How to Plant Onions From an Onion

Miss Chen
Homegrown vegetables always have more flavor and taste than store-purchased products, including onions. Most homegrown onions start with seeds or what is called seed sets, but Egyptian and potato onion varieties can grow from vegetative parts of the original onion plant. Potato, or multiplier, onions form an underground compound bulb from the mother bulb. This compound bulb is composed of six to 12 individual onion bulbs. Egyptian onions, on the other hand, send up a shoot with tiny bulblets on top for planting. Gardeners primarily grow multipliers and Egyptian onion to harvest as green onions in the spring. They sometimes are known as winter onions.

Step 1

Prepare the soil where you intend to plant the onions by adding organic matter in a ratio of one part organic matter to two parts soil. Work the mixture with a shovel into the plot at a depth of six to eight inches. Onions need a rich, loamy soil that will drain well.

Step 2

Harvest the attached compound bulbs from the mother bulb for either type of onion. Carefully dig the multiplier onion's mother bulb from the ground and separate the attached smaller onion bulbs from it. Cut off the bulblet cluster from the center green stem on the Egyptian onion and separate the bulblets.

Step 3

Plant bulbs or bulblets one to two inches deep and spaced three to five inches apart. Dig a hole for each onion piece, place the onion pointed end up, and cover it with the amended soil. Gently pat down the soil surface to eliminate air pockets and ensure good contact between the piece and the soil.

Step 4

Apply a fertilize formulated to a 1-2-2 ratio, like 5-10-10, following the instructions, every four to six weeks until the first frost. In the spring, apply one more feeding when the temperatures begin to warm. Onions are heavy feeder and require additional supplements of phosphorus and potassium, but overfeeding can produce soft bulbs or burn plants.

Step 5

Apply three to six inches of mulch over the planted onions in colder climates when the temperatures drop to freezing to protect growing onions. Remove the mulch once temperatures warm in the spring.
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