How to Grow a Variety of Onions

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There are a few onion varieties that provide more than one crop. These include the potato onions, Egyptian onions, and Chinese leek. All are relatives of the regular bulbing onion but aren't always found in the market or even in local gardens. Multiplier onions are the potato onions and shallots. They grow by dividing. Topset onions, or the Egyptian onion, multiply when their top bulblets fall and take root in nearby ground. Japanese bunching onions, welsh onions or scallions, continue to divide if left in the soil. Chives stay in the ground and the leaves are cut as needed. If you are looking to grow onions, read through the following steps to learn how.


Step 1

Blend plenty of organic material into your soil. Prevent weeds from growing which can overtake the shallow roots of onions. Pull roots as they come up, and avoid using a hoe which can damage your onion plants.

Step 2

Water your soil regularly to keep it moist and add a fertilizer rich in fish emulsion every 2 weeks.

Step 3

When planting multipliers, bury the bulbs in 1 inch of soil. Add 2 inches of mulch in the fall if you live in a colder climate. Cease fertilizing 1 month before harvest and stop watering 1 week before harvest.

Step 4

Harvest your multiplier onions when the leaves turn brown and the necks are dry. Remove the bulbs from sunlight and allow them to cure 1 to 2 months. After curing, clip off the tops and store them in a dry place.

Step 5

Bury topset onions under the soil 1 inch. Once the plants grow large enough, snip off the tender green leaves. Once the bulblets reach 3/4 inch in diameter you can harvest and eat them. Underground bulbs are best harvested in the spring.

Step 6

Scatter the seeds of bunching onions 1 inch apart. Cover them with 1/4 inch of soil and then thin them out 3 inches apart when the seedlings sprout. Offshoots will continue to develop, so only harvest what you need.

Step 7

Place chives and Chinese leek seeds under the soil 1/4 inch, 2 inches apart. Thin them 4 to 6 inches apart. The leafy growth of chives reaches about 24 inches and the leaves are snipped as needed. Chinese leeks are grown for their garlic flavored greens, as well as their white summer flowers.

Tips and Warnings

Purchasing some of the more unusual onions might require ordering them through the mail. Some onions are best cooked, so make sure to check labels before taking a bite.

Things You'll Need

Organic Material, Fish Emulsion Fertilizer, Onion Bulbs, Mulch, Garden Scissors, Garden Shovel

About this Author

Lacy Enderson received an AA Degree in Behavioral Science and a BS Degree in Religion/Psychology. Lacy is the author of, "Addiction: A Personal Story" and "So You Want To Lose Weight But You Can't Stop Eating." Her articles have appeared in Discipleship Journal and

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