When the daffodils are coming up, it’s time to plant onions!

There are a few things you need to know about onions before growing them.

  • The number of daylight hours triggers bulbing in onions and different onion varieties have different day length requirements. In Ohio, you need to look for Long Day varieties. Details here for those who are interested in learning more about that.
  • Onions can be grown from plants or sets (which are tiny onion bulbs that look like the pearl onions you see in images of 1950s pot roasts). I prefer growing onions from plants because temperature fluctuations can cause onion sets to “bolt,” or make a flower instead of a bulb. And if there’s one thing we have in Ohio in spring, it’s temperature fluctuations!
  • Onion plants are easy to grow, but they grow very slowly. I start mine in January!



How to plant onions:

Step 1:

Dig a furrow, or shallow trench. I used this weird tool I found in the shed (a “wing weeder”?), but you can use whatever you have – even your hands!


Step 2:

Trim your onion plants. Trimming the tops encourages new leaf growth. Fun fact: each onion leaf = one layer of onion bulb, so the more leaves you have, the bigger your onion. Trimming the roots encourages them to grow out and give the plant a stable base. Roots should be trimmed to 1-2 inches, and the plant should be trimmed to about 6 inches.


Step 3:

Set your trimmed onion plants in the furrow.


Step 4:

Fill in the furrow around your plants with soil, burying them to where the new leaves are forming.


Step 5:

Water and admire your work!

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