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How to Grow Onions from Sets

The following two lists shows what tools and equipment I used to grow the Onions. Not all are strictly necessary but they are listed for completeness. For example - you would only need a heated mat if you had nowhere warm to germinate the seeds - or you can simply use string in place of a line marker - or you can use re-cycled pots from last year if you have them.

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Things You Will Need to Grow Onions

Tools You Will Need to Grow Onions

Step by Step Guide

If you want a quick overview then I suggest you first watch my Youtube Video How to Grow Onions from Sets . The following steps are also in the video but more detail is given in the sections below:

onion sets
Step 1. Buy Some Onion Sets

Onion Sets are available in Garden Stores or you can buy them on-line. The onions are small bulbs that have been stored overwinter and can be planted out in Spring to grow into large onion bulbs.

The variety that I am showing you how to grow here is called 'Stuttgarter'.

seed tray
Step 2: Get A Seed Tray

Buy a Seed Tray ideally with drain holes as shown in the photgraph.

fill with compost
Step 3: Fill the Seed Tray with Compost

Fill the Seed Tray with Compost up to 10mm (1/2 inch) from the top.

place sets
Step 4: Place the Onions on the Compost

Place the onions on top of the Compost. Place them with the root end down (pointed end up) and press down gently.

water sets
Step 5: Water the Onions

The onions need air, heat and water to start growing again. Watering will kick start them off.

growth starts
Step 6: Onions Start Growing

Within a week the onions should start growing with green leaves pushing out of the tops.

Step 7: Plant Outside

Mark a line where you want to position the plants with a length of string or use a Garden Line Marker.

Use a Spade and Fork to dig your soil. Remove any stones and weeds.

Next use a Rake to rake the soil into a fine tilth. Remove any large stones.

compact soil

Next compact the soil slightly with your Spade or a Garden Shovel.

dibber hole

Open up a small round hole in the soil using a Dibber.

plant in hole

Carefully dig an onion out of the tray trying not to damage the roots. Carefully place the roots in the hole in the soil. The small stick is cut to 100mm (4 inches) and is used to space the onions along the row.

press soil

Gently press soil around the roots.

rows of onions

Space the onions 100 to 125mm (4 to 5 inches) apart and leave 30 to 45cm (12 to 18 inches) between rows.

hoe weeds
Step 8: Keep Watered and Weed Free

Keep well waterd and use a Garden Hoe between the rows to remove any weeds.

fully grown
Step 9: Onions Mature

Within 12 to 16 weeks the onions will reach full size.

bend stems
Step 10: Bend Stems Over

When the stems start to dry and start to go from green to brown bend them over onto the soil.

pull from ground
Step 11: Dig Up

A week or so later loosen the soil with a fork and pull the onions from from the ground.

dry out
Step 11: Dry Out

Place the onions in a warm dry place, preferably in sunlight. Let them dry out until the stems become crisp and brown ie all the green has gone.

Dont let the onions get wet or fungus and rot could take hold. Also discard any rotting or damaged onions.

LearnHow2 Youtube Video - How to Grow Onions