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how to grow spring onions

How to grow spring onions

An easy to grow crop that can usually be harvested in a relatively short amount of time, spring onions are a salad staple and firm favourite with our customers, new and old. Often used as a "filler crop" between rows of slower growing vegetables, these tasty scallions are definitely worth a try.

We have many spring onion varieties to choose from, click here to see our full range.

spring onion white lisbon

Varieties of spring onion

  • Spring Onion ‘White Lisbon’ - Our most popular variety because of its reliability, short cropping time and great overwintering, Spring Onion ‘White Lisbon’ is a great choice for new gardeners.

  • Spring Onion ‘Pompeii’ - For a rounder shape, ideal for pickling or using with cocktail sticks Spring Onion ‘Pompeii’ is the perfect choice, silver skinned and succulent.

  • Spring Onion ‘Apache’ - For a red variety that will add a splash of colour to your salads, Spring Onion ‘Apache’ is a great choice, good flavour and a crisp texture too.

  • Spring Onion ‘Feast’ F1 Hybrid - A great all round variety, Spring Onion ‘Feast’ F1 Hybrid is ideal for successive sowings for harvesting throughout the summer.

How to sow and grow spring onion seeds

spring onion growing

Spring onions can be sown directly where they are to be grown; prepare the ground in advance, getting the soil down to a fine tilth and adding some granular general purpose fertiliser such as Incredicrop® about a week before you expect to sow.

Make drills 1.5cm (0.5") deep and 15cm (6") apart and sow thinly. They shouldn’t need thinning out as you will be pulling them up after 6 to 8 weeks to add to your salads!

Alternatively you can sow into containers or even on the windowsill, this can easily be done by adding compost to within about 3cm (1") from the top, lightly scatter some seed over the surface and then covering with 1.5cm (0.5") of compost, keep moist and you will soon have a crop to enjoy.

Keep the soil moist but never waterlogged and try to keep weed free, as all varieties of onion hate competition from weeds. It might also be advisable to protect the young seedlings as they emerge from birds by using a horticultural fleece.

spring onions harvesting

Harvesting spring onions

Most spring onions are ready to be harvested after 8 weeks, the small bulbs are ideal for salads or in a stir-fry. Some varieties can be left longer and may develop into larger, normal onions too, beware of "bolting" though in hot weather - you could lose some of your onions! Many of them can also be used for overwintering, by sowing in late August, through to October an earlier crop can be enjoyed by the end of spring.

Either way, this versatile, easy to grow food is a must for all kitchen gardens!

Written by: Graham Ward

I’ve been gardening for as long as I can remember, my first earliest memory being planting Graham Ward
seeds in my Grandfather’s prestige flower bed and having a prize lettuce growing there, which he proudly left to show everyone.

Since then, gaining knowledge and experience from both my Grandfather and my Father, I’ve continued to garden, both as a hobby and later on as a professional gardener and landscaper for 12 years. I love all aspects of it, from the design and build, to the planting out of summer borders with plants you’ve either grown from seed or raised from plugs. Unusual varieties always catch my eye and I’m keen to try growing them, even if sometimes it means learning from my mistakes.