Best Onion Sets for Autumn Planting

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Best Onion Sets for Autumn Planting

The Benefits of Autumn Planting for Onions

An Autumn planting offers several advantages for growing onions. Planting in October or November time will allow the onion sets to establish their root system before winter sets in. This early start gives the onions a head start when spring arrives, leading to healthier and more vigorous growth. Additionally, autumn planting reduces competition with spring-planted crops and often results in larger onions with better flavour.

Choosing the Right Onion Sets for Autumn Planting

Selecting the right varieties is crucial for a successful autumn planting. Look for reputable seed suppliers or garden centres to ensure you get high-quality, disease-free sets. Choose varieties that are well-suited for autumn planting in the UK, and opt for firm sets with no signs of damage. The right choice of variety can make all the difference when it comes to your harvest.

Best Onion Varieties for Autumn Planting in the UK

The UK offers a wide range of onion varieties that thrive when planted in the autumn. Each variety has its unique flavour and characteristics.

Here are some of our top choices:

Onion Sets Red Winter- Autumn Planting
Onion Sets Radar- Autumn Planting
Any 3
for 6.75
Onion Sets Senshyu - Autumn Planted Japanese Type
Onion Sets Senshyu - Autumn Planted Japanese Type
Onion Sets Autumn Champion - Autumn Planting

Growing Your Onion Planted Onions.

Preparing Your Veg Plot for Autumn Onion Set Planting

Before planting your onion sets, take the time to prepare your garden beds properly. Onions prefer well-draining soil with good fertility. Clear the area of weeds and rocks and loosen the soil to a depth of about 15cm. Adding some well-rotted compost can help improve the soil structure and provide essential nutrients for the growing onions.

How to Plant Autumn Onion Sets

Follow these steps for successful autumn onion planting:

  1. Plant onion sets about 3cm deep, with the pointed end facing upwards.
  2. Space sets approximately 10cm  to 15cm apart in rows that are 30cm apart.
  3. Water the sets thoroughly after planting and keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged.
  4. Consider applying a layer of organic mulch to retain moisture and suppress weeds.

From the correct planting depth to spacing the bulbs, planting your sets properly will help you establish healthy onions that are ready to thrive during the colder months.

Caring for Autumn-Planted Onions Throughout Winter

Onions are hardy, but they may need protection during extreme prolonged cold spells. If severe frosts are expected, cover the onion bed with horticultural fleece or cloches to provide extra insulation. Ensure the soil doesn't dry out completely during winter, as onions still need some moisture to survive.

Spring Care and Harvesting Tips for Autumn Onions

With the arrival of spring, your onions will begin to grow more actively. Keep the bed weed-free and water as needed to promote healthy growth. When the leaves start to turn yellow and bend over, it's a sign that your plants are almost ready for harvesting. Carefully lift them from the soil and allow them to dry briefly in a warm, dry place before storing them.

Troubleshooting Common Issues with Autumn-Planted Onions

Autumn-planted onions can face some challenges, such as pest infestations, diseases, or improper care. Keep an eye out for signs of trouble, like yellowing leaves or mold growth, and take appropriate measures to address them promptly.

Top Tips for Storing and Using Your Harvested Onions

After harvesting your onions, it's essential to store them properly to extend their shelf life. Keep them in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated place, like a shed or cellar. Onions can be used in a variety of culinary dishes, adding flavour and depth to soups, stews, and salads.

For more information on how to store onions after harvest, please see our blog post here:

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When is the best time to plant my onion sets in the autumn?
A: You can start planting onion sets from late September to early November in the UK.

Q: Can I plant onions in containers during the autumn season?
A: Yes, you can plant onions in any large container or raised bed as long as they have good drainage.


Do you have any good onion growing tips we haven't covered? Let us know with a comment below....


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