Spring Onions

When we first started gardening we planted our onions from sets in the spring. That’s the way we did it when I was growing up. But year after year I was disappointed that the bulbs didn’t get as big as I’d like.

Later we tried putting out transplants in the spring. The results were better, but still usually unsatisfactory.

Finally we settled on the method we use now–planting from sets in the fall and overwintering them. Now we get large bulbs, and while we do have some bolting, we harvest those as spring onions so it’s still a win.

This years onions are the best-looking that I can recall, likely another consequence of our very mild winter.

I’ve already decided to significantly increase the amount of onions we grow next year. We never have enough. To make room I’m going to reduce the amount of garlic we grow, as we always have way more of that than we need. Fiddling around with how we do things is part of the fun of gardening.



15 comments on “Spring Onions

  1. Ed says:

    I never have too much onions OR garlic!


    • Bill says:

      We’ve run out of onions the past two years, but we’ve been planting so much garlic that we still have lots left by the time the new crop arrives. Obviously I need to rebalance.


  2. hilarymb says:

    Hi Bill – I know onions are troublesome … I’ve only ever grown salad onions – the kind we call Spring Onions! But a good onion is delicious .. cheers Hilary



    • Bill says:

      My wife would sometimes tease me that the onions I was harvesting were about the same size as the bulbs I planted. Now that we overwinter them that’s not a problem any more. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I had trouble with my onions this year sprouting in storage. I grow Copra–which have always been as hard and perfect in June as they were when I first harvested them. This year—all sprouts and mush. Don’t know what I did different…..but I had to BUY onions last week. Buy them??? That was a sorrowful day for me.


  4. Being able to adjust supply to meet your needs is perfect and I find it very interesting that you seem to have solved the “biggest” onion conundrum. And now, I’m wondering how well (or even if) that would work up here in a Canadian Zone 5? Any tiny fellas I’ve missed in the fall usually seem to come up in the spring, so why not, hey? Another one of those “Now why didn’t I ever follow through and come up with that?” Lol, thanks Bill!!


  5. NebraskaDave says:

    Bill, I’m not sure over wintering onions would work in zone 5b. It might work if a really heavy mulch was spread over them. Maybe when I get my garden all developed I’ll try some of that. Right now I’m still building expansion raised beds. Four more beds are being added to the garden this year bringing the total up to 12 four by 28 foot beds. The wire fence and electric fence will surround this area as well. The spuds are planted and soon the lettuce, onion sets, cabbage, and radishes will be planted. The early tomato plants will go into the five gallon buckets and their journey to that first bite of juicy tomato will begin. Last year that bite was June 22nd. It’s a major victory to have a ripe tomato on July 4th and I never thought I’d ever be able to accomplish that but it happened.

    Have a great onion planting day.

    Nebraska Dave


    • Bill says:

      Good luck with the tomatoes and all the other great stuff. I’ve got tomatoes in the ground already in the hoop house so we should have them 3 weeks earlier than usual, if all goes well. Lots of great stuff in our spring gardens these days. I’ve been out picking in them (in the rain) most of the day.


  6. Had to look up bolting, Bill, which reflects how much of a farmer I am. 🙂 –Curt


  7. Joanna says:

    I leave sprouted bulbs in the ground and each year, just as my onions start to run out, they send up leaves that work for a good onion flavour. I have a section that just keeps producing all summer now. Saves a lot of work. I still plant sets for onions over the winter itself – can’t really harvest much through a layer of snow and a very hard winter


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