Despite their tendency to make you cry, onions are the building blocks of most recipes. Close your eyes and imagine the smell of those white crescents simmering on a layer of extra virgin olive oil in your favorite non-stick pan.
What’s the only thing better than this heavenly moment in the kitchen? Smelling your own homegrown onions!
Keep reading to learn all about growing, caring for, and cooking with your onions!
Planting and Growing Onions
Luckily for onion lovers everywhere, onions are hardy plants and will grow in most kinds of climates. The truly important consideration is actually when to plant onions. It varies depending on where you live, so make sure to read our guide!
Harvesting, Cooking, and Storing Onions
Now, for the best part about growing any veggies at home. Learn about the optimal time for when to harvest onions so you don’t get overexcited and harvest them too soon (or overly cautious and wait too long).
As mentioned earlier, onions are important building blocks to a wide variety of dishes. To be a true master chef in your kitchen, you should learn how to saute onions, grill onions, and caramelize onions.
Onions are longer lasting than most fruits and veggies, but if your harvest is just a little too bit to handle, you should learn exactly how long onions last, and how long onions last in the fridge. Other important facts include how to store onions (one of my favorite methods is freezing onions) and last but not least, which onion storage containers are best for onions.
Onions are just like other vegetables—they come in many different varieties!
When is the best time to plant onions?
Onions are a cool-season crop that should be planted in early spring or early fall. They prefer a location with full sun and well-draining soil. Sow the seeds 1/4 inch deep and 1 inch apart. Water the soil gently and keep it moist until the seedlings emerge.
How do I plant onions?
To plant onions, sow the seeds 1/4 inch deep and 1 inch apart. Water the soil gently and keep it moist until the seedlings emerge. Once the seedlings have their first true leaves, thin them to a spacing of 4 to 6 inches apart.
When should I harvest onions?
Onions can be harvested when the tops have fallen over and the bulbs are fully developed. This is typically 100 to 120 days after planting. It is important to harvest onions when the weather is dry, and to let them dry in the sun for a few days before storing.
How do I harvest onions?
To harvest onions, pull the plants out of the ground and lay them in the sun to dry for a few days. Once the tops are completely dry, cut them off and store the onions in a cool, dry place.
How do I care for onions?
To care for onions, water them deeply once a week, or more often during hot, dry weather. Keep the soil moist, but not waterlogged, and weed thoroughly. Fertilize the plants with a balanced fertilizer every 4 to 6 weeks. Provide support for tall varieties, such as a stake or trellis.
How can I prevent pests and diseases in my onion plants?
To prevent pests and diseases in your onion plants, practice good garden hygiene by removing plant debris and weeds. Use row covers to protect the plants from pests and diseases. Rotate the onion crop every year to prevent the buildup of soil-borne diseases and pests. Additionally, choose disease-resistant varieties and avoid overcrowding the plants, which can lead to increased susceptibility to pests and diseases.
How can I use onions in cooking?
Onions can be used in a variety of dishes, including soups, stews, salads, and stir-fries. They can also be caramelized or roasted as a side dish. Choose firm, dry onions and peel off the outer layer before using. Experiment with different varieties of onions, such as red, yellow, and white, to find your favorite flavors and textures.
How can I grow onions in containers?
To grow onions in containers, choose a large container with good drainage and fill it with a well-draining potting mix. Plant the onion sets or seedlings 1 inch deep and 4 inches apart. Water the plants regularly and fertilize them with a balanced fertilizer every 4 to 6 weeks. Harvest the onions when the tops have fallen over and the bulbs are fully developed.
Can onions be grown from seed?
Yes, onions can be grown from seed. Sow the seeds 1/4 inch deep and 1 inch apart in early spring or early fall. Keep the soil moist and warm until the seedlings emerge, and then thin them to a spacing of 4 to 6 inches apart. Harvest the onions when the tops have fallen over and the bulbs are fully developed.
Grow Your Own Onions!
I hope this guide has set you on your path to growing your own delicious onions. Check back often because we’re always updating our content!
In the meantime, enjoy more of nature’s goodies: