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Onion Seeds

Growing from onion seeds gives you a far wider choice of one of the most popular vegetable seeds. Onions are the base of so many dishes and growing your own means you can harvest everything from spring onions and shallots to red and yellow onions.

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Growing onion seeds

Onions are an easy crop that’s very versatile and can be stored over winter in onion bags so you avoid a glut. Choose red onions for Mediterranean-style dishes, brown onions for traditional soups and stews and spring onions to add interest to salads.

Find your onion questions answered below or for more top tips read our expert onion advice page and helpful how to grow onions guide.

When to sow onion seeds

Onion seeds need to be started in January to get plants that are big enough to plant out in spring.

How to grow onion seeds

Use fresh onion seeds and sow into seed compost in module trays, two seeds per module. Put in a propagator or warm place. They will germinate in a couple of weeks. Plant out in spring, spacing them 10-15cm apart but not splitting up the modules.

Onion seeds vs onion sets

Onion seeds give you more choice but take longer. Growing from onion sets is more convenient as you start with small onions that are planted out to grow on. There are also varieties that can be planted in autumn to crop in June or July.

Most popular onion seed varieties

‘Apache’ is a red spring onion that keeps its colour when peeled. ‘Paris Silverskin’ is a white onion for salads or pickling. ‘Isobel Rose’ has pink skin and white and pink internal rings.