April 20, 2011

Onions: Seeds versus Sets?

I've never grown onions from seed. I guess it's something I should try one of these years, but popping onion sets into the ground seems so much easier. Not only do you get to avoid the ~10 week seed starting process for the onion seedlings, but sets are ready to harvest (for green onions) incredibly fast. I still depend on the grocery store as my main source of storage onions. They are just so inexpensive that I couldn't justify taking up precious garden space to grow hold enough homegrown onions to last me the whole year!

Onion sets are cheap and easy...but do they grow as well or taste as good?

How about you? Do you buy onions at the store or grow your own? Do you sow onions seeds or start with onion sets?


  1. I usually use the sets too Daedre. This year I bought onion starts from Dixondale Farms because another farmer recommended them. They weren't really sets but were small, slender plants that still had some green in their tops. Last year I planted a variety called 'Guardsman' from seed that was meant to be used for green onions. They worked really well actually. If a person wants to grow a large bulb onion from seed, I've read they should be seeded in the fall but I don't know from first hand experience. Happy onion growing!

  2. I grow my own from seed. I thin the seedlings to use as green onions. The rest grow to maturity. It's a continuous process but very inexpensive. Onions grow year round in my garden. Since you're so far north perhaps sets will work best for you. Try some seeds this summer planted in with your tomatoes and see what you think.

  3. I'd love to try from seed, but have never gotten around to it. Perhaps next year.

    I order plants from mail order. I've always had great luck with them.

  4. We bought some sets, but then decided not to plant them. A container gardening book suggested that with limited space, they weren't worth it. Would you agree?

  5. Potted Farm: I would probably agree, you can buy green onions and slicing onions from the grocery store for pretty cheap...and I don't think they taste a whole lot different.


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