Onion Sets in Module Trays

onion sets planted early

I usually plant my onion sets straight into the ground in spring, covering with a mesh frame to keep the birds off until they’ve sprouted and developed a good root system to anchor them in. I harvest a decent crop but I do get a number of smallish bulbs despite my soil being well nourished.

onions drying

Red onions drying

Today I planted half my onion sets in module trays filled with compost (‘Red Baron’ and ‘Stuttgarter Giant’), growing them on in my unheated greenhouse. The other half will be planted out into the ground, in the usual way. The idea is to give half the sets a bit of a head start, an experiment really.

onion sets planted in module trays

onion sets in module trays

I’m curious to see if this makes any difference to the overall size of bulbs come harvest time, compared to the sets planted straight into the ground a month or so later.


I’ll let you know how I get on.

Half-Term Onions

planting onion sets

Yesterday I dragged our half-term-holiday-bored-teenagers to the allotment to help plant onion sets while I got on with some much-needed weeding. I highly doubt the onion rows are straight (they looked a bit dodgy to me), but I’ll settle for wonky rows.

I buy onion sets locally which is very convenient but the varieties available are limited, I’m happy enough with growing Sturon and Red Baron again this year, they always do well for me. Last year I had a go at growing Hercules onion instead of Sturon, some bulbs were a lovely size at harvest time but the rest were pretty average. It’s hard to judge properly because of a poor summer so I’ll give them another go next time they’re available.

Do you have a favourite variety of onion (seed or set)?