I recently read that to start onion from seed in Ohio it should be sown indoors in mid January ?? Is that correct ???
Also, if I have “sets” from last year that were never planted, are they still good this year ??
I have never grown onion …… HELP !
Very good questions! GirlNtheDirt, I was told the first and only year that I grew onion from seed that this far north it doesn’t work very well. I had real trouble with mine, none of them made it, and hubby went and bought sets for me.
As for the old sets, I would suggest that you try them, but get some more also, just in case they do nothing. I think that as long as they are not shriveled up, they should be fine…I don’t have a ton of experience yet, but that is my opinion.
Starting seeds – heck no it’s not too late!! I’m central PA (5B) and I start mine inside around St. Patty’s day every year. SUPER important is to make sure you harden them off well before setting them out in the garden.
Old sets – if they were kept somewhere cold that wasn’t too damp or too dry, maybe. But probably not.
Thanks Paul. Some of the groups that I have started were because I love the plants, and want to learn more about them along with everyone else. :) Thanks for the edu. :)
Thanks !! I think I am going to try both seed and sets ! What do I have to lose !!
I noticed last year when you BUY onions started from seed at the nursery they are in cell packs, with many starts in each sell. If I start mine the same way, do I seperate the little group of starts when I put them in the ground, or plant the “group” from the single cell. I would assume you wouldn’t want a bunch of onions growing right on top of each other ??
ahhh. This one I can answer, lol. You want to plant each onion singly. They need to be planted so that the top of the onion bulb is at least one inch below the surface. Since their size varies, I plant the smallest bulbs like that, and the bigger ones 2 inches below the surface. They also should be 4-6 inches apart.
Then, as they grow, you want to make sure that you keep the dirt around them loosened if you can, and if and when the bulbs begin to surface, you want to cover them with either more soil or some mulch to keep them from getting sunburned. Does that help?
Yep. I start 4 to 6 onion seeds per cell and then plant them as single onions. Tip – start them in good, loose potting soil because when you break them apart to plant the single onions you want to keep as much of the roots as intact as possible.
How far apart depends on the particular onion and what you ultimately want to do with it.
“Green onions” are so called because they’re used before the onion reaches its absolute full maturity – IOW, they’re the ones you pull for fresh eating over the summer. They can be planted as close as a couple of inches apart since they’ll be pulled before they get big enough to be pushing each other.
Onions that you’ll be letting go to full maturity typically are spaced about an inch more than half the average mature size. For example, if the onion typically gets 4 inches in diameter they need to be planted about 3 inches apart at a minimum; 6 inches in diameter needs to be planted 4 inches apart, and so on. More space is never a bad idea, but if you’re looking to maximize garden space (and who isn’t?) that’s all you really need if your soil is in good shape.
Speaking of maximizing space… if your soil is nice and fertile and you don’t mind hand weeding your onion rows you might like this idea:
I plant onions in wide rows of, um… multiple rows. Picture a row that is three plants wide spaced 4 inches apart (so the row is a foot wide). Moving back the row 4 inches, there’s another set of three 4 inches apart, and another, and another… for the length of the row. These “multi-row” rows are about a foot apart since I have a rolling seat that is a foot wide. Sit, weed and roll, weed and roll. Works nicely. ;-)
Setting the rows up like this serves two purposes:
1.) maximizes space required
2.) makes it easier to weed. I hand weed the onion rows so I’m doing six “rows” (three rows in each single row to my left and right) at the same time without moving through more than one row’s distance.