency of watering to every three or four days.

As the onions grow, the watering needs will decrease, so make sure to check the soil before you water. If it feels moist, then the onion bulbs don’t need to be watered. If the soil is dry, water the onions deeply, allowing the water to slowly soak into the soil.  It’s important that the soil can drain properly as a waterlogged onion can be susceptible to rot.

Mulching around the onion plants is also helpful as it helps to retain moisture. Additionally, adding compost or organic fertilizer to the onions every couple of weeks will help them to reach their full potential.

Once the onion tops have grown and the bulbs are ready to be harvested, stop fertilizing and watering. Following these steps will help ensure that your onion bulbs are healthy and full-grown.

How Long Does it Take for an Onion Set to Grow?

Onion bulbs can be harvested approximately between 100 to 125 days after planting.  You should aim to time the harvest by late summer, prior to the onset of cool weather to prevent spoilage. 

Onions can do well for a few weeks post-maturity as their growth slows down once ripened. They will remain vital in the soil for a couple of weeks. However, if you notice they are beginning to soften when you check them, it is time to pull them out of the ground.

Grow Onions to Harvest Recap

You’ve done it! You’ve planted your very own onion bulbs and now you can sit back and watch them grow.

Now that your onions are in the ground, all you have to do is give them a little water and some tender loving care and you’ll have a delicious harvest in no time.  And in 100 days you’ll be ready to enjoy the tasty onions in your meals and salads!

But don’t get too comfortable, because you’ve got some more work to do. Keep an eye on your onions, because you don’t want them to get too big or too small. And don’t forget to watch out for any pesky critters that might try to snack on your onions.

With a little effort, you’ll soon be serving up some delicious onion dishes for your family and friends.

So get growing and bon appetit!