How to Grow Onions
Onions need rich, loamy soil, which I accomplished by growing them in the raised beds. I use the bed with untreated wood; this is where I grow most of my root crops. The soil pH should be between 5.5 and 7.0. A simple 10-10-10 garden fertilizer is adequate for their needs.
|Onions growing in my garden.|
Plant onions when the weather is cool. They prefer daytime temperatures of 45 to 60 degrees F during the growing season, and as the weather turns warmer, around 70 to 75 to cure or dry out before you store them. Adequate moisture is important (note the soaker hose, above) but they hate to be waterlogged. Too much water and you get rotted onions, which trust me, are NO fun to pick out from the garden. They stink to high heaven and squish into a delightful (sarcasm intended) smelly brown pulp.
Problems Growing Onions
The only problems I’ve had growing onions is with rot, as mentioned above. Stem and bulb rot occurs with too much water. Sometimes you can control the amount of water by simply cutting back on your own watering schedule, but a particularly rainy spring wreaks havoc with onions. Thrips and onion root maggot can attack them, but I have not had this problem; if you suspect insect issues, talk to someone at your local County Cooperative Extension Office.
- How to Start Your First Vegetable Garden
- Turn Your Lawn into a Vegetable Garden
- Raised Bed Vegetable Gardens
Jeanne Grunert is a certified Virginia Master Gardener and the author of several gardening books. Her garden articles, photographs, and interviews have been featured in The Herb Companion, Virginia Gardener, and Cultivate, the magazine of the National Farm Bureau. She is the founder of The Christian Herbalists group and a popular local lecturer on culinary herbs and herbs for health, raised bed gardening, and horticulture therapy.
Gardener on Sherlock Street
I’ve decided sets are best for me too. This year, my onions are getting a better start than anything else I’ve planted so far. I have gone to buying my sets where I can pick out the bulbs individually. I’ve had too many bags where some are moldy or squishy or sprouted. They don’t do well.