Planting Onions


It’s time…to plant onions. This year we’re trying something new and planting onion plants instead of sets or bulbs, like we normally do.  Two years ago, we had an amazing onion year–dozens and dozens of big, beautiful, red, yellow and white onions that lasted us through most of the Winter.  Last spring and summer, however, we had a poor onion crop.  While a few onions got large, most stayed small and puny. Since this is the year we challenged ourselves to try new things in the garden, we decided to try growing plants and to source them from some place new.

This year’s 120 onion plants came from Renee’s Garden, located in Felton, California.  This may not be in our bio-region (another one of our goals), but it’s awfully close. (We are in the Cascadia Bioregion) We ordered the “Northern Rainbow Long-Day Sampler” since it looked to be the best onions recommended for our location. This is a combination of Walla Walla, Red Zeppelin, and Ringmaster. We also thought we’d try our hand at a new-to-us heirloom variety, Borettana Heirloom Cippolini–a smallish, flattened, Italian heirloom variety.

We like to plant our onions in and around other plantings–instead of planting them all together in one location.  We think this helps deter some pests and takes advantage of every space of our raised beds.  So, with trowel in hand, Kori planted out all of the onion plants–they are tucked around vegetables and even in a few of our mixed perennial and herb borders.  Hopefully, this year will be a good onion year!


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