Bright ideas for the Garden from Ferndale Lodge


Dobies - the gardening experts


Gardening news from around the world coming soon…


Hello Guest, why not join the other gardeners on the site and register now.

Forum Stats

  • Forum Posts: 38
  • Forum Threads: 15
  • Registered Users: 92
  • Newest User: Jallen


posted in Onion Family |

Onion Cultivation Requirements


Onions do not tolerate acid soil.

Onions sown in the Autumn and those that are to be over-wintered must be grown on well drained ‘warm’ soils. It is best if these crops are grown after a well manured summer vegetable such as Brassicas or Potatoes, and to withold top dressings of fertilizer until growth resumes in the Spring.


A sunny, sheltered spot.

Crop Rotation

Plant onions in the same place as Brassicas were in the previous season.

Onion Sowing Types

There are 2 ways to sow onions, from seed and from sets. Onions Sets are partly grown onions from seed.
Use the table below to weigh up the good and bad points of onion varieties from onion seed and onion sets.

Heat-treated onion sets are easiest to care for and will give you the best chance of success.

Onion SetsOnion Seed
Fewer varieties, and restricted to the major seed merchants.
More expensive
More reliable performance all round, less work
Can be infected with disease when bought
Good for areas with shorter growing seasons.
Greater choice of varieties from a large number of suppliers
Less reliable, more chance of failure. Harder work
Seeds are disease free.

Onion Varieties

Maincrop seedAilsa CraigGold/strawGood for exhibition, but not particularly easy 
 RijnsburgerGold/strawKeeps well - good all-rounder
 Setton AGMDark Gold/strawStores well, excellent yields.
  Kamal Red Great taste and lovely red colour.
  Beacon F1 Gold/Straw Massive 2.72kg(6lb) bulbs, good for show.
 Red BaronRedNIAB approved - keeps well and good colour
Maincrop SetsCenturionGold/strawReliable in poor weather conditions
 HerculesDark GoldLarge bulbs, stores well, good yields.
 OrionGold/strawAvailable as heat treated - good all rounder
Spring OnionWhite LisbonWhiteGood all-rounder, reliable
 IshikuroWhiteVery straight, no bulb, long harvesting period.
Japanese OnionExpress YellowGold/strawMatures early summer, excellent.

When To Plant Onions

<th colspan="2" class="PlantingPlanMon
Onion Planting Plan