The Q&A Archives: Onions

Question: I bought onions to plant in my garden but there were no instructions. How far apart should they be planted and when will they be ready to harvest?

Answer: Plant sets about 2-4 weeks before the last frost date in your area. Plant in a full sun location in loamy sand soil that has been amended with compost, and 1 pound of 10-10-10 fertilizer per 20 feet of garden. Plant the sets slightly below the soil line about 4 inches apart and water well. Once the soil warms, mulch to keep down competing weeds and help the soil retain moisture. Keep them well watered and weeded all summer and they should respond with some nice size bulbs. If the bulbs seem small, you can side dress about 4-6 weeks after planting with more 10-10-10 fertilizer or compost. Onions need at least one inch of water per week during the growing season. At the end of the season, when the tops begin to yellow, bend them down to stop the sap from flowing into the stems. This diverts the energy into the bulbs, rather than the tops. I hope this info helps you grow great onions!

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