Post last updated: October 11th, 2018

Onion sets after last night's freeze
Onion sets after last night’s freeze

In 2011, my white onion crop was disheartening to downright dismal because I planted them before I took the onion growing class with the Duval County Extension Agent. In that class, I learned it is critical NOT to plant onions too deep because they will not form a bulb if too deep. We were taught to plant them no deeper than the first joint on our thumb. Onion transplants should not even be planted that deep.

In early November, I purchased 80 onion sets in a bag I found on sale for $1.98 at Lowes (Van Zyverden, Inc.). The card said they were guaranteed to grow in full sun. Harvest late season. Grown from cultivated stock. According to, that means they select the parents to be used in pollination and then reproduce a few generations to ‘cultivate’ certain attributes (bigger flowers, more fruit, resistance to heat). Determined not to do plant them too deep, I left the white paper tips sticking out of the ground.

11/06/12              Planted 80 onion sets

11/14/12              Three small green sprouts are showing

11/17/12              Twelve onion sprouts

11/18/12              Seventeen onion sprouts

11/19/12              Thirty-two onion sprouts

By December 5, all 80 had sprouted. It froze here last night and I didn’t have them covered. Hope they survive.


  1. They’ve done well so far – I always thought that onions were tough and pretty hardy so I hope the frost hasn’t damaged them.
    Wishing you a Merry Christmas and Frost Free New Year!

  2. Toying around with onions, I’ve found it best to start them from seed. I normally start them from seed inside for a few months and then transplant them out to the same depth they are currently growing at. This has worked well for me.

  3. Of course I’ve also found if you don’t properly space them, they’re going to try jumping out of the ground on you as they get shoved out by their neighbors…

    1. Thanks for that advice, Gene. Not having any that ever made it to the bulb stage, I certainly haven’t experience jumping onions. 🙂 I take that back. I managed to get 12 transplants from the onion class to bulb up as small onions.

Say something, will you? Your comment will appear after it is approved.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.