How to Plant Onions in the Fall: 4 Steps for a Big Harvest

While it may sound unusual, planting onions in the fall can lead to fast growth. Discover how to grow onions during this mild-weather season to enjoy a basketful of tasty onions when harvesting time comes.

Sean Stratton | Updated January 3, 2023
red onions

Planting onions in the fall has several benefits.

Onions can be grown in different ways. For example, you can grow onions from seeds or choose onion sets. Each has benefits, but planting onion sets is easier.

Planting onion seeds can be tricky, especially when you want to plant them evenly. With seeds, onions will grow very thinly. This may not look so bad initially, but they will when they get swamped by unwanted weeds. So, for less hassle, choose onion sets for your fall onion planting.

There are different variations of onions, like Short-day onions and Long-day onions. You need to plant Long-day onions early enough to ensure they will have at least four to six weeks of warm weather. This will help them establish their roots in the ground.

Now we are going to explain the procedure for planting onion sets.

1. Find a Location That Gets Plenty of Sunlight

Getting plenty of sunlight is especially important in the fall.

2. Dig The Soil

Dig a small trench. It should be 2 inches deep and 1 to 2 inches wide.

3. Add Compost

Fill up the trench with compost so that it fills up ⅔ of the trench. This compost ensures nutrients to the onions and better bulb germination.

4. Plant the Onions

Start planting the onions in the trench. Make sure the pointed end stays up and visible. You need to push the bulbs down slowly into the compost layer so you don’t damage them. Maintain 2 to 3 inches of distance between onion sets.

5. Fill the Trench

Cover the trench again with soil. Carefully fill in the areas where the bulbs are. Cover them in full with half or quarter-inch of soil. Now, water the area to complete the process.

Can You Plant Green Onions in the Fall?

If you want to start from seed sets, it may take about 3 to 4 weeks to harvest your desired green onions in the fall. The time may vary from place to place depending on the soil conditions, climate, and sunlight.

Like all onions, green onions can be planted at any time of the year, including in the fall. But planting too late into the fall will impact your harvest.

Don’t miss: Fertilizers for Healthy and Larger Onions

Benefits of Planting Onions in the Fall

In fall, the soil is warm and ideal for plants. This is one of the biggest reasons to plant onions in the fall.

In the fall, onions grow fast and achieve a better root system to prepare for the upcoming freezing winter.

When the temperature starts to rise in the spring, the onions start to thrive again because of their better root system from the warmth of fall.

Written by Sean Stratton

Sean Stratton

Hi, I'm Sean, the senior editor here at Fertilizer Pick. I grew up on a farm in North Carolina and have grown fruits, vegetables, and trees since childhood. While I no longer live on a farm today, I still enjoy spending time on my garden and sharing my knowledge with friends and fellow garden enthusiasts.