Setting the Onions Outside

It’s time to plant out the onions sets I popped into modules a few weeks ago. You can plant out onions sets directly into the soil but I prefer to start them off in modules and keep them indoors for a few weeks just to get the off to a flying start.

All but one of the forty three onions I set in modules germinated so there’ll be a plentiful supply of onions this year.

Onions like a firm, fertile soil in a sunny site. I plant mine in a raised bed and after spreading some home-made compost and chicken manure a few months ago, they are ready to plant out on the left of the bed. Don’t worry if you haven’t prepared your bed in the Autumn or don’t have access to home-made compost or manure, just weed it over now and add some shop bought compost or chicken manure this year. If you like harvesting and eating your own home grown onions this year, you can up your game this year.

As I’ll need to sow several rows, I use a plank of wood to measure an even spacing between rows – it’s so much more reliable than my eye.

The other benefit of getting nice straight rows is that then it is easy to hoe off weeds between rows. This plank is just shy of the width of my hoe so it’s perfect. Space each onion about 10-15cm apart in the rows. This gives them room to grow and again, leaves enough space that I can get my hoe through easily.

Once planted, onions are very easy to look after:

  • water them regularly so the soil doesn’t dry out
  • keep weeds down so they are not competing with the onions for nutrients
  • you could mulch around the bulbs which will help keep down weeds and to conserve moisture in the soil
  • if the onions start growing flower spikes, cut these off as soon as you see them to stop the onions from bolting

And that’s it, sit back and wait for the onion harvest – a job well done!

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