Spring onions, with their mild and versatile flavor, are a delightful addition to various culinary dishes. Growing these crisp and flavorful onions at home not only ensures a fresh supply but also allows you to experience the joy of cultivating your own produce.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of planting spring onions, from selecting the right seeds to caring for them through different growing stages. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a novice enthusiast, these home-gardening instructions will help you cultivate vibrant and tasty spring onions!

Selecting Spring Onion Seeds

If you’re propagating, go ahead and skip to the next section. Here’s what to consider when picking seeds:

  • Variety: Spring onions come in various varieties, each with its unique flavor profile and growing characteristics. Common varieties include White Lisbon, Tokyo Long White, and Evergreen Bunching.
  • Seed Quality: Opt for high-quality seeds from reputable sources. Check the seed packet for information on germination rates and any specific requirements.
  • Growing Conditions: Choose seeds that are well-suited to your growing conditions, considering factors such as climate, soil type, and available sunlight.
  • Organic Options: If possible, choose organic or heirloom seeds to ensure a more natural and sustainable growing experience.

Planting Spring Onions from Seeds

  • Timing: Spring onions can be planted in early spring or late summer for a fall harvest. Check your local climate and planting zone for the best timing.
  • Prepare the Soil: Choose a sunny location with well-draining soil. Spring onions prefer slightly acidic to neutral soil. Work the soil to a depth of 6-8 inches, removing any debris or rocks.
  • Seed Depth: Plant the seeds about half an inch to an inch deep. Space the rows 12-18 inches apart to allow for proper growth.
  • Watering: Keep the soil consistently moist, especially during germination. Once the spring onions are established, water them regularly, ensuring the soil remains consistently damp.
  • Thin Seedlings: When the seedlings reach a height of 2-3 inches, thin them to provide adequate space for growth. Space the seedlings 2-3 inches apart within the row.

Propagating Green Onions from Scraps

One of the most exciting aspects of growing spring onions is the ability to propagate them from kitchen scraps! It’s a lot easier than you might think.

  • Select Healthy Scraps
      • Save the root ends of green onions after use. Choose scraps with intact roots and place them in a glass with enough water to cover the roots.
  • Place in Water
      • Position the glass on a sunny windowsill, allowing the green onion scraps to receive indirect sunlight. Change the water regularly, and you’ll notice new green growth within a few days.
  • Transplanting
    • Once the green shoots have reached a suitable height (around 4-6 inches), transplant them into soil. Bury the roots, leaving the green shoots above the soil line.
  1. Seedling Stage
    • The seedlings will continue to grow, forming thin green shoots. At this stage, thin out the seedlings to ensure proper spacing.
  2. Bulb Formation
    • As the spring onions mature, they will start to form bulbs at the base. This process takes several weeks, and the bulbs will gradually swell in size.
  3. Maturation
    • Spring onions are typically ready for harvest 8-12 weeks after planting, depending on the variety and growing conditions. Harvest when the bulbs reach the desired size.

Caring for Growing Spring Onions

Ensuring the success of your spring onion crop involves ongoing care throughout the growing season. Here are some essential care tips:

  • Watering: Maintain consistent moisture in the soil. Water the spring onions regularly, especially during dry periods. However, avoid waterlogged conditions, as this can lead to root rot.
  • Soil Conditions: Use well-draining, fertile soil for planting. Incorporate organic matter, such as compost, to enrich the soil and provide essential nutrients.

The Growing Stages of Spring Onions

Understanding the different growing stages of spring onions is essential for proper care and maintenance. Here are the key stages to know:

Germination

This initial stage occurs when the seeds sprout, usually within 7-14 days after planting. Keep the soil consistently moist during this period.

Fertilization

Apply a balanced fertilizer or compost around the base of the spring onions every 4-6 weeks to provide essential nutrients.

Weeding

Keep the area around the spring onions free from weeds. Weeds compete for nutrients and can hinder the growth of your crop.

Pest Control

Keep an eye out for pests like onion thrips and aphids. If necessary, use organic insecticides or insecticidal soap to control infestations.

Mulching

Applying a layer of mulch around the spring onions helps retain moisture, suppress weeds, and regulate soil temperature.

How to Harvest Spring Onions

Knowing when and how to harvest spring onions is crucial for maximizing flavor and tenderness. Follow these guidelines for a successful harvest:

  • Timing: Harvest spring onions when the bulbs reach the desired size, typically 1-1.5 inches in diameter. For green onions, you can start harvesting when the shoots are around 6-8 inches tall.
  • Gentle Pulling: To harvest, gently pull the spring onions from the soil. You can also use a small garden fork to lift the bulbs without damaging the surrounding plants.
  • Continuous Harvest: Spring onions are often harvested continuously. As you remove mature bulbs, new ones will continue to form, allowing for an extended harvest period!

How Long Do Green Onions Take to Grow?

The time it takes for green onions to grow depends on the variety, growing conditions, and the desired size at harvest. Generally, green onions can be ready for harvest in as little as 8-12 weeks after planting.

Get Ready to Garden!

Growing spring onions at home is a rewarding and fun hobby that allows you to enjoy fresh, flavorful produce right from your garden or containers. Whether you choose to propagate green onions from scraps or start from seeds, following these home-gardening instructions will help you cultivate healthy and vibrant spring onions.

Good luck!