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Monday, January 30, 2012

How to Plant Onions in a Raised Bed Garden (One Method)

I am sending my Google Knols to my blog for storage since they are closing that service.

I like to use raised beds. They warm a bit quicker, allow you to grow more vegetables, and allow you to concentrate resources. Onions can be grown from seed, bulbs, and bunches. I prefer to purchase and plant onion bunches. Here is a method to get them into your raised bed quickly and easily. This method of planting is designed to allow the onion to reach full maturity.


Planting Onion Bunches in a Raised Bed Garden

By Gary Pilarchik LCSW-C
 
For daily updates on gardening visit my blog The Rusted Vegetable Garden
 

 

Purchase Your Onion Bunch:

I like to plant onions from bunches. An onion bunch will cost about $3.50. I am planting red and white onions. You will get about 40 to 50 onions per bunch. I prefer bunches because they are easy to plant and visually stand out in the garden so I can see where they are growing. Believe it or not it is easy to forget where things are at times when you plant. The best places to go for onion bunches are your garden centers and home improvement centers.
 
 

Planting Your Onion Bunch (In Pictures)

A picture is worth a thousand words. I will keep the writing to a minimum and show you the process. This type of planting is designed to allow the onions to grow to full maturity.
 
 

Prepare The Onions For Planting


Red and White onion bunches.



Soak them for 15-30 minutes. It makes pulling them apart easier.

And it prepares the roots for planting.



Select the Site and Sort the Onions

The planting area is visible and it is about 12-15 inches wide.

The whole bed has been amended with peat moss and composted humus.




Separate the onions into large and small piles. I will be using
the large onions for this Knol planting. They will grow to full maturity.
 
 

Amend the Immediate Planting Area with Compost


Even though the entire 4x8 bed was amended, the onion planting area
gets more done to it. I dug out a 12 inch wide area that is about few inches deep.
The length of the row depends on how many onions you are planting. 
 


The area was filled with composted manure and humus.

I mixed it into the top 4-6 inches of soil. You want loose soil.

This is to allow the onion bulb easy expansion during growth.
 
 

Plant the Onions about 2 inches Deep


Poke holes about 2 inches deeps with your finger. I spaced them about 3 inches apart

in groups of three. You harvest the middle row first to let the others grow.

Plant them to a depth a bit below my finger tips (above).




Give them a little tug up to settle air pockets and water them well.

Plant them this way if you want larger full grown onions.



Harvesting Your Onions

 
A couple of things to remember is that you want the soil to be very loose so the onion can expand to full maturity. I planted them in lines of 3 the length of my row. If you harvest the middle row first, it opens space. If you the harvest every other onion left in the other rows, it opens up space. By planting and harvesting this way, you can get a lot of onions to your table. The early onions are smaller but can be used the same way as the onion left to grow larger.
 


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