If you are looking to buy giant onion seeds, you are in luck. The 'Seeds of Eaden' seed shop now has giant onion seed in stock as part of its standard range. Prices are in pounds Stirling (GBP) but all major currencies are accepted at the check out - including dollars and Euro's. Plus, all international deliveries start from a flat rate of just £ 1.99 no matter how many packets of whatever varieties you purchase.

Giant onion seed is best sown from late December up until late February. Using a good quality compost - such as John Innes ‘Seed and Cutting’ - fill a seed tray to about ½ inch from the top then gently compress it down with a sheet of stiff board. Sow the giant onion seed onto the surface of the compost making sure that they are evenly spaced - a standard seed tray will hold about 50 seeds – then lightly cover the seed with some more of the same compost.

Keep the seeds moist, one of the best ways to do this is by watering the seed tray by placing it in a larger tray of water and allowing the water to gently seep up through the compost. The surface colour of the compost will change colour once it has taken enough water. In order to maintain warmth and humidity the seed tray can be covered with a transparent sheet of glass, plastic or even a sheet of cling film. However, this must be removed immediately as soon as the first seedlings emerge. At a temperature of approximately 13 degrees Celsius this will take around 2 weeks. Avoid trying to germinate the onion seeds at a higher temperature as this can damage the onion seeds giving poor germination results.
Once the seedlings are at their crook stage, they will be ready to potted on into individual pots. Use something small at this point such as a 9cm pot and use John Innes No 1 compost as the preferred medium. Be careful here as the juvenile leaves are easily damaged.

Water the seedlings only when required and make sure that they receive adequate ventilation as they can become susceptible to water borne diseases such as botrytis.

As the season progresses, the young onion plants can be moved out from their protected environment and into a cold frame during mid - late March. This ensures that the onion plants are properly hardened off before planting outside which should occur from late April. Even this late on in the year you can consider giving you giant onion seedlings a little protection by growing them under cloches..

How to prepare a giant onion bed

First you will need to choose a site that has good drainage. If you do not possess such a spot then you can improve the soil structure by adding plenty of organic matter to it. In soils where even this will make little difference then you will need to consider planting your young giant onion plants into a mounded or raised bed.

To get the best size out of your onions you would dig trenches 18 inches deep - this is a job best started in late autumn or early winter when the weather is reasonably dry. Then fork up the bottom of each trench if the base of the trench is hard, solid ground. Into each 3 square yards of trench add 140 grams of bonemeal, 170 grams of potash and 4 forkfuls of pea, bean or tomato haulms (discarded stems or seed casings).

Then knocking back in the spoil, work in 1 garden barrow of well rotted farm manure. It is essential that the greater proportion of the manure should be near the top of the bed, within approximately 4 inches if the surface to enable the giant onion roots to come in contact with the manure during the early stages of growth. This bed can now be left rough over the winter period.

Come March, work the top of the trench into a fine tilth and this time add 55grams of Superphosphates, 28 grams of hydrated lime or 500grams of calcified seaweed to every 3 square yards of trench.

There is no need to firm the ground unless it is very light and an advantage can be gained by covering the trenches with cloches both before and after planting. Cloches used prior to planting will warm the ground giving less of a growth check at this time.

When should you harvest Giant Onions?

Your giant onions should be ready for harvesting any time between August to September depending on both the weather and the individual variety. The giant onion bulb will be mature when the foliage turns yellow and begins to tip over, but you will need to leave them for another couple of weeks before lifting.

Choose a dry day and if the onions are fully ripe they will lift easily from the ground, any problems and you can carefully ease them out of the soil using a hand fork.

They will now need to be dried and depending on the weather or the size of your onions this will take approximately 3-5 weeks for them to properly cure before they are ready for the kitchen.

If any of your giant onions have developed thick 'necks' over the growing season, use these ones straight away as they will not store well and will be more prone to neck rot.

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Bom said...

The giant onion is amazing! Thanks for the growing tips. My son and I are still trying our luck with regular onions in a container. so hard when there is not much available ground to plant on.

Robin Lynn Brooks said...

So pleased to have come across this tutorial. The entire blog has a ton of value with the kind of detail most are missing.

I gave up on onion but I am sure to give it a try again... perhaps not the giants! After reading this article I am convinced in part that my planting was too deep and the soil clay-heavy.

Anonymous said...

i've tried onions from sets and both times i had rubbish sets. as a last try i bought sets from wilko for 15p! grown in May which was late but still got good overall success. they put up a fight when cutting them :D. now trying seeds. started growing them indoors in August, just planted them outside, maybe a bit too early but would be interesting to see the results in the coming months