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Using up Seeds

May 30th, 2016

I start onions from seed each year, mostly because I can find varieties that I can’t get in sets/plants and because they store longer than onions grown from sets. I like to grow 4-5 different varieties, which means I always have loads of extra onion seed.
seeding onions 4
Since it doesn’t store from year to year, I plant all the seeds thickly in rows and either harvest them as small set onions for quick growth the following spring, or as scallions during the summer/fall.
seeding onions 1
seeding onions 2
The direct seeded onions have germinated and are growing nicely, though the ones I seeded indoors back in March are much larger.
seeding onions 3
This year I may try transplanting a few of the direct seeded onions to see how they size up and store. It would be nice to direct seed onions and save a bit of time, but I might have to experiment with different varieties. Either way, I enjoy scallions, pearl onions, and onion sets and I don’t have seed going bad.

Do you grow onions from seed, sets, or plants?

4 Comments to “Using up Seeds”
  1. Yolanda E Breidenbaugh on May 30, 2016 at 7:28 am

    This is so interesting. I’ve never grown onions from seed but would like to learn how. You mentioned that you sometimes save the “sets” for the next year. Just how do you do that? When do you harvest them? They look wonderful! Would I have to start them early or could I start them now and still grow sets? Thank you!

    Reply to Yolanda E Breidenbaugh's comment

    • Susy on May 31, 2016 at 11:26 am

      I save the small ones and plant them in the spring just like you would normal onion sets.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  2. Nebraska Dave on May 30, 2016 at 8:37 am

    Susy, I have planted onions this year that were sets and started from seeds. The seeds I plant in a deep tray to begin the germination process. Then at about four inches they are broken apart in clumps of about eight or ten to a clump and repotted into 16 ounce drinking cups with holes in the bottom for drainage. Bottom watering is used to encourage the plant roots to stretch out toward the moisture. I have onions that need to go in the ground that are about the size of your plants in the garden picture. The sets will be eaten right away from harvest.

    Have a great day planting or transplanting onions grown from seed.

    Reply to Nebraska Dave's comment

  3. Joan on May 31, 2016 at 8:09 am

    I never had great luck with sets, or with starting my own seeds. Once I started buying plants though I had great luck with onions. I’m going to only have a small garden this year, but onions are definitely part of it – they’re one of the few things in the ground already!

    Reply to Joan's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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