What are Onion Sets and How Do I Plant Them?

You must have heard gardeners mention “onion sets” when talking about planting onions.  If you’re planning to grow this vegetable but are not a gardener yourself, you might want to know what onion sets are and how to plant them.

Onion sets are onion plants whose bulbs are less than an inch in diameter.  Planting sets make harvesting time closer because you will be skipping the germination stage which you have to go through if you plant from seeds.

A lot of people use the terms “sets” and “transplants” interchangeably, but there is a difference between the two.

As opposed to sets, transplants have no bulbs at all.  They are usually 8 to 10 weeks old, but if planted correctly and at the appropriate time, should produce large bulbs.

To successfully plant onion sets, choose a sunny area in your garden.  Your rows must be one foot apart and the sets planted at least three inches in between.  Dig a hole just an inch deep – at least deep enough that the set doesn’t fall over – place the onion set and cover back again with soil until its neck.

Onion sets must e planted in the spring or as soon as the soil can be worked on.

As your sets are growing, give the soil liquid seaweed fertilizer as onions need boron and zinc in order for them to thrive.  Remove weeds regularly as they can compete for nutrients from your onions.

You would know your onions are ready to be harvested when the green shoots begin to turn yellow and tip over.

Some of the favorite onion set varieties includes red, white and yellow onions.