Planting onions: So easy a toddler can do it

Over the weekend I planted my son planted green onions. (with my supervision)

I plant some onions just to use as green onions, and then some onions that I want to grow into big bulbs for storing and using all winter long.

When I plant my green onions, I plant what are called onion “sets”. They look like tiny, dime-sized onion bulbs. I’ve tried planting sets to grow large onion bulbs, but they don’t get very big, and they don’t store super well. But they are great for green onions.

The package tells you for green onions to plant them 3-4 inches deep. They can be spaced very close, so close that they are almost touching. That makes green onions easy to tuck into any little bit of space here or there in your garden.

I decided to put a row in right next to my garlic. I used about half a bag, about 40-50 sets, in one row about 4 feet long.

Since these are somewhat foolproof to plant, I enlisted the help of an eager toddler. I dug the trench, and he carefully placed the sets into it, remembering to keep the pointy side up.

Then he carefully covered the row up with soil.

I grabbed a couple wooden stakes and stuck them into the soil on either end of my row, to help remind me that I planted something there. I’ve got a couple dozen wooden stakes I re-use every year to help mark out where I’ve already planted. I don’t bother writing anything on the stakes, because if I somehow forgot which crop I planted, I will eventually recognize it when it gets big enough. (I’m pretty good about keeping track of my plantings in my garden notebook, though). It’s a simple solution that works well for me, because I plant out crops starting with garlic in November, all the way until about Memorial Day, and it keeps me from overlapping anything in my raised beds.

The second way I grow onions is with “sprouts” or “starts”. For me, these make the best large bulbs that will store the best in my garage during the winter. The seed store ran out of them on Saturday when I was there, but another shipment comes in today, so I’ll get those planted soon and put up a post about it next week so you can see the difference.

The other option for growing onions is, of course, to start them from seed, which I haven’t tried yet. If you are starting them from seed, they have to be started super early, like in January. My method for onions works so far, so it’s not high on my list of things to experiment with right now.

Have you tried growing onions? Do you prefer sets, starts, or seed?

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One Response to Planting onions: So easy a toddler can do it

  1. Pingback: Planting onions-part deux » Dig | Sew | Grow

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