Onion Sets Versus Seeds. ), and will be ready to start planting by February. Growing Onions from Seed Onion seed of both white and yellow varieties, can be sown indoors in flats, early in the spring. For those of us that have a real winter, plant onions inside 8-10 weeks before your last frost date in spring (earlier is better). Sets are little dried onions that you can use to get a head start on the onion growing season without the need to start indoor seeds months prior. We usually plant a mix of white, yellow and red onions. Growing onions from seed is a little more difficult than growing onions from sets, especially for the new vegetable grower, but seed does provide some compelling advantages over sets. I use a chop stick to help place them. Starting onion plants from seed takes the longest for onions to fully grow, but onion seeds give you the most choices in variety. Put seeds 1-inch deep. Should I Grow Onions from Seed or from Sets? You can grow onions from seed, transplants or small bulbs called “sets.” Plant onions early in spring. To plant: Plant onion seeds when the soil temperatures are at least 45 degrees. We prefer planting onion sets over seed, simply because they establish quickly, and are easier to plant. Onion seeds can be kept for two years in a cool, dry place such as a properly monitored seed storage box, but fresh first-year onion seeds germinate best. Plant the onion seed down the line, maybe 1 seed every quarter inch or so. The easiest way is to plant “sets” (small onions) in the spring. Soil for onions should be well-drained and high in organic matter. Common onion info tells us that it is often easier growing big onions from plants than from seed. Growing Onions from Seed and Sets. Onions can be grown from seeds, sets, and plants (transplants). Danielle – growing onions is something I want to add this year, so thank you for this timely post! Germination rates fall as the seeds age, and though I have had three-year-old onion seeds that sprouted well, germination is always highest with fresh seeds. Help, My Onions Won’t Grow Big – Growing Big Onions. A quick guide to onions. The Nitty Gritty on How to Plant Onion Seed. It can take up to five months of onion growing … If you're in a milder area, you may be able to get away with starting onion seed directly in the garden. I am half way through cleaning out my greenhouse (I would have had it finished, except for all this rain! Sets are available from seed catalogs, garden centers and hardware stores. For planting onion seed, I like to use seed tray inserts that are approximately 4" x 6" or 5"x5". Onion plants grow well in raised beds or raised rows at least 4 inches high. Onions are shallow-rooted and require constant moisture for proper growth. Harvest onions when about half the tops are falling over and dry. Since onion seed germination rates are bad, gardeners often opt for growing onions from sets. Growing Onions from Seeds. Growing from seed is difficult for many home gardeners because onion germination rates are often poor. Growing from both sets and seed in long-season regions allows for two harvests; one early in summer and the second in late summer and fall. When the seedlings grow to 4 inches in height, they can then be carefully lifted from the flats and transplanted to their permanent places. Draw 4 furrows about a 1/2" deep the length of the tray. It does look easy, and I am less intimidated now about growing from seed. To grow your own onion sets, sow the seeds thickly, and to do so, broadcast them evenly over the bed. If you’re a Square Foot Gardener, plant onions 9 per square foot. It is just one of those onion facts that the key to growing big onions is early planting, with fertilizer or compost. 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