Sowing Your Onions

Growing your own types of onion allows you to grow organically right from the start. It also gives you more choices from a much wider selection of varieties.

When choosing cultivars for your onions, consider these points.

Sweet or Storage

Bulbing onions can either be classified as “sweet” or “storage”.

  • A sweet onion is softer, sweet, and are best if used within a few weeks or up to a month after harvesting.
  • A storage onion will have a thicker skin, and a stronger flavor. This type can be stored for up to 2 months or longer.


Bulbing onions are sensitive to the day-length. This means the bulbing process is triggered by the length of the daylight. By picking the best cultivars for the day length in your area you can be sure your plants grow big enough before forming a bulb – doing this will give you a heavier harvest. If you live close to an edge of a day-length range on the map, you can use the information from either day-length category.

onion zone map

Did You Know?

Onion bulbs are actually made up of leaves. All of the green, top leaves will become what’s called “scale leaves” that is what appear as “rings” in an onion. So it makes sense that growing healthy, big, leafy, plants before to bulbing is so important in the process of creating great onions.

From our friends at Botanical Interests:

Bulb Comparison