How To Plant Spring Onion [ Full Guide ]

Spring onions, also known as scallions or green onions, are a versatile and flavorful addition to any garden. They are a cool-season crop that can be grown in a variety of climates, making them an ideal choice for beginner gardeners. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the step-by-step process of planting spring onions, from understanding what they are to the essential tools needed for successful cultivation.

Quick Answer: How To Plant Spring Onion

To plant spring onions, start by choosing a well-draining location with plenty of sunlight. Prepare the soil by loosening it and adding compost. Sow the seeds about 1/4 inch deep and 1 inch apart. Water the seeds immediately after planting and keep the soil consistently moist. Once the spring onions reach a height of 5-6 inches, they can be harvested by pulling them from the ground.

What Is Spring Onion

Spring onion (Allium fistulosum) is a small, slender onion with a mild flavor and crisp texture. Unlike traditional onions, spring onions are harvested before the bulb has fully developed, which gives them their characteristic green tops and white bulbs. They are a popular ingredient in a wide range of culinary dishes, including salads, stir-fries, and garnishes. The plant belongs to the allium family, which also includes garlic, leeks, and chives.

Benefits Of Growing Spring Onion

Growing spring onions at home offers numerous benefits. Firstly, they are easy and low-maintenance plants, making them suitable for novice gardeners. They also add fresh and vibrant flavors to your culinary creations, and being able to harvest your own produce adds a sense of satisfaction and connection to the food you consume. Furthermore, growing spring onions can contribute to a more sustainable lifestyle by reducing reliance on store-bought produce.

Choosing The Right Time And Place To Plant Spring Onion

Time For Planting

Spring onions are cool-season vegetables and can tolerate light frosts. It is best to plant them early in the spring or fall to ensure optimal growth. In regions with mild winters, they can also be grown throughout the winter season. The timing of planting largely depends on the local climate and the recommended growing season for your area.

Location For Planting

Spring onions thrive in well-drained, fertile soil with plenty of sunlight. Choose a location in your garden that receives at least six hours of sunlight each day. Additionally, the soil should not become waterlogged after heavy rainfall to prevent root rot. If necessary, you can improve the drainage of the soil by adding organic matter such as compost.

Essential Tools And Materials For Planting

Gardening Tools

  • Trowel: A small hand trowel will be essential for digging and preparing the soil for planting.
  • Watering Can or Hose: Consistent watering is crucial for the successful growth of spring onions, so having a reliable watering can or hose is important.
  • Garden Gloves: Protect your hands from dirt and potential irritants while gardening by using a good pair of garden gloves.
  • Garden Fork: Use a garden fork to aerate the soil and mix in compost or other organic matter.


  • Compost: Incorporating compost into the soil can improve its fertility and structure, providing essential nutrients for the growing spring onions.
  • Seeds or Seedlings: You can start spring onions from seeds or purchase seedlings from a nursery or garden center. If you choose to start from seeds, ensure you have a reliable source for high-quality seeds.
  • Mulch: Mulch can help retain soil moisture and suppress weed growth, both of which are beneficial for the health of spring onions.

Planting spring onions is a rewarding and relatively straightforward process that can be enjoyed by gardeners of all experience levels. By understanding the ideal growing conditions, timing, and necessary materials, you can cultivate a bountiful supply of fresh spring onions to enhance your cooking and provide a satisfying connection to the earth. With the comprehensive knowledge provided in this guide, you are equipped to embark on the delightful journey of planting and growing spring onions in your own garden.

Steps To Prepare The Soil For Planting Spring Onion

Spring onion, also known as scallions or green onions, is a versatile and flavorful vegetable that is commonly used in many cuisines around the world. With their crisp texture and mild, onion-like taste, spring onions are a popular ingredient in salads, stir-fries, soups, and garnishes.

Not only are spring onions delicious, but they are also relatively easy to grow, making them a great addition to any home garden or a small patio.

Before planting your spring onion seeds or seedlings, it is essential to prepare the soil properly to provide the best growing conditions for your plants. Follow these steps to prepare your soil:

  1. Choose a sunny location: Spring onions thrive in full sun, so select a spot that receives at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight each day.

  2. Clear the area: Remove any weeds, grass, rocks, or debris from the planting area to ensure a clean and unobstructed space for your spring onions.

  3. Loosen the soil: Use a garden fork or a tiller to loosen the soil to a depth of approximately 8 to 10 inches. This process will improve drainage and allow the roots to penetrate easily into the soil.

  4. Amend the soil: Spring onions prefer a soil pH level between 6.0 and 7.0. Test the soil pH using a testing kit and adjust it if necessary by adding organic matter, such as compost or well-rotted manure, to improve the soil fertility. Mix the organic matter into the top 6 inches of soil.

  5. Add nutrients: Apply a balanced granular fertilizer, such as a 10-10-10 or 14-14-14, to provide essential nutrients for the spring onion plants. Follow the instructions on the fertilizer package for proper application rates.

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Different Techniques For Planting Spring Onion

Spring onions can be planted using various techniques, including sowing seeds directly into the ground or transplanting seedlings. Here are the different methods you can choose from:

  1. Direct seeding: Sowing spring onion seeds directly into the ground is a simple and cost-effective way to grow them. Follow these steps for successful direct seeding:

    • Create shallow furrows in the prepared soil using a garden rake or your finger. The furrows should be around ¼ to ½ inch deep and spaced approximately 6 inches apart.

    • Sprinkle the spring onion seeds evenly along the furrows. Aim for a spacing of around 1 inch between the seeds.

    • Gently cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil, no more than ¼ inch deep.

    • Lightly press down on the soil to ensure good seed-to-soil contact.

  2. Transplanting seedlings: If you want to get a head start on the growing season or have limited space, you can start spring onion seedlings indoors and then transplant them outdoors once they have grown. Here’s how to do it:

    • Fill seed trays or small pots with a seed-starting mix or vermiculite.

    • Sow one seed per cell or pot, placing it approximately ¼ inch deep.

    • Water the soil lightly but thoroughly after planting the seeds.

    • Place the trays or pots in a warm location, such as on a windowsill or under grow lights, and ensure they receive adequate sunlight or artificial light.

    • Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged.

    • Once the seedlings have developed at least two to three sets of true leaves, they are ready to be transplanted.

The Importance Of Proper Spacing And Depth

Proper spacing and depth are crucial when planting spring onions to allow sufficient room for growth, prevent overcrowding, and ensure healthy development. Follow these guidelines:

  • Spacing: When planting spring onions, provide adequate space between each plant to allow for proper air circulation and access to sunlight. Aim for a spacing of 4 to 6 inches between each spring onion plant.

  • Depth: Planting depth is essential for spring onions. The onion bulb should be partially covered, while the upper portion of the bulb, known as the white shaft or stem, should remain exposed above the soil surface. Plant the seedlings so that the white shaft is approximately 1 to 2 inches below the soil level.

  • Thinning: If you have sown spring onion seeds in rows, thin the seedlings once they reach a height of about 3 to 4 inches. Remove the weaker and smaller plants, leaving a spacing of about 4 to 6 inches between the remaining seedlings. Thinning ensures that the plants have enough room to grow and reduces competition for nutrients.

  • Mulching: After planting the spring onion seedlings, consider adding a layer of organic mulch, such as straw or grass clippings, around the plants. Mulching helps to retain moisture in the soil, suppress weeds, and regulate soil temperature.

Caring For Spring Onion Seedlings

Proper care is essential to help the spring onion seedlings establish well and grow into healthy plants. Follow these care tips:

  1. Watering: Maintain consistent moisture in the soil without overwatering. Water the spring onion seedlings deeply but less frequently to encourage deep root growth. Aim to keep the soil evenly moist but not waterlogged.

  2. Weeding: Regularly inspect the planting area for weeds and remove them promptly. Weeds compete with the spring onion seedlings for nutrients, water, and sunlight, so it’s important to keep the area weed-free to ensure optimal growth.

  3. Thinning (if necessary): As mentioned earlier, thinning may be necessary if the spring onion seedlings are overcrowded. Thinning allows the remaining seedlings to grow more robustly by reducing competition for resources.

  4. Protection from pests: Keep an eye out for common garden pests that may target spring onion seedlings, such as aphids or onion flies. Use organic pest control methods, including insecticidal soap or neem oil, to manage any infestations.

How To Water And Fertilize Spring Onion

Proper watering and fertilization are essential for the healthy growth and development of spring onions. Follow these guidelines to provide the necessary moisture and nutrients:

  1. Watering: Spring onions require consistent moisture in the soil to grow properly. Water the plants deeply at least once a week, ensuring that the soil is evenly moist. Avoid overwatering, as excessive moisture can lead to rot and other fungal diseases. If the weather is dry or hot, you may need to water more frequently.

  2. Fertilizing: Spring onions are relatively light feeders, but they still benefit from regular fertilization. Apply a balanced fertilizer, such as a 10-10-10 or 14-14-14, every four to six weeks during the growing season. Follow the instructions on the fertilizer packaging for proper application rates. Avoid over-fertilization, as it can lead to excessive foliage growth at the expense of bulb development.

  3. Feeding with compost: In addition to synthetic fertilizers, you can also use organic matter to feed your spring onion plants. Apply well-rotted compost or aged manure around the base of the plants once every four to six weeks. This will provide a slow-release source of nutrients and help improve the soil structure.

Planting spring onions can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience, allowing you to enjoy fresh and flavorful onions right from your garden. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can successfully plant spring onion seeds or seedlings, provide the proper care, and ensure a bountiful harvest. With their versatility and culinary value, spring onions are a fantastic addition to any home garden. So why not give it a try and start growing your own spring onions today?

Controlling Pests And Diseases In Spring Onion Plants

Spring onions, also known as scallions or green onions, are delicious and versatile vegetables that can be grown easily in your garden. They are a popular addition to salads, stir-fries, soups, and many other dishes. Planting spring onion at home allows you to have a fresh supply of this flavorful vegetable at your disposal.

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While spring onion plants are generally quite resistant to pests and diseases, it is still important to take preventive measures to protect them. Here are some common pests and diseases that can affect spring onions and how to deal with them:

  1. Aphids: These tiny insects can infest spring onion plants and suck the sap from their leaves. To control aphids, you can use insecticidal soap or neem oil and spray it directly on the affected plants. Alternatively, you can introduce beneficial insects like ladybugs and lacewings into your garden, as they feed on aphids.

  2. Onion flies: These pests lay their eggs at the base of spring onion plants, and the larvae feed on the roots, causing the plants to wilt and die. To prevent onion flies, you can cover the developing onion sets with a fine mesh netting to keep the flies out.

  3. White rot: This fungal disease affects the roots of spring onion plants and causes the leaves to turn yellow and wilt. To prevent white rot, it is important to rotate the location of your spring onion crops each year and avoid planting them in the same spot. Ensure good soil drainage and avoid overwatering, as excess moisture can promote the growth of the fungus.

  4. Downy mildew: This fungal disease appears as yellow patches on the leaves of spring onion plants and can cause them to rot. To prevent downy mildew, avoid overcrowding your spring onion plants and provide good air circulation between the plants. Ensure that the soil is well-drained and avoid overhead watering.

Harvesting And Storing Spring Onion

Spring onions can be harvested throughout their growing season. Here’s how to harvest and store them properly:

  1. Harvesting: Spring onions can be harvested when the leaves are about 6 to 8 inches tall. To harvest, gently pull the onions out of the ground, or you can use a knife or scissors to cut them off at the base. If you want to harvest only the green tops, you can cut them off about an inch above the bulb.

  2. Storing: Freshly harvested spring onions can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. Before storing, remove any wilted or damaged leaves and trim the roots. If you harvested the whole plant, you can store them in a plastic bag with holes punched in it to allow for air circulation. Alternatively, you can store the green tops and bulbs separately. The green tops can be placed in a glass of water like a bouquet, and the bulbs can be stored in a cool, dry place.

Creative Ways To Use Spring Onion In Cooking

Spring onions offer a mild and slightly sweet flavor that can enhance the taste of various dishes. Here are a few creative ways to use spring onions in your cooking:

  1. Salads: Spring onions can add a fresh crunch to salads. You can chop them finely and sprinkle them over a green salad or mix them with other vegetables to create a flavorful salad.

  2. Stir-fries: Spring onions are commonly used in stir-fries for their aromatic flavor. You can add them to your favorite stir-fry recipe or sauté them with other vegetables and proteins for a quick and delicious meal.

  3. Soups and stews: Spring onions can be a great addition to soups and stews, providing a subtle onion flavor. You can chop them and add them to the dish during the cooking process or use them as a garnish.

  4. Dips and sauces: Finely chopped spring onions can be mixed with yogurt or sour cream to create a flavorful dip or sauce. They can be combined with herbs, spices, and other ingredients to create a variety of flavors.

  5. Frittatas and omelets: Spring onions can be added to frittatas and omelets to add both flavor and color. You can sauté them before adding them to the egg mixture or simply sprinkle them on top.

  6. Grilled or roasted: Whole spring onions can be grilled or roasted to create a delicious side dish. Coat them with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook them until they become tender and slightly charred.

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Tips And Tricks For Successful Spring Onion Planting

To ensure successful spring onion planting, consider the following tips and tricks:

  1. Choosing the right variety: There are many different varieties of spring onions available, each with its own flavor and growth habit. Choose a variety that suits your taste preferences and growing conditions. Some popular varieties include “White Lisbon”, “Evergreen Hardy White”, and “Ishikura”.

  2. Soil preparation: Spring onions prefer well-draining soil enriched with organic matter. Before planting, amend the soil with compost or well-rotted manure to improve its fertility and drainage.

  3. Planting method: Spring onions can be grown from seeds, onion sets, or transplants. Sow the seeds directly in the garden or start them indoors and transplant them later. If using sets, plant them about 1 inch deep and 2 inches apart. Transplants can be planted at the same spacing.

  4. Watering: Spring onions require regular watering to keep the soil evenly moist. However, be cautious not to overwater, as excessive moisture can lead to disease problems. Water deeply when needed and allow the topsoil to dry slightly between watering.

  5. Thin out the seedlings: If you planted spring onion seeds, thin out the seedlings once they are a few inches tall. This will provide enough space for the remaining seedlings to grow properly.

  6. Mulching: Apply a layer of organic mulch around the spring onion plants to help conserve moisture and suppress weed growth. Straw, shredded leaves, or grass clippings make excellent mulch options.

  7. Fertilizing: Spring onions are light feeders, but a balanced fertilizer can help promote healthy growth. Use a fertilizer with a ratio such as 10-10-10 or 14-14-14. Apply it according to the package instructions, usually every four to six weeks.


Planting spring onions in your garden is a rewarding experience that allows you to enjoy fresh and flavorful vegetables throughout the year. By following the tips and techniques mentioned in this article, you can successfully grow and care for your spring onion plants. Remember to control pests and diseases, harvest and store the onions properly, and get creative with your cooking. With a little effort and patience, you can have a bountiful supply of spring onions right at your doorstep.


What Is The Best Time Of Year To Plant Spring Onions?

Spring onions, as their name suggests, do best when planted in the spring or fall, as long as temperatures are mild.

How Do I Prepare My Soil For Planting Spring Onions?

Spring onions prefer loose, well-drained soil with plenty of organic matter. Work in compost or well-rotted manure before planting, and avoid compacting the soil.

How Deep Should I Plant My Spring Onion Bulbs?

Plant your spring onion bulbs about 1 inch deep, with the pointed end facing up. Space them about 6 inches apart.

How Often Should I Water My Spring Onions?

Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. Water your spring onions deeply once a week during dry spells, and avoid overhead irrigation to prevent foliar diseases.

How Do I Know When My Spring Onions Are Ready To Harvest?

Spring onions are typically ready to harvest once the bulbs have swelled to the size of a walnut and the greens are about 8 inches tall. You can pull them carefully out of the soil or use a gardening fork to gently lift them out.