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How to grow onions from seeds and from bulbs at home?

How to grow onion from seeds and from bulbs at home?

Recently, news outlets mention onion prices on a daily basis. You read things like “people chasing after a broken bag of onions on the road”. In these stressful times, why not try planting onions?! A novel idea isn’t it! But all jokes aside, onions can be as easy as 1-2-3. Let’s get started!

Now as per your preference, you can choose to grow your onions from seeds or bulbs. 

Bulbs are the small onions that you usually don’t use because you're in a hurry to cook and honestly who is going to sit peeling 5 of those tiny onions instead of 2 big ones! Well, look no further, plant those little guys!

First, let's see how to plant the bulbs.

It may seem too easy, which it is, so give it a try. 

Onion bulbs

Start with a nice medium-sized pot, one that’s 10 to 12 inches will work perfectly fine. Fill up your pot using a good potting mix. Onions like airy soil. With most of it being Compost, some garden soil and sand should be added to the mix. Leaving a few inches off the top, fill up the pot. Now grab your bulbs, locate which end has the roots and push the small onion right into the soil. And you’re done! How easy was that?! Keep the soil quite moist till you see the greens sprouting up.

Keep this pot in a bright spot, water it enough that the soil is moist, not soggy. 

Onion growing from onion seeds

In 2 weeks, you will see the top of the onions giving out green shoots. Move the pot to a location where it will get bright indirect sunlight. These shoots are delicate.

You can wait for the green shoots to grow for around 10 inches. After which you can snip these greens at their base and use it in your cooking. New shoots will start growing as you keep snipping.   

When you want to harvest the bulbs, wait for the greens to grow completely and dry a little and fall over. A good way to know is to check the “neck” of the onion. The thickest part of the green base is the neck. If its stiff and standing up, your onions aren’t ready to be harvested. When this neck becomes weak and bends, you can harvest them. 

Just loosen the soil around the bulb and pull them out. Lay them flat on a surface and let them dry for a few days. 

Bunch of onion

Now how to plant the onion seeds

All you need to do is order some good seeds online or from a local nursery!

It will take some time, but this can be very rewarding, to see them grow from seeds to a full onion.

You can start planting your onion seeds right after the cold season's end. March is usually the best time to start these babies. 

Start with a shallow tray-like pot or a normal pot will also do. Drainage is a must. Make sure you thoroughly clean the pot before using. Onions are susceptible to fungal diseases, which is why we need to use a clean pot.

Fill the pot up with a light compost-rich soil mixture. You can use the same type of mix that was used for the bulb plantation. 

Sow the seeds not more than an inch deep into the soil. Cover the seeds by simply sprinkling on the soil, don’t pat it tight. Keep the soil moist during the whole germination process. Keep the pot in a nice warm bright place.

In just over a week, you'll see baby greens sprouting from the seeds. You can lay back on the watering once the seeds sprout. Keep the soil a little moist but not too soggy.

After 4 weeks or so, you can either keep the seeds in the pot or if they’re too crowded, you can transplant these seedlings into separate containers so the onions can grow as much as they can!

After around 4 months, you’ll notice the greens will start drying a little and the neck which is the base of the greens will start to bend. That’s when you know you’re ready to harvest!

Growing onions can be so easy to grow and giving it try can yield some very nice results!

Until next time,

Have a lovely day and Happy Planting!!

Gayatri Vaidya©

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