How to Grow Onions

Planting advice for how to grow onions, recommended varieties and onion recipes.

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A garden without onions? It's enough to make you cry. Sweet or sharp, onions lend pizzazz to everything from stews to salads. And what's finer than a slice of raw onion on a hot-off-the-grill burger?

Hardiness: Most grown as an annual.

Planting advice: Gardeners typically get best results from sets—small bulbs less than 1 inch in diameter (though onions grown from seed tend to last longer in storage).

Onions thrive in cooler weather, so plant sets in early spring, about 1 inch deep and 1 inch apart for green onions and 2 to 4 inches apart for slicing onions. Space rows 12 to 18 inches apart.

Harvest tips: Ready to harvest in 100 to 120 days. Pull green onions when the tops are 6 inches tall. For larger onions, harvest when the tops fall over. Let onions lie on the ground for a day to dry.

Put them in a box for a few weeks in a sheltered spot, then bring inside and store in a cool, dry place.

Recommendations: Sweet Spanish and Bermuda (yellow and white), Vidalia Sweet, Walla Walla Sweet and Red Baron. Select varieties suited to your area.

More Onion Advice From Our Test Kitchen»

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Source: Birds & Blooms "Grow Veggies for Less"