Site and Soil Necessary for Growing Onions

Onions aren’t very choosy when it comes to soil types – they can grow almost anywhere, clay, sandy, loam.  They are a very hard crop and so useful, too, which makes them a favorite by most gardeners.

These hardy bulbs have very few requirements.  But few as they are, you have to take heed – that is, if you want to experience a successful harvest.

Soil Requirements

One of the characteristics you should look for in a soil is it should be well-drained.  Onions like moisture, but not sogginess.  And any excess water must be drained by the soil to avoid flooding.

Try walking on the area where you will be planting your onions.  If the soil gets stuck under your shoes in lumps, it means it’s much too wet.  Postpone your planting another day when the soil is a little bit drier.

Onions also thrive in fine soil that is slightly acidic soil – about 5.5 to 6.5 pH.  However, a soil that’s neutral (6 to 7.5pH) would also work for them.

You should work on the soil to prepare it for planting.  Dig it up in autumn and let the frost breakdown the soil clods.  Add well-rotted compost to the soil a few weeks before planting.  Rake and firm up the soil.


Onions do not take up a lot of space – their shoots go straight up.  If you have a small, confined space in your garden, don’t worry.  The onions won’t mind.

You can grow seeds outdoors, in raised beds and plots and even indoors – in trays, pots and milk jugs on window sills, patios or balconies.

What’s important is to choose an area where the onions will get sufficient sunlight, preferably at least six hours a day.  Take note however, not to plant in a location where the previous crop was a member of the onion family to avoid diseases.