Why grow onions, you ask? Well, first of all, it is the most straightforward gardening project you can ever take on. And second, nothing beats crisp freshly picked organic onions.
While you can grow onions on the open ground, growing them on raised beds is more advantageous. Here is everything you need to know about growing onions on a raised bed.
In this article, you will find:
- Onion Varieties
- How to Grow Onions From Seeds
- How to Grow Onions From Seedlings
- How to Care for Your Onions
Grow Onions on a Raised Bed Like a Pro
Long-day varieties include the First Edition, Red Wethersfield, and Yellow Sweet Spanish. They grow well in the colder regions with planting done in late winter up to early spring.
They thrive in 14-16 hours of daylight and are best suited to grow in the Northern zones.
On the other hand, short-day varieties thrive in warmer regions and only require 10-12 hours of daylight. These varieties include White Bermuda, Stuttgarter, and Burgundy.
They are best planted in spring and late autumn when the dangers of frost have passed.
How to Grow Onions From Seeds
Step 1. Preparing Your Raised Bed
Like other vegetables, onions like healthy, well-drained, loamy soil that is crumbly to touch. This condition prevents root-rotting in hot and humid weather.
To start, pull out the weeds and do a little tilling. Mix and layer your raised bed soil with compost. Make sure to maintain the soil’s texture and fertility. If you don’t have any homemade compost, store-bought serves the same purpose.
- Store-bought compost comes mixed with a little fertilizer, so that should be enough. Otherwise, sprinkle a handful of your fertilizer or chicken manure.
- If you go overboard with fertilizer too early, you will get more green onion tops and much less and smaller onion bulbs.
Step 2. Adding a Layer of Mulch
Adding a considerable amount of mulch doubles as a means of retaining enough moisture and a way of inhibiting the growth of weeds.
Trying to weed between skinny onion shoots and weeds can be tedious as weeds always try to outdo the onion plants.
- Go for mulch options best suited for your onions as far as aeration and insulation are concerned. Go for marsh hay, straw, or grass clippings.
Step 3. Sowing the Onion Seeds
The trick here is to sow shallowly. Sowing too deep will weigh the seeds down, slowing the sprouting process. Cover lightly and keep the soil moist up until the seeds start sprouting.
At this point, it is safe to water your onion plants as required.
- Sow generously so you can transplant your seedlings to areas where germination was poor and sparse. You can sow different varieties, so the best ones will fill the void for the poorly germinated.
How to Grow Onions From Seedlings
Step 1. Growing Your Onion Seedlings
While you could opt for store-bought seedlings, growing your own from seeds is your best guarantee that your crop will be organic.
Sow your onion seeds shallow in a container, and lightly cover with soil. Keep the soil moist until the seeds begin to sprout. After this, you should water them until the seedlings are about 5 inches tall and ready for transplant.
Step 2. Transplanting the Seedlings
When the seedlings are ready, make holes in your prepared raised bed garden and plant your onion seedlings 4 inches apart on rows. Space your rows 6 to 12 inches away from each other, depending on your raised garden’s size.
- Crowding the seedlings leads to a large crop with small bulbs, while spacing will lead to fewer onions with larger bulbs.
- Do not overwater the onions. Keep the soil moist to avoid rotting in-ground and only water when the soil becomes dry.
How to Care for Your Onions
As onion plants grow, so do the bulbs. The most important thing you should remember is to allow air and moisture into the roots to increase the chance of thriving. Here are some care tips to remember as well:
- For mulched raised gardens, you can get away with watering at least twice a week. However, ensure your soil is well-drained to avoid water-clogging your onions.
- Like other vegetables and fruits, onions need fertilizer addition every few weeks until they start pushing out on the soil. Please do not cover the forming bulbs with soil or try to push them under.
- Mulching makes weeding for onions easier by inhibiting the growth of weeds that compete with your onions.
- In a month, your onion will be 18 to 24 inches. Snip off any seed pods that may begin to grow so the plant focuses on making larger bulbs instead of making seeds. Better still, harvest those with seed pods and consume.
Watch this video from the ripe tomato farms on how to regrow onions from onion tops
And that’s how you properly grow onions, my dear green thumbs. Easy-peasy, right? I bet you will not be going for store-bought onions anymore, and all for a good reason.
Have fun trying out either of these methods and stick to the one that works best for you!
What other vegetables are you looking to growing in your raised garden this summer? Let us know by leaving a comment below!
- Plant Onions In Fall With These Garden Season Tips
- The 10 Best Garden Spices You Need To Grow Now
- 13 Best Plants For Hydroponics
Calling all green thumbs, Garden Season needs YOU! Click here if you want to contribute for us!