Our onion sets will arrive from Dixondale Farms in Carrizo Springs, Texas next week. We have White Bermuda, Southern Belle Red, and 1015Y Texas Super Sweet onion sets on their way. Onions are super easy to plant and you can fit them into even the smallest garden. Here’s how to do it.
The onion set may look a little dry. That’s OK. The onion start is just dormant. Please don’t water it, just keep it in a cool, dry place until your soil is ready for planting.
Since the onion needs to ‘push through’ the soil as it grows to form a large bulb, make sure your soil is nice and loose. Onions like plenty of feed and prefer a slightly acidic soil, so make sure you have plenty of organic matter or extra peat moss to balance out our alkaline clay soil in the Pflugerville area. If you use commercial fertilizer you may want to spread some 13-13-13 and ammonium sulfate (to decrease the soil pH) into your soil before planting.
Onions grow best with full sun and lots of drainage. A raised bed or row works best. Take the onion set apart and plant each onion about 3/4 inch deep, at least 4 inches apart down the center of the trench you made. (Note: 3/4 inch is not very deep. Make sure you don’t plant any deeper.) If you don’t have enough space for all the onions in your set, plant the others real close together in a sunny spot of your garden and harvest the tops as soon as they green up and use them like green onions.
Hand weed around the onions frequently during the growing season. You don’t want weeds competing with the onions for nutrients or growing space. And you don’t want to damage your onion bulbs trying to weed around them with a hoe.
Onions have a shallow root system. You may only need to water them weekly during the early spring, but later when it heats up or when it is windy, they may need to water more frequently.
Feed the onions at least once again when the tops have 5 or six leaves. You can feed more often but once the onion’s nearly done growing and has started ‘bulbing’ (it kind of looks like it’s half way out of the ground) it is best not to fertilize anymore.
When the onion top falls over and looks half way dead, the onion is ready to harvest. Usually this happens sometime in the summer if you planted in the spring. Pick the onions early in the day and leave them outside in the shade to dry for a couple of days before bringing inside.