Planning to plant onions in fall? While most vegetables and fruits are harvested now, you’re definitely on the right track by thinking of planting onions in the fall. It could be somewhat daunting at first, but I’m here to show you just how simple and satisfying it actually is.
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The Ultimate Guide on How to Plant Onions in Fall
Step 1. Choose the Right Onion Varieties
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This is important to know since growing onions that are not well-suited in your area will yield inferior bulbs. Long day onions, like hybrid copra, red wing, and walla-walla, suit planting in the North.
You can grow intermediate day onions, like candy and superstar, in the South during the fall season as they’re not daylight-length sensitive. While short day onions, like the red coach, texas yellow granex, and white Bermuda, are the go-to bulbs for fall gardening. They’re well-suited for growing in the South–with USDA zone 7 or warmer.
You can grow onions from seeds, from sets, and from seedlings or transplants. Although each has unique advantages, planting onions from sets are ideal for fall gardening.
What are the Onion Sets? Onion Sets are immature onions harvested and dried to delay their growth for planting on the next season. Once they’re planted and have established in the soil, they’ll stay dormant in winter and come spring, there’ll be no stopping them.
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Step 2. Prepare the Soil
If you’ve grown potatoes in spring and are ready to harvest your crops this fall, the cleared potato bed will be your best bet for planting onions. By this time, your bed has become loose from the digging and clearing, which is ideal for planting onions in.
As with any bulb, a well-draining soil bed is important since bulbs are prone to rotting. Sandy soil with compost can work too. While a clay soil can be amended for growing onions.
Step 3. Plant the Onion Sets
Pick a location for your onion bed in areas where the sun can shine even in fall or winter. The amount of daylight can affect the formation of the bulb.
- Start digging a trench in your soil bed at least 8 to 12 inches deep.
- Mix organic compost into the soil you dug to form the trench.
- You can plant your onion sets an inch deep in your prepared bed.
- Cover them back with soil until only the tips poke from the top.
- For regular short day sets, you can give a space of 4 to 5 inches between each plant.
- While some won’t bother with it, I recommend compacting the soil around your onions to hold them firm, and to prevent air pockets.
Together with the onion plants, bulbs will start growing as well. To help them thrive well, you can read this onion growing care tips.
Watch this video from Brandon and Merideth on added tips and ideas for growing onions:
Growing bulb plants, including onions, is ideal in the fall season. Plant onions in fall to greet the coming spring with a good harvest of this favorite ingredient that spices up your dishes.
Finally, what’s best with onions is you can use them at any stage in their growth. You can just clip the leaves anytime you want some for your recipe.
Ready to try this? Download this FREE printable and keep track of your plants easily.
Are you finally into growing your own onions now? I’m excited to know. Share your thoughts and feedback by leaving a comment below.
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