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How to Grow Spring Onions from Seed

The following two lists shows what tools and equipment I used to grow the Spring 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 Spring Onions

Tools You Will Need to Grow Spring Onions

Step by Step Guide

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

seed packet
Step 1. Buy Some Seeds

Spring Onion Seeds are available in Garden Stores or you can buy them on-line.

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

seed packet rear

On the rear of the packet are usually shown growing times and instructions for your region.

seed tray
Step 2: Get A Seed Tray

You can either buy a Seed Tray or make your own. The one in the photo is made from pieces of wood cut from an old pallet. I have been using it for many years now.

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

Fill the Seed Tray with Compost up to about 12mm (1/2 inch) from the top.

water compost

Press the compost down first to remove any air pockets.

place seeds on compost
Step 4: Water the Compost

Seeds need air, heat and water to germinate. It is best to moisten the compost before adding the seeds otherwise they can all be washed to the edges of the tray if you water afterwards.

water compost
Step 5: Sprinkle the Seeds on to the Compost

Sprinkle the seeds on top of the compost.

sprinkle seeds

The seeds are quite small so try to spread them as evenly as you can across the surface.

cover with compost
Step 6: Cover the Seeds with Compost

Cover the seeds with 10mm (1/4 inch) of compost. Press the compost down gently to remove any air pockets. This allows the seeds to make contact with the moist compost and absorb water which they need to germinate.

Keep in a warm place and keep moist. If you dont have a warm room you can buy a Heated Mat that goes under the tray.

fit label
Step 7: Fit a Label

This is important, especially so if you have several Trays growing lots of plants. It can be several weeks until the seeds germinate and when they do it is not obvious what plants they are. So it is a good idea to identify them.

I use home made labels - sometimes from laminated paper and sometimes from wooden stirrers from coffee shops. You can also buy ready made Labels if you prefer.

seeds germinate
Step 8: Seeds Germinate

Within 14 to 28 days the seeds will germinate. Kepp warm and watered.

plant out
Step 9: Plant Outside

When the plants are about 75mm (3 inches) high it is time to plant them outside.

First give the tray a good watering. This makes them easier to dig out and helps them during the transplanting process.

dig a hole

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

Then dig a small hole using a Hand Trowel.

prick out

Hold the onion by its leaves and carefully remove it from the seed tray. If its roots tangle with other plants in the tray then gently tease them apart.

press soil

Place the roots in the hole and gently press soil around them.

The onions should be spaced 2 finger widths apart. Each row should be 23cm (9 inches) apart.

plant row

Give the plants a good soaking to establish them into position. Dont worry if the plant look limp in the first few days. Keep watering and they will quickly recover.

keep watered
Step 10: Keep Weed free and Watered

Keep weed free and watered and the plants will slowly mature.

Step 11: Harvest

You can check the size of the onions by scraping back a little soil around the root. Replace it afterwards to discourage diseases and pests.

To harvest the onion loosen the soil slightly and pull it out of the ground.

Harvest every second onion as the extra space will encourage those left in the ground to grow bigger.

spring onions
Step 12: Eat!

Spring Onions may be used in salads. They are also used in Asian stir-fry dishes. They can be used to flavor soup, noodle dishes and in salsa.


LearnHow2 Youtube Video - How to Grow Spring Onions from Seed