Long Day Versus Short Day Onions

Onions are one of the most useful vegetables, so it’s a great coincidence that they’re also incredibly easy to grow. They don’t take much space, and the only real thing they demand is well-drained soil, which is easily fixed by growing onions in a raised bed or container.

Onions are sold in bundles of seedlings called starts and they are identified by day length. There are short-day and long-day varieties distinguished by how much daylight there is when onions stop forming new green leaves and start forming bulbs. In my Southern garden I grow short-day onions, 10 – 12 hours daylight, but up North gardeners have better success with long-day onions, 14 – 16 hours daylight.

Whichever type of onion you plant be sure to plant plenty so you can harvest scallions or spring onions and leave some to mature into full-sized bulbs. Here’s how.

Spring Onions Scallions

  1. Separate the starts by size – small, medium and large.
  2. Plant the pencil sized starts 6 inches apart. Fill in with the smallest and largest seedlings, spacing them about 2 inches apart.
  3. Harvest the large seedlings after 2 weeks to use as scallions. The small seedlings are ready for harvest as scallions in another few weeks. Leave the pencil sized seedlings to grow into full-sized bulbs.

To learn how to plant onions visit BonniePlants.com.