Its early winter in North Texas and that means it is time to plant onions. Mingos Nursery & Garden Center has fresh onions slips ready to plant.  For 2018 we have Yellow Granex, 1015Y Texas Supersweet, Yellow Bermuda, Ringmaster, Red Candy Apple, Texas Early White, Southern Belle Red, and Red Creole.  Each of these varieties have their own unique flavor and characteristics. Mingos also has all the supplies and information you need to be successful.

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Here in North Texas, early winter is the ideal time to plant onions.  In fact, onions are a cool weather crop and will withstand below freezing temperatures.  Like most food crops, onions need to be grown in a sunny place, although a little afternoon shade when the weather turns hot can be helpful especially here in Texas when hot weather tends to show up well before the first day of spring.

Sets, Slips, or Seeds

Plant Onions

Onion Sets

Onions can be planted from sets, slips, or seed. Onion sets are small onion bulbs that have gone dormant.  Slips, also called transplants, are small

bare root onion plants that look much like the green onions or scallions you find in the grocery store.  Onion seeds are usually Plant Onionspurchased in seed packages, but are easy to harvest from onions you do not harvest but allow to flower then turn to seed.

Onions are easy to grow from sets, slips, and seeds, but growing from seed takes the longest and therefore they should be planted earlier than sets or slips. Onion seeds can be found year round.  Onion sets may be available for several months each year but beware of onion sets that are damaged or dried out.  In most areas, onion slips or transplants are only available for a few weeks at the beginning of the growing season.

Planting Onion Seeds

When planting onions from seed, follow the directions on the seed package.  Generally, onion seeds should be planted directly in the garden bed, about 2 inches apart and just barely (¼ inch) covered with soil. Dampen the soil but be careful not to wash the onion seeds away.  A gentle misting with a hose attachment is best.  Onion plants should be thinned to be 3 to 4 inches apart, depending on the variety (the bigger the bulb, the further apart) once the plants have reached 4 or 5 inches.  Thinning larger onion plants can be a problem as their root balls may have grown together.

Planting Onion Sets and Slips

Plant Onions

Onion Slips

Onion sets and slips should be planted no more than one inch deep, 3 to 4 inches apart.  Again, the bigger the onion bulb, the further apart the onions should be planted.  Know your variety.  Cover with soil and water thoroughly.

Water and Food

All food crops benefit greatly from being fed and watered properly.  A well prepared garden bed with plenty of composted organic material may not need any extra fertilization.  However, food crops tend to be heavy feeders and can benefit from a boost of nutrition from time to time.  Talk to your nursery about the best feed for your feed crop.

Onions need to be watered at least once a week and they can withstand more dry weather than most garden plants.  Some people swear that growing onions in slightly dry conditions make for a better tasting onion.  I have not tested that theory myself, I am just happy to know that whether my onions have grown in wet years or dry years, the onions have turned out beautifully.

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