Growing Onions

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Hi guys, new to the site and pretty new to gardening too...but love it!!

Just looking for advice...I've planted onions from a tray bought at B&Q as transplants, but I planted them in bunches (see photo). I think I made a mistake by doing this and should have planted them with a few inches of space between them. I think the spring onions should be ok, but should I now move the onions?

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  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 8,244

    I would.  Lift each whole bunch and separate them as gently as you can then plant the onions about 4" (10cm) apart.  They won't come to much as they are so even though you will get some root damage by digging them up, they should still produce useable size onions by the end of the season. image

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • slaywalesslaywales Posts: 11

    Thanks very much BobTheGardener, what would happen if I left them as they are? I grew onions around 2 years ago in bunches like this and I did get some onions at the end of the season. But maybe they were smaller or fewer than I could have expected if I separated them? I just want to avoid damaging roots, so thinking might be best just to leave them image.

    Thanks again mate!

  • slaywalesslaywales Posts: 11

    ...and can I leave the spring onions as they are?

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 8,244

    If left, they will do as you mention and produce very small bulbs - some might even go to flower.  How about leaving some and splitting others?  You will then be able to see the difference and won't risk losing the lot.  If you do split them, remember to water them well while they grow new roots.

    Yes, you may well as leave the spring onions and treat as 'cut and come again'.

    Last edited: 27 May 2016 10:13:40

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • tigerburnietigerburnie Posts: 61

    If you look on youtube and look for Geoff Hamilton, he does a bit on growing onions in clumps, might be of help.

  • slaywalesslaywales Posts: 11

    Really appreciate your help both BobTheGardner and tigerburnie I will take your advice and see what happens!!

    So it I had split them from the tray that they came in before planting wouldn't that risk damage too? Think I'll grow from sets next time - someone tell me if I'm using the wrong terminology!! :))

    Many thanks again

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 8,244

    I always use sets and start them off in individual modules in a tray.  Once they have grown roots I plant them outside.  This prevent brids pulling the sets up looking for worms etc underneath (blackbirds are a b*gger for doing that!)

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • slaywalesslaywales Posts: 11

    Thanks again BobTheGardner really appreciate your help...can I ask possibly a stupid question (!) how would you be aware that roots have grown?

    Sorry I'm a complete amateur but pretty enthusiastic!!

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 8,244

    Easy - just give them a gentle tug!  Usually, by the time a green shoot is a few inches long growing from the top of a set, the roots will be filling the module and it's time to plant. image

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • tigerburnietigerburnie Posts: 61

    I have grown from seed and from sets, seed is a fair bit more work, but enjoyable(well I thought so), sets are a bit more hit and miss in my experience. Heat treated red onions are a bit better, but I found most will bolt if there's a cold snap. I prefer to sow seed in the greenhouse on Boxing Day and grow them on in pots until May, then harden off and plant outside in extremely well manured ground, I managed onions in excess of 4 pounds in weight doing this, they were however mild and rather large for the kitchen. I am not growing them this year as I don't have room due to major changes in my garden, but when my new greenhouse is up, I intend to grow some from seed next winter.

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