Growing Tips: Onion, Bunching

Quick Reference:

Plant seed 1/8 to 1/4 inch deep spaced 1/2 to 1 inch apart. Germination: 6 to 15 days. Plant spacing in the garden after thinning, 1 to 1 1/2 inches. Shallow planting provides warmer soil for quicker germination but soil must be kept moist at all times until plants emerge.

When and where to plant:

Alaska has ideal growing conditions for bunching onions, they do best where the temperature is cool. Bunching onions will withstand a light frost and can be planted as soon as the ground has been prepared and has warmed in the spring. Choose a sunny location with soil that is high in organic matter. Cultivate soil, enrich with organic matter and plant food, smooth the soil surface, plant seed, firm soil over seed and water well for good seed-soil contact. DO NOT allow the seed to dry out during the germination period. For an earlier crop start seeds indoors in a container 3 to 4 weeks ahead, spacing the seed 1 inch apart. When seedlings are 2 to 3 inches high plant directly in the garden. Seedlings transplant easily.

Care:

Onions MUST be protected from root maggots. Onions are very shallow rooted and need an abundant supply of water for good growth and a mild flavor. Apply a high nitrogen plant food once a month. Care must be taken when they are cultivated to avoid root injury.

Harvest:

Begin pulling when the stalks are 1/4 inch in diameter or less. Bunching onions do not form bulbs for storage.