Onions grow best in well drained and firm soil that is not freshly manured.
Steps to Grow Onions
- Prepare your soil before planting onions. Add compost organic matter to your soil to enrich it, but do this a few weeks before the actual planting. You can also tread on the soil gently in order to firm it up.
- Choose the type of plant you want to use. Decide whether you would plant onion seeds or sets. Onion sets are small onion bulbs that have partly grown. Sets are generally more expensive but allow you to save on energy and time. You are sure that your onion plant will grow as well.
- Sow onions on moist soil. If the soil is dry, water it and do the sowing the following day.
- If you are using onion seeds, allow about an inch of space between seeds. Place the seeds about 2 cm deep in the soil.
- If you are sowing onion sets, provide a 10 cm space between each one. Make a small hole for every set. Place the set in the hole with the set’s neck facing upwards. When you are covering the set with soil, make sure that the tip of the bulb shows through the surface of the soil.
- Tend the plants by regularly weeding between the onions through shallow hoeing.
- If you used onion seeds, you need to thin the crops when they reach a height of 5 cm. Perform the thinning process until the crops are 10 cm apart.
- Onions can be harvested one week after their tops have fallen over and are yellowed. Using a fork, lift the crops from the soil. Be careful not to damage the onion skin. Decayed organisms could enter the onion flesh through damaged skin. Throw away the onions that show signs of decay. These will affect healthy onions when they are stored together.