Onions make their way into almost every meal, so I’d love to learn how to best grow onions to use and store. Our garden is very exposed and is often at the mercy of the very high winds in the area, so the weather is often the most difficult ‘pest’ to combat.

Onion Growing Notes

Date sownTypeVarietyWhereGerminationHarvestedRating
Mar wk 3 ’24setsStuttgarter GiantDirect
Mar wk 3 ’24setsMixed Sets (Dobbies)Direct
Feb wk 2 ’24setsStuttgarter GiantIndoors12 days
Feb wk 1 ’24setsMixed Sets (Dobbies)Indoors12 days
Feb wk 1 ’24seedAilsa CraigIndoors7 days
Feb wk 1 ’24seedStuttgarterIndoors7 days
Feb wk 1 ’24seedOnion De Paris Indoors7 days
Oct wk 2 ’22setsRadarDirectunknownJun wk3 ’23★★★★☆
Oct wk 2 ’22setsShakespeareDirectunknownJun wk3 ’23★★☆☆☆

Onion Diary


two varieties of winter onion sets were planted in October: Radar and Shakespeare.

Shakespeare grew upright and straight, whereas Radar were a lot messier when growing in the same location.

Shakespeare onions suffered from powdery mildew by mid June. Radar were unaffected at the same time, despite the two varieties sharing a bed.

February, Week 1

I never had much luck sowing onions the first couple of years that I tried, so I gave up on seed sowing to take the more reliable ‘onion sets’ option, which brought about our first successful onion harvest last year.

This year I am planning to grow both from sets and seeds, to see which method works better for our space. My plan is to sow the seeds and sets indoors now, with the sets in individual tiny pots, and then start both seeds and sets direct outside in March/April, to see what works best. We’ll either end up with nothing, or an onion glut.

February, Week 2

The Onion starts really picked up some life after a sunny day. A few had started to sprout when I planted them, but the warm sun brought to life many new green shoots after 11-12 days.

Seven days after sowing the onion seeds and leaving them covered on the living room windowsill they have started to germinate. I’m very excited about these as I have never managed to get onions to germinate before, but that was always from seed that had been given to me so may have been older. Sparse germination from all varieties of onion sown shows some promise, though.

I have also sown 18 Stuttgarter Giant sets into some large modules.

March, Week 3

All sets previously started indoors have been planted out into the beds now. I’ve also started another two rows of onion sets directly into the onion bed one row each of the mix sets and the Stuttgarter Giants.