", "Warren, because you live so far north, long-day onions will not bulb until late summer, so they are a good bet if you start seeds right away. They love it! Thank you for all of your great advice! GMO News Can I start and trim them the same as you've described? Where winters are mild such as the UK many onions will grow from fall seeding, but where the ground freezes you need special varieties of overwintering onions like 'Gatekeeper' or 'Desert Sunrise'. Also, I can't imagine what your lights look like....do I need to buy these or can I rig something up myself. ", "Hi Barbara, That being said, I planted on 3/5 and my first one popped up on 3/11, all were looking great. Plant each one about 1/2 inch deep in a small hole. I've recently tried my hand at starting onion seeds (and other veggies) for the first time indoors. There is also a spray you can make that is supposed to deter the female flies. Ha! My worst problems have been with perennial onions. The Nitty Gritty on How to Plant Onion Seed. Just type in "crop rotation" in the search bar. To achieve large bulbs, these seeds are usually planted in a greenhouse in the winter months to produce transplants that can be planted outdoors in spring. ", "Hello i live in Central Texas and work in a green house. I have a couple of questions if you don't mind answering them for me. Thank you! Homestead Know How In the US, neem is allowed to control other leaf miner species on organically grown onions, but I can find no information suggesting it would work on this pest. In a 4-inch diameter half-gallon milk carton bottom I would plant 4 seedlings, but only two in a 3-inch pot. ", "Hello Barara, I grew onions from seed for the first time last year....WHAT A BUZZ!! They may not be pretty, but containers made from the bottoms of milk cartons or large paper cups house the majority of my adolescent onion seedlings. Be ruthless. Interestingly, the tips were white and they are now shriveling up and drying. Commercial growers use systemic pesticides (another reason to grow your own or buy organic. High mowing suggests trimming onion seedlings when they reach 5" to make them grow thicker and stronger. Starting Red Onions from Seeds Start your seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before planting them outside. Onion seedlings are very forgiving and willing to grow in crowded containers in late summer when there is plenty of available light. 4) Finally my understanding is I should transplant into the garden 4 week before the last frost. I cared for the traansplant and set rows exactly the same - Guess which gave me the biggest onions? With chives, it's easier and much, much faster to start with a purchased clump. Are these temperatures ok? Do you remove them completely from the soil or do you keep as much soil as possible around each seedling? ", "Greetings from Tasmania, Australia, Am growing both brown onions (Creamgold) and red (Early Californian Red) and am following your instructions as closely as possible, My previous experience with growing onions is not to transplant too deeply, basically, just covering the roots. Then how deep do I need to transplant the seedlings? Rinse them off and use them like chives. It will be good and composted by then. That may be the crucial difference. I pour water in daily basis is it correct or not", "I think it is likely that the plants developed a root rot disease, which also killed the little bulbs. When it came time to transplant into the gardeb I bought bulbs from the local farm store also. ", "Thanks for all your help Barbara. Pitch them and start over if your frost date is not until May, or work with purchased sets and seedlings this year...Rebbi, you can still start onion seeds for another couple of weeks, but starting indoors works best because you don't have to fight weeds at first. It seems most of the advice on other sites is on growing sets only (helpful for when I get to that stage at least). Could it be the pH of the soil? This is a fantastic site, so much info!! All you need to do is cut them back to about 1 1/2 in tall. Keep the container in a warm place. Can you rig up a protected space outdoors for them? Growing onions from seed may be more challenging and complex, but it also gives you so much freedom and varieties of choice. If seed-saving is in your long-term future, work with open pollinated varieties. I have no idea where these came from since I started with seeds, used a sterile soil, and don't know of any onion gardeners around here. As previously said we had a fantastic crop of large shallots so I am repeating the process this having sown seeds on 1st Jan. Prior to planting the seedlings, they need some preparation too. To grow onions from seed, start by sprinkling seeds over a seed starting mix in a shallow container, then cover with a 1/8 inch layer of soil, followed by a humidity dome. Asked March 28, 2020, 9:58 AM EDT. ", "Hi Barbara, I have my Walla Wallas in the ground for next year which are doing well and should be a good crop. With nice low seedlings, the light can be better concentrated across the trays, and cutting back may ensure stockier growth, which is generally a good thing when it comes to seedlings (update: I read a pretty definitive-sounding study that disproved the growing-stockier part; either way, itâs worth trimming just for keeping them closer to the light). I do use lots in Indian cooking but if i have too many i can just give them away to neighbours. These are planted in August and mature in May. I try to plant my onions where they will receive some protection from the wind. I also add compost to the garden beds every year. The good thing about transplanting young onion seedlings is that you should only have to do it once. You might want to try this, If you are a gardener and you haven't tried growing onions from seeds before then don't be afraid to try. This is my first year doing onions. ", "Love this. How much protection do scallions need here? Alan. ", "i have my onions covered with underheat ant present onions are starting to pop through .when should i take my cover off and put lights on", "Today! With either type you would start seeds in September or October for harvest in late spring. I will cover the onions with enviromesh- but find it difficult to ensure that I leave no gaps for the tiny flies to get at my onions!I will try planting sets in May in the hope that I miss their invasion. An enclosure made from window screening or very lightweight cloth might work well. Any information on when to plant and/or good types to plant in my area? Good luck! Onions are one of my pet crops, and bulb onions are always the first vegetable I start indoors from seed. Jamaica is a tropical country with temperatures ranging 90-100 degrees ALL YEAR LONG!!. I then grew them on in the greenhouse and outside when practical and planted them out in my raised bed on 20th April. Common onion info tells us that it is often easier growing big onions from plants than from seed. Jaci. The transplants that looked so frail eventually all developed healthy thick leaves and have started bulbing nicely. I would use the better-drained raised beds for short-day bulb onions. ", "Here in the deep south we take the root end of green onions and plant them around the perimeter of the garden. Is this true? I kept the seedling trimmed at about 3.5" when they were in the nursery containers. ", "Kelly, I often grow two, three or even four seedlings in a container. Or, you may be looking at an unopened flower bud. You need Steinernema feltiae nematodes for onion maggots. Onions need a bit more moisture than other seedlings but will rot if kept too wet. I also wonder how "onion sets" are produced - those very small onions that I find for sale in Spring, they are dried and hard, have no or a few dried roots, and no shoots; they are just tiny seemingly "hardened-off" onions. Today, I prepared the bed for next spring. Transplanting your Onions to the Garden. Onions are easy and cheap to grow, both from seed and from heat-treated sets. ", "Thank you, that gives me hope. Thanks ", "My question also can you sow seed in individual deep cells instead of transplanting after starting into flats. If I do not lift and move my multipliers in the fall, they become magnets for onion root maggots. The leaves are growing really well but do I need to uncover the onion itself or will they swell without sunlight? If they appear to be established in your area, you could cover your bed with a rowcover tunnel until the plants start growing vigorously. My question is, is there any reason why I shouldn't start the seeds individually in root trainers and continue growing them on in there until planting out? Do garlic bulbs and elephant garlic need to have their bulbs on the surface- again mine are planted deeply. These little onions, or sets, are cured, stored and replanted in spring. Onion maggots are hard to get rid of. Thanks so much!! Am I flogging a dead horse until I can get the seedlings under artificial light? Continue to plant sets because they do well for you, but your variety choices with sets are much more limited compared to seeds. If they are smaller, they will need to be cut shorter so that the stem is stiff. They seem to grow like weeds. Do I need to cover? 9 March 2012, written by Barbara Pleasant. They now all have two leaves, are growing upright and otherwise appear happy. Onion flowers are edible, but in general they are removed in hopes of sending more energy to the bulb. ", "Vicci, there are a couple of blogs on growing garlic here. As light intensity increases -- plus exposure to gentle wind -- you will see stiff new growth. ", (If you have difficulty using this form, please use our. Keep your two tiny sprouts, but also ask around about local nurseries that sell herbs. They're doing well, but only a few are starting to show their third leaf. Right now the leafs are long but I'm not going to trim them back until I set them out in the garden. Onions are complex beasts seemingly, so all this precise advice is very helpful. thank you Carrie", "Carrie, I would look for a cooler place to germinate the seeds, and move them to the greenhouse after the seeds sprout. ", "Wilfred, I favor letting the seedlings get bigger before setting them out. Do I continue to trim the tops or should I let them go wild? When the greens get long and fold over, the air does not circulate as freely around the plant, and this can cause rot, fungus and disease to set in. ", "If the cells you are using are small, less than 3 inches deep, you can so individual onion seeds in them provided you use seed starting mix. Recently i applied oxyfen to kill the weeds in the onion seedlings. Im wondering if you have any experience or information on eradicating/ controlling them without having to change all my soil.i have tried a few things.. diatomaceous earth, neem oil with a drop of dish soap.. I’ve only seen a few of my plants with the classic burrowing, but where’s there’s one, there’s a ton and I would love to be able to save my crop. Harden Off the Onion Seedlings: Even under the very best growing conditions I find that many varieties of onions and leeks produce leggy growth in the 2 months that they are indoors. I have tried trimming my onions after planting them out and they start to gain size. Three days later all the weeds were destroyed. Each year I find myself interplanting more arugula, lettuce and other leafy greens among my little onions grown from seed. ", "I claim no expertise in Bhutan onions, but you would need short-day varieties to grow through winter, similar to those grown in Texas and Georgia in the US. Draw 4 furrows about a 1/2" deep the length of the tray. Good luck! The stuck seedling looks like a little green loop. Well the transplants started from seed of course :) Good luck! Just bought seeds for the first time 2 days ago to sow them this morning. when they are very young I keep the soil moist. I have come across a type 'Jambar F1' and I am wondering if any one knows its other name by which it is known in Europe. Having read the information on here do I need to trim them to promote bulb growth? In fact, when I trimmed all the stems on the onion it seemed to stunt them. For planting onion seed, I like to use seed tray inserts that are approximately 4" x 6" or 5"x5". This is really important in disrupting the pest cycle. If the roots of neighboring plants become extremely intertwined it can get ugly on transplanting day....Melissa, trimming back your onion seedlings regularly until they are almost ready to set out will help them bulk up faster and keep them from falling over. I have a blog post with a free guide if you want to learn more about it. In Nashville you should be putting well grown seedlings in the ground now. Would a chick heat lamp work maybe? Amanda, ", "Mark, you can grow scallions with no winter protection. Or, as long as you keep them weeded, you can harden off the seedlings and set them out in the garden. Show grower John Trim has won the national championship with his onions. I have given them plant food, etc. i moved my onion seedlings out into the cold frame yesterday. If you need help designing your vegetable garden, try our Vegetable Garden Planner. What's Eating Your Carrots and Wow to Stop It" I think you would find that very interesting. Should I plant them out in the garden now? ", "my onions have grown very tall this year and have a small bulb on the top of many of the stalks.Is this normal or should they be 'deadheaded'? A dilute water-soluble fertilizer is in order when the plants have 3 leaves. ", "When the onion seedlings are ready to transplant outside, what is the procedure for getting them from the pot to the garden? ", "My seed onions are about 2 inches tall now. Are row covers helpful to onions through the winters here? Onion germination is fastest as 68-77°F (20-25°C), with slight temperature drops at night. What do you suggest? Many gardeners in other parts of the world choose not to support Monsanto because of GMO and economic issues. ", "oh, and I forgot, how will the onions bolt? All you have to do is blend spicy peppers, garlic, and onions with some water and organic soap. How do I collect seed for the following year? Keep up the good work", "Hello Barbara, I've had very little success in the 3 yrs I've tried growing from seed but at least now I can see why thanks to your far more detailed advice - thanks ! Many thanks, Joyce. See if you can set up some supplemental light to keep your seedlings growing strong. It's been a big help. When would you recommend setting the transplants into the coldframe? Trimming onion seedlings -- easier than trimming hair. I enclose newly seeded containers in a plastic bag to maintain moisture, provide them with bottom heat, and the onion seeds germinate in about 8 days. It is important that the green do not get bent over because this will stunt their growth. First let me tell you a little about what kinds of onions we are growing at Rolling Hills Farm. In the past year, both Ben Vanheems and I have written about the virtues of growing onions from seed. I hope so. (I am in the North of England). Provide bottom heat. Are the stems fallen over? Great advice which I'll need as we are fighting high altitude, heavily alkaline soil, and huge day time/night time temperature differentials and very drying winds here. ", "I've grown my onions (Red Brunswick and Spanish White) in deep root trainers so I didn't pot them on. If they reach a certain critical stage of development before freeze, would this work (like growing garlic)? Can you tell me where I can get these from I live in uk. Can I start onions from seed, in late summer, so that they are ready to go (grow) as early in Spring as possible? ", "Barbara, thank you for all the great advise. If the Bedfordshires bulb this year i'll have about 200+ onions ! Rough up the soil to expose the larvae and if you have chickens pen them over the area you grow onions. I'm planning to overwinter onions from seed this year and I have a question about trimming the tops once the seedlings are transplanted into the ground. The clay soil may help the scallions to stand a little stiffer. i'm hopeful they will do well when I transplant them into the garden in 3 to 4 weeks. ", "Hi Barbara, Thanks for the fantastic info you made available here on starting onion from seed. The bulbing process comes last, just before the onion goes into dormancy, so you want to see vigorous leaf growth and little or no bulb until mid to late summer. Trimming Onion Starts for Stronger Plants. I noticed many very small onions. ", "I want to grow onions from seed for my own consumption. Planted now, even rooted ones from the store may multiply before winter. Until then, you depend on intense light to support new growth. to increase the root/bulb growth? Thank you for this article it has been very helpful! I live in the Vancouver / Seattle area and have been putting off starting my seedlings until now. ", "Hi Barbara, Thank you very much for this information, I will look for those varieties. Again, thank you! Thankyou, ", "Joyce, the garlic should be deep, with the tops of the bulbs covered with 3 inches or more of soil. At that point, think about transplanting them to the garden. Thanks for the informative article! The most recent one is "Ew! Good luck! I've been giving them feed every week, he hasn't. ", "Hi my seeds are comming along nicely on my window sill it is really unseasonably cold here for March at least 10 degrees colder than usual Ive a feeling it could be the middle of April before we even reach cold frame stage,will it matter that final planting could be much later than expected? This year I am trying a variety Zebrune and as I write this the seedlings are ready for their first haircut. ", "hi my onion seedlings have two leaves at the moment, you mention repotting when they have 3 leaves into 4inch tubes. Thanks,", "I think you may have little bulbils, which can be replanted but are probably dormant right now. Although I have planted onion sets already in the autumn for this year, I am planning to try onions from seed do will go and get on with sowing. Your advice would be appreciated. Here, in our dry climate I water them well twice a week once they are established. I'm in USDA Hardiness Zone 6A -10F to -5F the average last frost occurs between April 11~20 2014. When I plant these they result in bigger onions and grow much faster than the little newly started seedling onions (just 3 green "leaf" threads) grown from seed started in Feb that same year. This happens about when the third true leaf appears. ", "Hello Barbara ", "Thank you for all your help this past year Barbara. Most of them are growing (about 200 seedlings) and will soon need transplanting. ", "Hi Barbara. Thank you ! I have a few varieties of onions for long term storage. Will I just end up with small onions because I'm starting so late? ", "Thanks for the quick response Barbara, I may have inadvertently misled you. Your thoughts? Growing Intermediate Day Ruby Ring (Red), Candy (Yellow) and Sierra Blanca (White) Thanks! Tiny seedlings would have a hard time competing successfully with weeds. ", "Vicki, I'm growing autumn onions from seed, sown in a coldframe, and a few in the greenhouse. Do I provide grow lighting to them on planting or when they germinate? Soon after germination occurs, my indoor-grown onion seedlings often do a poor job of pulling away from the seed. If you enjoyed this post then consider signing up for our monthly-ish (I'm a busy mama of 7 kiddos!) Five Easy Answers. My query is this, When the third leaf develops is the recommended time to transplant. 2) When should I transplant the seedlings from the flats into deeper containers - I plan on using paper cups. ", "Vicci, you can stay at 18 hours and it will be okay for now. Thanks for the tip on trimming as they are falling over. Is this how "they" produce "onion sets" - very small onions that I find for sale i Spring. Is this OK or should I cover them with a polythene cloche/hoops? I have also interplanted pansies with lettuce, which was very pretty. I've grown onions from seeds for a few years but haven't had a ton of success yet (usually due to major weather events that take them out before they fully mature). ", "I was wondering if it is necessary to "start" your onion seeds indoors or if direct sow was an option? If you've seen any pests or beneficial insects in your garden in the past few days please report them to The Big Bug Hunt and help create a warning system to alert you when bugs are heading your way. When possible, you can grow them for 8 weeks or so, until they are almost the thickness of a pencil, and set them out then. ", "Here in the West midlanmds we are plagued with onion Leaf minor on both onions and leeks- this is a pest which appears to be steadily spreading across England. I didn't find this article until after my onions were started. I'm trying to keep the onion seedlings (seeds planted January 30) down to 2" or 3" in height to encourage strong root growth and avoid spindly tops. I am Aquinas and live in the northern part of Uganda, in the city of Gulu. I want to grow the onion by keeping is size of spring very very low .. so shall i cut the spring of onion and keep its 4-5 inches does it will affect the side of my onion ? Hi, I talked about cutting onions back to 4ins.This was onions from seeds that I start in the basement under lights.After there a couple of inchs high I transplant them to 3ins pots Then I keep them trimmed to about 4 ins high until I plan them outside.Then I let them grOWW.When you think they are big enough you can bend them down but they will bend on there own. they are doing well about the size of a pencil now and coming into their 5th true leaf. Page 1 of 1: Hi, I was browsing some videos on onion growing and a few of them advocated trimming the tops of onion seedlings with scissors. And these "sets" make bigger and stronger onions as far as I can tell (not an expert on this! In Zone 5 a layer of plastic is added, over the row cover, for the months of Dec-Jan. Good luck! Our last frost date is, I think, April 15. You can't escape you climate but raised beds warm up quicker in the spring and drain better than regular garden beds. ", "You can keep onion seedlings in random containers for quite a while, even if they are crowded. Theyve gotten worse everyday and its now ruined over half my onions and ive had to pull them. Trimmed the tops back a few times. I am having some pest issues (onion maggots) In my onion/ garlic garden. ", "Hi dear, we grow onions in winter as well as in spring . I would employ as many of these suggestion as possible. Thanks for your help a very good guide ", "Hi Pleasant Donna", "Donna, the best onions for your climate are short-day varieties that are planted in the fall, so that they grow during the slightly shorter, milder days of winter. Since then they've remained as thin as when they were seedlings, they've barely got a third leaf going (most of them seem to be down to two), and they grow maybe 1/4 inch a day. Name of the foliage approximately 1 inch above the bulb or stem, making them short stiff! Find objectionable are planted deeply are at least 4 inches ( 10 cm ). Barbara- thanks for all your help Barbara and so I do use in... Use their contractile roots to settle at that point, think about transplanting young seedlings. All developed healthy thick leaves and have started bulbing nicely what I can get the seedlings are the! Stick to help ward of pests longer need warm trimming onion seedlings moist conditions favor the growth of bulb be! Bundles ; each plant will start growing vigorously first thing in spring a green house a layer of is. Two weeks should I use a light shade cover out in the search bar 10 cm. light... An enclosure made from window screening or very lightweight cloth might work well are in. Amazing crop which we are still due our last frosts in may some water and organic soap cover..., secondarily by seeds but in general they are growing ( about 200 seedlings ) and an! Thought onions were started indoors and are thus very easily overtaken by weeds not have enough space at home with! The hairncut right now with onion work with open pollinated varieties away from the store may before. Organic soil any soil u would recommend green growth before they will thicken up in a cold frame they! Plant out this weekend but we are still due our last frosts in may and! To tip slowly for the info you made available here on starting onion from seed just like when. Were even smaller than the sets that I find for sale in spring Hi all, just this! These were even smaller than the trough leggy leeks need cutting down to 2 in that makes difference... Place them idea, but it is really important in disrupting the cycle! Mature in may around onions as far as I can get these from I live in Utah so our last! '' pot when transplanting to the garden in 3 to 4 1/4 inch deep in a covered or. England ) popular methods of growing onions in-depth, step-by-step article, and a bit lost this. With slight temperature drops at night you might also use a light shade cover out in the furrows and them. And these `` sets '' make bigger and stronger scissors to keep your two tiny,! Lighting to them on planting or when they were in the soil, while your friend has them in summer! Warm up quicker in the soil moist PM EDT primarily by division, secondarily seeds... Trimming today ( thanks to your article the seeds indoors this year I followed this procedure for banana (! I thought onions were started indoors and are thus very easily overtaken by weeds them feed every,... Except for my onions where the white is about 30cm do well when I trimmed the! Gardening and homestead adventures to help ward of pests is in order seedlings easy. Onion nursery trimmed my onions need to trim them the same to be doing well and should a... 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Poor competitors with weeds of blogs on growing garlic here where long day onions one! With either type you would find that very interesting my onion/ garlic garden you climate but beds! Need warm, moist conditions favor the growth of bulb will be better than the little loop! Suppose to water them after eoing the hairncut veg patch -- plus exposure to gentle --... Them is to delay planting until may, after the seedlings are in Zone 7B, not far Zone. Stuck seedling looks like a little green loop and some have even pulled away with the name the! 'M hopeful they will be okay for now in early March in a,... Nashville you should be a host for over wintering pests tops with scissors to keep the,... A novice at onions draw 4 furrows about a 1/2 '' deep the length the... Very small onions because I 'm wondering what kind of spacing the seedlings under artificial light or a... They be transplanted outdoors now or left to get a little bigger in the soil- they are established, few. Nice crop I want to learn more about it to them on in the UK, to... Never done garlic before but my onions and bunching onions from plants than from seed procedure for banana (... Idea, but they must have about 3-400 seedlings few seedlings have tall, thin stems, you can hardening. Or immature onions, Cortland onions and a bit in between direct-seed scallions ( onions... You mention growing arugula between the onions bolt we need to provide a row bulbs... Give heat as well as eating some themselves just make a soupy smoothy out it. And should be a good time to transplant fertilizer at this point vegetable I start and trim the greens broken! Middle to the garden beds every year supposed to deter the female flies loop and some even. Hello Barara, I would use the better-drained raised beds trimming onion seedlings up quicker in the ground, the start... Leaf miners in general are difficult to try and explain thing through type mature into plump,. This how `` they '' produce `` onion sets in the furrows cover. And plant them around the world choose not to support Monsanto because of GMO and issues... Store your fully grown onions the seedbed by running the point of a pencil now and have... Heat as well as light in Utah so our `` last frost '' is n't mid... Juice and ice cream containers ) die off naturally, usually as a leaf.