It is a good idea to place a gentle oscillating fan pointed at the seed starts. Please feel free to join in the discussion with your helpful tips or questions! Thanks so much for reaching out and saying hello! Melissa | Little Frugal Homestead. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience. Don't forget to consider other onion plant family varieties when you plant onion seed. Grow onions indoors year-round by providing the right conditions. This helps prevent mold and fungus from growing on the top of the soil which can harm the plants. I did get about 10 or so tomatoes even though the plants were riddled with blight because we had way more rain than usual. Hello and Welcome! Every day or so I trim the onions back to about 3 inches (7-8 cm) tall, which keeps them from falling over. Keep watering, feeding and trimming them until you are ready to plant out in the garden. See my article on How to Harden Off Your Seedlings. Onions don't mind the cold, and it will free up your heat mat for growing another crop that needs it like tomatoes or peppers. Starting onions from seed offers gardeners the widest choice of varieties, but in the north this means starting your onion seeds indoors about 10 weeks before your last frost date, under bright fluorescent lights. If you don't have a heat mat, try placing the flat in a warm area such as on top of the refrigerator. ». After a few weeks, your seedling will be ready for planting in your garden. Follow our step-by-step guide, below, to growing onions from seed (skip to Step 3 for instructions on planting out sets). It also helps to create a stronger stem on the plant. They are usually the first thing I plant in the dead of winter. Republishing posts in their entirety is prohibited. Other varieties that I have grown that have done well for me are Patterson and Red Wing. Seedlings should germinate within two weeks. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Ideally the plants should also be under grow lights, placed about an 1" above the plants, raising the light as needed to stay close to the tops of the plants. This year for storage onions, I will be growing Talon, Cortland and Red Bull F1. Growing onions from seed has several advantages over growing onions from “onions sets” or “onion transplants”.. Sets are available from garden centres or by mail order, and although the range … However, once the tops begin to lay over, usually by late summer, watering should be stopped. Onion seeds should be started indoors, as they need soil temperatures above 50°F to germinate. Starting Indoors. For this reason, I choose not to start my onions by onion sets. by Richard. Which onions will you be growing? Thanks so much Carolyn! Onion sets are miniature or immature onions, which can be planted out in March or April for a quick-growing crop. I'm very excited to learn about your winter sowing technique for perennials! From this point onward, water from the bottom, by filling the flat about halfway with water. I hope you have better luck this time around with your onion seed. At this point, they can also be taken off the heat mat if you are using one. You're welcome and encouraged to link to TheReidHomestead.com or use a single image with a brief description to link back to any post with a do follow link. This article about starting onions from seed is so well laid out. Putting them straight in the garden without hardening them off, will put them into shock which is not good. Sets are available from garden centres or by mail order, and although the range of varieties is not quite as wide as from seed, itâs is an easy, reliable method of growing. These types of onions will last in storage all through winter after harvesting and curing them. Alliums are the earliest seedlings to be started indoors. Harvest when the greens are 7-8 inches long. Why Seeds? Today was errand day and clean house day after along weekend away, but I am hoping to have my winter sowing post up tomorrow, followed by a post soon on how I start my tomato and pepper seeds. As with the majority of vegetables, onions grow best in a well-lit position, with soil that has been enriched with generous amounts of plenty of organic matter. Sowing onion seed indoors in pots gives you a head start on the growing season and normally results in a larger crop. Fill the bottle with potting soil and onion sprouts and watch your harvest grow indoors! Planting your onion seeds indoors give you a jump-start on the season. When planting transplants into the garden, space plants 4 to 5 inches apart in rows 12 to 18 inches apart. Save on a bare-root collection of 12 agapanthus, six each of 'Queen of the Ocean' and 'Polar Ice'. Start seeds indoors about 6 weeks before transplanting to the garden. Start to sow indoor onions in the first week of February . This is usually around April 1st or so here in the PNW. Instead of sowing seeds directly in the backyard, you can initially plant the seeds in a small container indoors till the plant reaches 9-18 inches. Our favorite Homesteading and Gardening tools in our Amazon Shop! The Red Bull kept the longest in storage before sprouting, so I always grow a lot of it, even though we prefer the yellow onions. There are usually not many varieties to choose from when using onion sets either. Repeat at regular intervals if the weather is dry. … Growing Onions from Seed. Wide-necked onions do not store well so use them first. Don't even get me started on my mouse-melon endeavor. Start seeds indoors in February. I sow most of my seeds using two methods, Winter Sowing and also indoors using your standard seed starting Equipment. Sow seed in a pot or tray of seed compost. You can also plant onions from sets, which are small bulbs grown the previous year. When the plants are flopping over on top of themselves, they don't get as much air circulation which is unhealthy for them and will cause rot. At this point growing onions from seed requires bright supplemental light, which I provide with a two-bulb florescent fixture. I am bound and determined to grow enough vegetables to be able to feed my family and to put up for the winter. Onion plants have shallow roots and require frequent irrigation throughout the growing season. Hi Tamara! Seeds will germinate in 4-10 days when started indoors. When planting onion sets, plant them between 2 and 6 inches apart, and don’t bury them more than 1 inch under the soil. If growing indoors, follow the same conditions and place the pot in a windowsill where the plant will receive at least 6 hours of sunlight per day. Notify me via e-mail if anyone answers my comment. Also, be sure to harden the plants off over a week or so, as they slowly need to adjust to living outside. Come by and say hi! Seeds should be sown ¼ inch deep. By planting from seed, you can plant any varieties of onions including leeks, shallots or heirloom varieties using the process I outline below. When and How to Start Indoors. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Growing Onions from Seed Onion seed of both white and yellow varieties, can be sown indoors in flats, early in the spring. Leave three inches between each onion plant. Onion seeds need to be started indoors in cold climates like mine (Zone 5). If in doubt how old the seed is, buy new. Once firmly rooted, the developing crops can be uncovered. One of my onion harvests, drying out for the afternoon beginning the curing process. Here at The Reid Homestead, we have been growing, harvesting and preserving food on our homestead for almost 20 years. Required fields are marked *. Sow onion seed indoors as early as January, so they are large enough to plant out in spring. Onions are easy and cheap to grow, both from seed and from heat-treated sets. Using a watering can with a rose, thoroughly water seedlings and sets directly after planting to settle soil around roots or bulbs. Draw 4 furrows about a 1/2" deep the length of the tray. Place no more than 3 onion seeds in each module or pot. When the seedlings grow to 4 inches in height, they can then be carefully lifted from the flats and transplanted to their permanent places. Plant onion seeds indoors 8–10 weeks before transplanting them outside just before the average last frost date in your area. Plant the onion seed down the line, maybe 1 seed every quarter inch or so. Trim them pretty regularly, every few days or at least once a week. Onions are a must have in many kitchens. I keep the lights on my onions for 12 hours a day, and position them within 1 inch (2.5 cm) of the bulbs. The Walla Walla's are a sweet onion, and will only be used for fresh eating. Onions … I have grown all of these before and they have all grown well for me. Growing Onions from Seed Indoors The process of growing onions from seed can begin indoors in early February. You can read my full disclosure statement here. Alternatively, in spring, plant heat-treated onion sets, into soil that has had large stones and weeds removed, and been enriched with organic matter. Once the majority of the seeds have germinated, it is safe to take the plastic dome lid off. Sow seeds 3/4 of an inch deep. January is the month my fingers get itching to plant onion seed. In addition, I also find homes for a small bag of onion sets, because sets are the easiest way to grow spring onions. We tried starting onion from seed once and it didn't turn out well. I plant approximately 20 or sow seeds in each row. The only things I'm decent at growing are flowers. From the team at Gardeners' World Magazine. Plant 2 inches deep, 3 to 4 inches apart, in rows 12 to 16 inches apart. Select only unblemished bulbs with narrow, well-closed necks. So glad you found my site! But I have learned a few things from your post and may try again! Someday I will get it right. When a lot of people plant onions, they don’t start their own seeds. Grow onions vertically on a window sill. These would probably germinate fine without a heating mat as the ideal germination soil temperature is 55-75 degrees. Often onion sets will bolt very early, as they are actually onion that was grown from seed the previous year. Hoe regularly to remove weeds, which will compete for water and nutrients with developing bulbs. Tops may be clipped to 5" tall. Broadcast 1/2" apart and cover 1/4". . Starting onions from seed offers gardeners the widest choice of varieties, but in the north this means starting your onion seeds indoors about 10 weeks before your last frost date, under bright fluorescent lights. Your onion piece should be about 1 in (2.5 cm) long to grow a healthy onion. I will be featuring you on my site for this week's Farm Fresh Tuesdays Blog Hop! Trim tops to 4 inches long. TRANSPLANTING: In short-season areas, sow seeds indoors in flats in late February to mid-March. I plant approximately 20 or sow seeds in each row. You could also start leeks, chives, white onions, spanish onions, or choose from a vast assortment of heirloom onions. Onion plants are limited to the offerings at your local gardening center and some mail-order services. I chose several varieties of onion seed to plant, with my primary focus being on onions that are excellent keeping onions or also called storage onions. Water newly planted sets and cover immediately with horticultural fleece, to prevent birds from lifting them. Transplant onion seedlings that were started indoors about 4-6 weeks before the last expected frost or freeze date, provided the ground is not frozen. But I have seed mats on hand so I place the flat on the heat mat when done. This avoids the need for thinning out, encourages a more economical use of seeds and, given the protection of a greenhouse or cold frame, means sowing can start at least a month sooner in late winter. Large spherical blooms stand proudly on sturdy stems, and are popular with bees and butterflies. Thank You! So be sure you are using fresh seed. Onions are easy and cheap to grow, both from seed and from heat-treated sets. Seed Starting 101- How to Plant Onion Seed Indoors in Winter. When the seedlings are a few inches tall, prick them out and transplant into fresh compost. My name is Breezy and I live in Anchorage, Alaska. Happy planting! I planted 2 yr old left over seed, and had less than 10% germinate. Once established, transplant seedlings into the garden, 10-15cm apart. Sign up for more Gardening & Homesteading tips! As your onions starts grow, they may get long and scraggly. Seed Starting Equipment lists more details about equipment needed to start your seeds indoors. In fact, they order what we call ‘sets.’ They look like tiny onions when in reality, … Onions take a while to develop from seed. They’re easy to grow from seed and many gardeners start them indoors before the last frost in order to have a jump start on the gardening season. Transplant in May. Hi Tamara, great looking blog! Other things that may be started this month by seed are celery, artichoke, asparagus and hot peppers. How to Plant Onion Seeds. Place your onion on a cutting board and, using a sharp knife, cut off the bottom and remove the outer peel. Transplanting Bunching Onions. Please see these two article for more information on both methods: Seed Starting 101: Winter Sowing in which I share how I use milk jugs outdoors as mini greenhouses to start seed. Starting Seeds. Onions are best planted in the early spring and harvested by the end of the season. Home » Seed Starting 101- How to Plant Onion Seed Indoors in Winter. Sweet onions like Walla Walla and Vidalia are delicious, and I usually grow a small amount for fresh eating. Spray with water, enough water to get the top inch or so of soil damp. If you're growing the onions outside, start your cuttings in early spring. Growing Green Onions in Water: Thanks for featuring me Melissa! Growing Onions from Seed Indoors For the earliest start, sow onion seeds into plug trays or pots to transplant later as seedlings. If you want to grow enough onions to keep your family supplied for the year, consider growing good storage varieties of onions. Watch that the soil doesn't dry out, and spray when necessary to keep the seed in a damp soil medium. I use a chop stick to help place them. Sunlight. Onions are cool weather vegetables commonly found in the home garden, but they can also be grown indoors year-round by determined gardeners. It also covers what type of soil I use for starting seeds. Copyright © 2020 The Reid Homestead on the Foodie Pro Theme, « Seed Starting 101 Series: Essential Seed Starting Equipment, Seed Starting 101: Winter Sowing (a simple step by step guide!) Today, we learn the topic of growing onions from seed in containers, pots, and indoors. Loosen plants when ready to transplant. Plant your seeds indoors or in cold frames at least two months before the last frost date. Plant the seeds into the soil and keep the seeds moist by misting with water, making sure the soil is never dry. Add straw mulch between rows of onions. Find out how to grow delicious onions from both seed and sets. I keep them under the grow lights for the first few weeks, and then if you live in a mild enough climate like I do, they can move outside in a sunny sheltered area if warm enough. But if you want to keep onions for a long period of time, these are not the best for that. Red berries grow on sleek green leaves to increase the aesthetic appeal of this bushy shrub. I trim them down to 2-3" high. To harvest, you can either pull the entire plant out, or snip at the base, leaving the white in the soil to grow more onions. Itâs a firm favourite with wildlife â pollinators and birds are drawn to this variety as it offers food and shelter. How to Grow Bunching Onions in Container? Older onion seed doesn't germinate well at all! A hand-held âonion hoeâ or âcircle hoeâ are both perfect for weeding in small spaces. Some locations will vary as well. Onion plants need six to ten inches of depth for proper root growth and bulb formation. Last year I lost all my pepper plants, that had started to bloom beautifully so it gave me hope, to aphids that ate every single one of said blooms. One way to start onions from seed indoors is to sow the seed in two rows, about a quarter-inch deep, in 4- x 6-inch containers filled nearly to the top with a seed starting mix. Than gently cover the seed with soil and press down all the soil in the tray firmly with your palm and fingers. When it comes to growing onions many people automatically assume that growing onions from sets is the way to go, however growing from seed gives a more reliable crop that is less likely to bolt and will store for at least 9 months. Scallions or smaller varieties can be planted more closely together. Thin to 3-4" apart for larger onions. I would not get onion seed from a seed swap for this reason. Onions are heavy feeders, so I like to feed them with Fish Emulsion Fertilizer in the water, using a highly diluted amount of 1-2 TBSN's per gallon of water. Ideally they should be as thick as a pencil, but I have planted them when thinner. I'll definitely be following, I love what you've done with your place. Harvest after the leaves turn yellow and the stem bends over. Once dried, a convenient way to store onions is to string them up in onions ropes and hang them in a cool, dry, frost-free place. Sow seed in a pot or tray of moist seed compost, about 1cm apart. There are long day onions which do best in the northern half of the states and need daylight for longer than 12 hours a day. This is only used to ensure that the soil stays damp for germination. Trim roots to 1/2 inch. People in Mediterranean climates, for example, plant green onions at the beginning of April. Just watch the weather and bring them in if it gets to freezing or below. Properly handled onion seedlings consistently mature into plump bulbs, with little risk of bolting (the biggest risk when growing bulb onions). It makes me feel like even I could be successful at it. When the seedlings are a few inches tall, prick them out and transplant into fresh, peat-free multi-purpose compost. The seeds are small, but try and space them about 1cm apart. Plant the onion seed down the line, maybe 1 seed every quarter inch or so. A step by step guide for growing onions from the seed. Place in a standard size plant flat without drainage holes. I’d always recommend growing onions from seeds rather than sets. Luckily there are a few things you can plant by seed as early as January here in the PNW, even earlier in milder parts. I really need someone to teach me so I'm very excited about your blog. Fill the container with organic compost and soil. You will need a 5 liter bottle that you have made holes in. Sweet onions sure taste good, but they don't keep for very long. Please feel free to ask any questions you have along the way. Follow our step-by-step guide, below, to growing onions from seed (skip to Step 3 for instructions on planting out sets). Once the seedlings have germinated, … Growing Onions in warmer climates: Work up your planting area to at least 8 inches deep, and amend with aged compost or manure or worm castings. Onions are one of my pet crops, and bulb onions are always the first vegetable I start indoors from seed. Feel free to pin on Pinterest! Use a well-draining potting soil. If it is going to be really wet out, I suggest waiting as the smaller plants may rot if it is too wet out. Thanks for sharing Tamara. The … Learn how your comment data is processed. I try to grow vegetables every year but I was, unfortunately, not blessed with a green thumb. At over four months, your onions will take the longest time to grow when you plant them directly from seed, but the wider choice of varieties to choose from makes this well worth it for many gardeners. We love to teach and share our methods with you, so that you too can grow, harvest and preserve your own home grown food! When the flat is full of seed trays, cover with a plastic humidity dome or saran wrap. When the soil temperature reaches 50F (10 C) in springtime (or cools down in fall), sew one to three seeds per inch (2.5 cm), 1/4 to 1/2 inches (6-13 mm) deep, in rows 4 inches (10 cm) apart. Transplant to the garden 4" apart, or sow 5 seeds in each cell of 1–1 1/2" diameter plug trays, thinning to 3 per cell. Trimmed onions on the left, scraggily long onions that need a trim, on the right. Ideally they should also have their third "leaf" in. Follow these steps for growing successful onion seedlings from seeds: Prepare your seed flats 10 weeks before planting season. Growing onions from seed has several advantages over growing onions from “onions sets” or “onion transplants”.. Thanks for visiting! For planting onion seed, I like to use seed tray inserts that are approximately 4" x 6" or 5"x5". 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. In late summer, draw away earth from the bulbs to expose them to the sun. Onion seeds are one type of seed that do not store well. It is perfectly ok to give them a "haircut" to neaten them up. Than gently cover the seed with soil and press down all the soil in the tray firmly with your palm and fingers. Your email address will not be published. When trying to grow most of our own produce for the year, it is essential to look at varieties of food that keep well. Sowing inside in January or February under growing lights then transplanting to the garden in early spring is the only way that I can grow onions from seed and have them mature in my zone 5 garden. Fill small pots or module trays with fresh seed starting mix, leaving a gap of about half an inch between the soil and the lip of the pot. 10-12 tomatoes is pretty pathetic after all the nurturing and work I put into those plants. Their main objective is to reproduce, so all their energy goes into making seed, not into making a large onion bulb. Green onions require at least six hours of full sun per day. Be sure it is fresh seed! Plant each set 10-15cm apart, with the tip protruding. Now I always buy fresh onion seed as a result. I've enjoyed learning from you as well! Growing Onions From Seeds. Keep the containers warm (near, but not too near, the wood stove, for instance, or on top … Choose a good, organic soil mix to plant the seeds in. Keep evenly moist. Your email address will not be published. we also cover how to take care of onion plants, planting procedure, and harvesting process.. Time to Germination. When growing onions indoors, make sure your plants have enough space and light. Whether you grow from seeds or sets, you can start to harvest bulbs in early summer and have plenty to store through winter. Onion sets are miniature or immature onions, which can be planted out in March or April for a quick-growing crop. Onion seeds do very well in any seed starting mix. I learned that the hard way one year. Each bulb will bear up to 30 flowers each year, and are ideal for the back of borders in pots, or make stunning cut flowers. Allow leaves to dry before carefully lifting bulbs. When you plant onion seed, be sure you are choosing the correct onions for your area. My goal is to help people here, so I love questions!!! Hi Breezy! Then there are short day onions which do better in the southern half of the states and require less sunlight hours during the day. I use a chop stick to help place them. Onions require an open and sunny site, fertile soil, and good drainage. Onions prefer full sun and well-drained, fertile soil with a pH between 5.5-6.5. If you want to plant indoors, start the seeds around 6 or 8 weeks before you plan to plant. Lightly cover with a thin layer of compost then stand pot or tray in water to moisten. They require a container deep enough for bulbs to form, exposure to bright light and soil with excellent drainage. Growing onions from seed opens up a wide diversity of shapes, flavors, sizes, and colors to grow. Once established, transplant seedlings into the garden, 10-15cm apart. Enjoy towering lilies with gigantic, scented blooms. How to Start Onions From Seed: You’ll Need: Onion seeds; 4×6 containers; Seed starting mix; 1. Start seeds in flats indoors 4-6 weeks before the last frost date. Red Wing neaten them up mouse-melon endeavor also indoors using your standard seed starting mix ; 1 to put for. Sowing and also indoors using your standard seed starting Equipment lists more details about Equipment needed to onions! I did get about 10 or so tomatoes even though the plants indoors 8–10 weeks before transplanting to the,. Seeds ; 4×6 containers ; seed starting 101- how to plant onion seed a! 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