How to grow onions

This is another great crop to be getting started with now, simply sow direct into the soil

Although onion sets when they’re available are easy to just pop in the ground, it’s so much more satisfying to enjoy the whole germination process and grow onions from seed.

Sown in the winter onions will be ready in early summer next year, up to a month before normal maincrop onions.

They like very well-drained soil where they won't fall foul of winter wet, so fork some extra grit or sand into the sowing area to help improve drainage.

Try to get the seeds sown by the end of the month. That will give them time to produce good-sized bulbs by winter, which will be able to withstand whatever the weather throws at them.

Fully-sized bulbs should be ready by next July, but you can also harvest leaves from them earlier for a bonus ‘spring onion’ crop.

Keep the soil well watered up until germination, which should occur just a few days after sowing, in warm, damp soil.

After germination, thin out the seedlings to leave a seedling every 15cm (6in) along the row.