Gardening Magazine

Planting Onion Sets

By Mwillis
Today I have planted some onion sets. It's probably a bit early, but with the aid of my recently-acquired massive coldframe, I think it is OK to start. If I were planting the onions outside, I would probably wait another month.

Planting Onion sets

The coldframe (photo from just after assembly)

I have zero experience with growing onions - either from sets or from seed - but I have read up on it, and it seems easy enough (famous last words...).
Planting Onion sets

I have two different varieties of onion. One is "Red Baron", which I bought last weekend at the Hampshire Potato Day.
Planting Onion sets

I reckon there must have been about a hundred sets in that bag, but I certainly can't afford the space to grow that many! Since this is my first attempt I have planted just a few, to try them out.
The other variety is "Sturon", a white type. These are the sets kindly given to me by Gerry from GrowSeed.
Planting Onion sets

The planting technique is dead easy. Just push the sets into the soil (either in the open or in pots / modules), so that just the tips stick out, like this:-
Planting Onion sets

My trays of little pots have now gone into the coldframe, where they will be protected from the weather, until it's warm enough to plant them outside (probably late April).
I have also sown some onion seeds today, though there is nothing much to see so I'm not showing a photo. They are seeds for "Long Red Florence", whose name is self-explanatory! I have sown 4 or 5 seeds each in plastic 5-inch pots, and when the plants are big enough I will transplant them as a clump.
As I said, I have been reading-up on growing onions, and I note that they do best in full sun, so I'm a bit worried, since my garden never gets as much direct sun as I would like. One of the jobs I have done today is removing a couple of the lower branches of my big Bronze Maple tree, hoping to let in some more light.
So, let's see how it goes...

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