How To Grow White Onions: Growth And Care Guide


Onions are among the most common vegetables that people grow, yet they can be one of the more challenging vegetables to care for correctly. If you take the time to lovingly care for your onions and follow common sense when growing them, you will decrease the likelihood of having problems with your crop.

There are several tricks to help make growing your onion crop easy and plentiful. The gardener should think about the time of year, spacing, soil, garden-style, and fertilizer. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know to grow and take care of your onions correctly.

Planting Your Onions At The Right Time Of Year

One of the first and most important steps in growing your onions is to make sure you plant them at the right time of the year. If you plant them too soon, there is a good chance that early frosts could kill them. On the other hand, starting them too late in the year could cut back on how many are full-grown before the end of the season.

The best time to plant your onions is typically in early spring, though this may change depending on your location in the world. An easy way to tell if it is time to plant your onions is to check the soil. If it is easy to work with, then it is time to get your onions into the ground and growing.

Ensure That Your White Onions Are Spaced Properly

Another essential thing to keep in mind when planting white onions is to make sure that each plant is adequately spaced from the others. Keeping your white onions properly spaced will allow them to be healthy and grow more easily. If you do not space your white onions properly, you may find that they do not grow at all.

It is fine if you prefer to space your onions a certain way, but the recommendation to plant them six inches away from each other. If you are planting your onions in rows, you will also need to space the rows properly. White onion rows should be spaced twelve inches apart from each other.

Here’s a helpful video showing three ways to grow onions, in all methods spacing the onions properly is important:

Keep The  Onion Soil Moist

Like most plants, white onions like the soil that they are planted in to be moist. This does not mean that they like the soil to be soaking wet but merely constantly damp. The easiest way to make sure that you keep the soil at a proper moisture level is by doing the following things.

Keeping Soil Moist For Onions:

  • White onions can have trouble drawing up water, so you must keep the soil moist but not soaking wet. If you keep the soil too wet, you will drown your onion plants and kill them.
  • Whenever the top layer of the soil becomes dry,  you should water the white onion plants. Just water them until the soil is visibly wet again. You can tell when the soil is moist because it will take on a darker appearance, showing that it has soaked up the water.
  • Make sure that the soil where you have planted the white onion plants can quickly drain itself. If you use clay-like soil, you will find that the ground either does not soak up the water or holds the water too close to the plant, causing it to rot and slowly drown.

Using The Right Garden Style For Growing Your White Onions

When planting your onions, you will want to be sure that you are using the right type of gardening technique. Just planting white onions in the ground and watering them might work, but if you put some planning into it, your onion crop will turn out much better.

One of the best routes you can go when creating a garden space for your white onions is to build garden beds for them. Using these beds is especially nice when you have clay-like soil that you cannot replace. If you can create your beds with non-clay soil, your onions will grow better. (source)

  • If raised beds are not an option for your white onions, another good idea is to create either mounds or raised rows.
  • This is not an ideal situation if you have heavy clay soil, but otherwise, it can be an effective way to plant your white onions.
  • It is always better to create the raised beds, though, if possible.

This video has some good tips that you could consider incorporating into your garden style:

Use Plant Food On Your Onions

Whether or not you should use plant food on your onions can be a heated subject, depending on who you ask. The usage of plant food on onions, or any type of vegetable, is a matter of personal opinion, though studies do show that plant food increases the yield of your crop.

  • You do not need to use a lot of plant food for your white onions, but you should be keeping your plants fed daily with enough food.
  • If you do not want to always be feeding your plants, use a portion of continuous-release plant food.
  • This type of plant food will release nutrients over some time, keeping your onions fed.

Try To Improve The Soil Used To Plant Your White Onions

If the ground where you plant your white onions does not have very good soil, there are some ways that you can help to improve it. It is recommended that you do your best to make the soil optimal. Otherwise, your onion crop may not do very well.

Improving Your Planting Soil:

  • You can improve the planting soil used for your white onions by mixing in either topsoil or potting soil. Both of these soil types typically have higher amounts of nutrients. They also tend to be easier to work with since they hold water and plant food better than other soil types.
  • Another way to improve your planting soil is by mixing in compost.  This can either be purchased from a store or someone you know or compost that you have created your own. If you can use your own compost, you should do so because you will know what exactly is in it.
  • If you decide to go with raised beds for your white onions, you can purchase a soil mixture that is specially designed just for the beds. This ensures that the soil you are using for your onions is just right, and you can optimize your white onion crop. (source)

Use Mulch To Help Your White Onions Grow Well

Another essential thing to do when planting white onions is to use mulch on the soil around the plants. If you do not want to lose your plants to surprises such as minor droughts or frosts, then mulch will be essential.  Also, if you live in a rainy climate, it is recommended that you use mulch.

The purpose of using mulch on your onion plants is to keep them from getting dried out quickly or alternately from getting drowned. Mulch will also help keep weeds from growing up around your onion plants, saving you time on maintenance and preventing your plants from competing with weeds for nutrients.

Growing white onions can be difficult, but if you do your research, it will become easier over time. Do not get frustrated if, at first, your white onion crops do poorly. Stay patient, follow the guidelines, and before long, you will have a fine crop of white onions.

Robert Sampson

I'm Robert Sampson and I live in Colorado where I spend a lot of time in the backyard with my family either grilling, playing games and sports, or working on a project to make our backyard a better place to be.

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