More from the Onion Family

onion sets

Onions can be grown from sets or seeds. I grow both. You can usually find red, yellow and white sets which look like mini onions or bulbs. Sets are onions that have been grown close together to produce small bulbs. They should be planted with the pointed side up.  Also, the point should be just above the soil line. They should be planted 4” apart.



For more variety, I am also growing the following seeds from Botanical Interests: 1) Ringmaster which matures into a large round & white onion This type takes 105 days to mature – anticipation!! This onion keeps in storage for up to 5 months.  2) Flat of Italy is a gourmet cipollini onion which matures into a flattened red globe that is 1” high by 3” in diameter. This type takes 70 days to mature. This onion is good fresh or cooked and is good for roasting and grilling. 3) Borettana is a another gourmet cipollini which matures into a flattened golden brown globes that are 1” high by 3” in diameter. This type takes 100 days to mature. This onion is good for pickling, grilling, roasting and eating fresh.

I started the Ringmasters and Flat of Italy onions from seed last fall right next to some carrots which I kept under cover during the winter. . .


Also I grew some onion from sets last fall, I kept the under cover over the winter and they are doing great. . .

onion and shallots

If you look on a packet of seeds, you typically will see Long Day, Intermediate or Day Neutral, and Short Day.  This refers to how much daylight is needed to form the bulb.  Here is what you need to remember. . .Long Days are good for the Northern regions, Intermediate are good for most regions and Short Days are good for the Southern regions.  Since I live in Pittsburgh, PA, I am growing Long Days and Intermediate Onions.

Later on we will talk about harvesting and storing onions.