How to Grow Container Onions From Seeds

Growing onions in containers is a perfect method of ensuring year-round access to fresh produce. Planting onions calls for soil pH considerations and light availability. Planting in containers also comes with the added call for wise variety choices. For example, bulb-forming onions have different habitat needs than green onions. Get your container garden off to a good start today.

Select appropriate Varieties
Growing onions in containers begins by choosing the varieties that are most likely to thrive in this environment. Texas A&M suggests planting three to five green onion plants in a one-gallon container. Appropriate varieties include Crysal Wax and Evergreen Bunching.

When growing onions from seed, they will germinate in about six to eight days, do well in partial shade and can be harvested within 80 to 100 days of seeding. In contrast, the Egyptian walking onion can be grown indoors but does not produce the famous top-sets until the second year. Not surprisingly, they are not good container onions to consider - if same-year harvesting is desired.

How to grow Onions the right Way
Green onions require approximately six to seven hours of sunlight to thrive. Shady conditions may lead to slow growing specimens, although partial shade may be tolerated. In a pinch, supplement natural light with artificial lighting from fluorescent bulbs. The Gardening Patch suggests that you start with a nutrient-rich soil that features a pH ranging from 5.5 to 6.5.

Stagger your planting schedule for year-round access to onions ready for harvest. If you instead choose to plant all the seeds at the same time, you must have appropriate room to dry and store the plants after harvesting. Although usually edible no matter how far along in the growth season, it is high time to harvest the onions when the tops yellow and go limp.

What about larger Onions?
Can you plant larger onions in a container garden? Yes! However, spatial considerations are one of the downfalls when it comes to onion container gardening. While green onions are good options, those that form large bulbs - most commonly the yellow Granex or red Grano - present a very real challenge. For example, it is possible to grow about three large-bulb onions in a five gallon container, but only if each bulb is surrounded by approximately three inches of unencumbered soil.

Remember to also explore drainage options, such as trays, since onions need frequent and deep watering. At the same time, they abhor getting "wet feet," which leads to quick root rot. As a general rule of thumb, if the top of the soil feels dry to the touch, it is time to water. Soils that went too long in between waterings have a difficult time holding on to the water. Rehydrate the soil by placing the container into a water bath and allowing the liquid to saturate the dirt.