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Can I plant autumn onion sets in the spring?

I bought some autumn onion sets and on the packet it says to plant by December.
I had all good intentions of doing so but I've been "overtaken by events", not least the horrendous frost and ice that has meant the ground has been too hard to prepare for about a month now.
I can understand how spring varieties of onion sets won't be hardy enough to plant in the autumn but can it work the other way round and I can plant the autumn varieties in the spring or any other time? If so, what can I do to give them the best chance?  I've the option of using a raised bed? I'm in northeast Norfolk.


  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,839
    I think by spring they may have dried and shrivelled and won't grow.

    If you can cover your raised bed with cloches to warm it up you could plant them in there.  Alternatively, plant each set in a small pot - those trays of pre-formed fibre cells will do nicely - water then keep them under cover in a well lit position and they'll start to grow roots and be plantable later on when you have a thaw and a bit more time.  

    I'm in the same boat with some garlic but we're supposed to be thawing today and low teens tomorrow and for the rest of the week so I'm hoping to get them in tomorrow.  If not they'll go in cells. 
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Ours are planted in cell trays at the moment and haven't done much for the last couple of months apart from develop roots and grow a short shoot. It's too cold to plant them out (also in norfolk) and it will take a while for the ground to become frost free. They are just in a cold greenhouse at the moment but will go under a larger cold frame I built for the allotment. 
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