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Hi, I've been given some onion sets to grow over winter but unfortunately all I know is that they are over winter onions, I don't have a variety name or any growing instructions.

Any general instructions on how to grow them would be greatly appreciated.


gill barker

i would plant them as normal cover them with fleece and hope for the best

If winter onions. Japanese onions, they are perfectly hardy. Plant as you would normal onion sets, cover with fleece as gill barker says, to stop birds pulling them etc. and remove fleece when shoots are seen. I'm in mild s.w. but I don't think you will need to worry about them over winter too much. They mature month or so before normal onion sets

Thanks for the help guys. Yeah, I have read that birds like to pull them up and chuck them about, assuming they are hardy (which I'm going to as I'm in the S.E.), would netting them off work just as well?

Wood pigeons, magpies and rooks have been the biggest problem with growing veg round here, pesky things. Thanks again.


To stop them being pulled out, start them off in modules and grow them until they have a green shoot and roots before you plant them out.  The birds will then leave them alone and you won't have to net them. 



Ah great thanks, I'll start them off today then on a windowsil. It saves me faffing about trying to net an odd shaped bed.

I plant my winter onions out in November have been told by the old boys at the allotment that is the right time to plant. I then hang old cds on string to put off the birds. So far so good and i always have been quite successful.

It's the music from those old CDs. Drives anyone away! I've always planted in August. I think the theory is that the sets get moving more quickly then and grown enough to withstand the winter.

I'm confused,do you sow the winter onions in the old onion bed.We are doing crop rotation so would this be o.k.

Jordan you would be planting sets now. I wouldn't put them in same spot you had your normal onions but in the same area for rotation purposes

Keep with the crop rotation otherwise you will deplete the soil of certain nutrients and encourage particular pests. Dig over new patch, lightly manure and rake so the soil is quite fine. I have always planted in November as i was told the onion would make too much top growth.

I vaguely remember the advice varied according to area you live in for japanese onion planting. My veg patch is getting smaller every year making it difficult to rotate properly now. I used to keep 3 distinctly separate areas for veg rotation but now,I have one area where I try to,rotate. Not so good though. It's,because I now grow more perennials in the garden

Luckily i have an allotment so have plenty of space. Im getting it all ready for the winter. I have a sort of crop rotation going on and im the only one that understands it. I do run out of space at home im forever digging up another bit of lawn as i get yet another plant. Well i dont like mowing the grass.

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