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First time with Onion Sets

GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 1,807
Any tips for growing Onion Sets?

I've had a go at onions from seeds before, but this year ordered sets for the first time. I have Troy and Red Ray.


  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen SpainPosts: 3,234
    Onions are really easy to sow from sets. Just plant them at recommended distance with the pointy bit peeking above the soil, water in and watch them grow! If you have heavy clay soil, worth making a small hole to drop them into, otherwise just push them in. 
  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 1,807
    Thanks, yep heavy clay here. I put in some garlic at Christmas that is doing really well, seems like the Onion sets are going to be just as easy  :)
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 8,997
    I had trouble with blackbirds pulling them up after planting, so now start them off in small modlues in the greenhouse and plant out when they have rooted, which takes about a week.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 1,807
    Not thought of that, I might plant direct but use one of my scarecrow water squirters to deter birds. I've not got a greenhouse and the potting shed is going to be overloaded within a few weeks.
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 8,997
    They'll be fine just planted out.  At worst, you'll just have to keep popping them back in the ground until they root - the birds don't eat them, just pull them out! :)
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 1,807
    Ah OK! I'll still set up the squirter though. It also helps to deter 'Poppy' the neighbour's cat. For some reason it thinks when I make a carefully prepared bed for veg, it is a huge litter tray.  :|
  • ColinAColinA Posts: 239
    As with BoBtheGardener I have started my onion sets in modules in the greenhouse for several years I plant out when the leaves are about four inches high. I get less failures and no bird damage
  • cornellycornelly Posts: 844
    Always started onion sets in modules, guaranteed success.
  • nick615nick615 Posts: 196

    A sheet of polythene with holes or crosses cut in it @ 5 inch intervals either way will allow you to push your sets into the soil below, but prevent weeds in between.  Onions have quite a long gestation period and weeds will  be prolific long before the crop is ready to be lifted.  Because onions sit more or less on top of the ground, pulling weeds will tend to disturb the onions too.

    I've tried this method successfully for two years now with polythene one year and an old cast off door mat last year.  This year I'm trying a length of roofing felt, so we'll see.

  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 1,807
    Thanks, I have lots of spare black horticultural silage sheet (It's almost impossible to weed my clay so I have to smother weeds if I want to clear ground) time to put it to good use.
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