Now’s the time to plant onions for overwintering

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Good enough to eat - planting onion sets

Onions are among the easiest vegetables to grow and now is the time to plant sets for overwintering.

Sets are simply small onions which grow into normal-sized onions when planted, offsetting the need to grow them from seed. It’s best to buy heat-treated sets, which reduces the risk of bolting, and overwintering types are a good bet as they occupy space when it’s not used for anything else They should be planted 10cm (4in) apart in rows 20cm (8in) apart, deep enough to just cover the tip of the bulb. Apply a general organic fertiliser now, and again in spring to boost their growth. Keep them watered in dry spells and weed regularly as they won’t like being smothered.

Use overwintering onions fresh from the ground from the time the first few reach usable size, around late spring, and just keep pulling them up as needed, in May, June and July. Good varieties include ‘Electric’, which produces delicious red onions, and ‘Radar’, which will survive in cold areas and bad weather.