Freshly harvested spring onions, with roots still on

Spring onions – Grow Guide

We show you how to grow delicious spring onions in this easy growing guide.

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Sow
Sow

Do not Sow in January

Do not Sow in February

Do Sow in March

Do Sow in April

Do Sow in May

Do Sow in June

Do Sow in July

Do Sow in August

Do Sow in September

Do Sow in October

Do not Sow in November

Do not Sow in December

Harvest
Harvest

Do not Harvest in January

Do not Harvest in February

Do not Harvest in March

Do Harvest in April

Do Harvest in May

Do Harvest in June

Do Harvest in July

Do Harvest in August

Do Harvest in September

Do Harvest in October

Do not Harvest in November

Do not Harvest in December

  • Average Yield

    250-300 per 3m row

  • Spacing

    2.5cm apart

Spring onions, also known as scallions, are quick and easy to grow and are a great ingredient for salads and stir fries.

They don’t need a lot of space or much soil, so they’re perfect for growing in smaller spaces or a container. With varieties that can be grown all through the winter months, they have a long cropping season, too.

Spring onions, also known as scallions, are quick and easy to grow and are a great ingredient for salads and stir fries.

Advertisement

They don’t need a lot of space or much soil, so they’re perfect for growing in smaller spaces or a container. With varieties that can be grown all through the winter months, they have a long cropping season, too.

Follow the advice in this guide to grow your own spring onions.

For fresh spring onions through the year, sow a batch of seeds every few weeks from early spring through to autumn.
Sowing spring onion seeds into prepared soil
Sowing spring onion seeds into prepared soil

Sowing spring onion seeds

Sow spring onion seeds straight into the ground where they’ll grow. They need an open, sunny site and rich, well-drained soil. Prepare the soil, clearing weeds and adding a good fertiliser well in advance – if the soil’s too rich it’ll produce a lot of leafy top growth. Rake it to a fine texture and if very dry, water 24 hours before sowing. Sow seeds into drills approximately 20mm deep, and 10cm apart.

You can also sow spring onion seeds in trays or modules. Wait for the seedlings develop a good root system before planting out into the garden.

Watering young spring onions
Watering young spring onions

Tending spring onions

Once your spring onion seedlings start to appear, you can thin them out up to 5cm apart. They need to be well-watered, so don’t let the soil dry out.

Some varieties can be grown as bulb onions as well, so it’s possible to harvest some of your crop as spring onions, leaving alternate seedlings to mature into full bulbs.

For fresh spring onions through the year, sow a batch of seeds every few weeks from early spring through to autumn.

Harvesting spring onions

Spring onions are usually ready to harvest eight weeks after sowing. Fork the soil around the plants a little before pulling up the small, leafy bulbs.

Storing spring onions

Spring onions are best eaten soon after picking, either cooked or raw. The flavour complements many eastern-style dishes.

See some of the tasty recipes using spring onions, from our friends at Olive Magazine.

Planting out young spring onions
Planting out young spring onions

Troubleshooting

Given the right growing conditions, spring onions are relatively trouble-free to grow.

Advertisement

Organic tip

Try growing mint alongside your onion crops as a deterrent against onion fly.

Freshly harvested spring onion 'Performer'
Freshly harvested spring onion ‘Performer’

Spring onion varieties to try

  • ‘White Lisbon’ RHS AGM – probably the most popular variety, because it is fast growing and can be sown right through into the autumn, to grow through the winter months
  • ‘Lilia’ RHS AGM – with a red-coloured bulb with dark green leaves, this Italian variety has a strong flavour. It is mostly grown as a spring onion, but can also be grown as a bulb onion
  • ‘Performer’ – a ‘bunching onion’ that can’t be grown as a bulb. The white stems and leaves have a mild flavour and can be grown as a perennial onion or a spring onion. It can be used like chives
  • ‘North Holland Blood Red’ – this red onion has a mild flavour and can be grown as a salad onion or as a bulb onion
  • ‘Elody’ RHS AGM – a mild flavoured, very hardy variety, that can be harvested year-round

Spring onions, also known as scallions, are quick and easy to grow and are a great ingredient for salads and stir fries.

They don’t need a lot of space or much soil, so they’re perfect for growing in smaller spaces or a container. With varieties that can be grown all through the winter months, they have a long cropping season, too.

This is Secret Garden content

This content is exclusive to subscribers. If you are not a subscriber you can access this content by subscribing to Gardeners' World.

Unlock now