How to plant onion bulbs

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Onions are the most popular vegetables in the UK, with a myriad of uses for everyday cooking. YouGov polling has found them the fourth most used, with an 83 percent favourability rate behind potatoes, carrots and new potatoes. People will happily make them a regular fixture of their food shop, but they could also grow them.

How to plant onion bulbs

Those interested in growing their own food have an ideal opportunity coming up.

Experts recommend people plant onions during a small window between early spring or September.

People should aim to have their bulbs in soil between mid-March and April.

They will need the following ingredients to grow their onions:

  • A set of bulbs
  • Soil
  • Garden compost/manure
  • Fertiliser
  • Sulphate of potash

According to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), onions grow from sets.

Budding planters should buy immature bulbs in spring from a garden centre and put them in fertile soil.

The soil should have a pH balance below 6.5, enhanced with manure or compost.

The RHS adds people should mix in 35g of fertiliser per square metre.

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People must space each bulb roughly five to 10cm apart, in rows 25 to 30cm apart.

They should keep the soil around the onions firm, watering during dry weather.

The onions will also need intermittent feeding with the liquid fertiliser.

High-potassium sulphate of potash added to the soil in June will sustain healthy growth.

People should stop feeding the onions by mid-summer, ensuring they have continued weeding them up until then.

The ideal time to harvest onions is some time between July and September.

Signs of a ready harvest include foliage yellowing or starting to topple over.

People should extract the bulbs before the foliage dies and place them on a rack indoors until “dry and papery”.

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