• An ideal way to sample different varieties
  • Contains red, white and yellow sets
  • Suitable for wide range of soil types
  • Enjoy the satisfaction of home grown ground to plate goodness


A mix of onion sets, is ideal for those who want a sample of different onion types. Most varieties of onions can be stored well into the winter, making them one of the most popular vegetables to grow. They are also incredibly versatile, suitable for use in nearly every type of cuisine and can be used both cooked and raw. If choosing to use manure or fresh compost it is best practice to do so, a number of weeks before planting and sowing to allow the organic matter to be thoroughly broken down. Onion sets generally have yield more reliable and consistent results than seeds and also require less work. Onion sets are small immature onions from the harvest of the previous year. Another advantage of sets is that they also tend to have a higher resistance to pests and diseases such as onion fly, eelworm and white rot. Sets should be planted mid-March -late April but can be planted earlier if using a polytunnel. Rows should be planted about 30cm apart, and each onion set in the rows should have approximately 10cm between them. They can be done this closely as sets generally don’t require any thinning as they grow.


Dig a little hole, place a set in each hole with the neck facing upwards. Cover up the sets with just the tips of the necking showing through the soil surface. When choosing which sets to plant, avoid any sets with sprouts already forming, as generally these sets will fail to thrive. Check all sets for signs of discoloration and mould, these should be immediately discarded. By choosing only the healthiest tidy round and oval bulbs you should yield excellent quality onions. Onions prefer a slightly acidic, fertile soil; however they will do well in almost every type of soil. The soil should be firm but not too heavy and dense. If the soil is too heavy then you can introduce natural compost or manure to help retain moisture. If the soil is overly wet or does not get a lot of natural sun it is recommended that a raised vegetable bed is used to avoid disease caused by excessive dampness. It is also advisable to avoid using fresh compost matter and manure as this would further increase the moisture content of the soil.


Most sets can be planted between early March and late April, with the exception of red onions. The soil bed should be firmed up, either by letting it naturally occur by letting the soil rest and settle a few weeks before planting or by speeding up the process by laying slabs, planks or sleepers over the soil. When soil is too loose the shallow roots of the onions cannot absorb water and nutrients efficiently, which can force them to bolt (go to seed). Red onions are better suited to late planting as they are prone to bolting. The later planting helps avoid this from happening. To prevent birds from interfering with your crop, they should be covered with plant protection net for the first 4 – 5 weeks. As onions don#t have foliage to help combat weed growth, regular weeding will be needed. Hoeing will help increase air and moisture circulation in the soil and encourage bulb development. Watering should be done in the morning as moisture can evaporate too rapidly during the day.


Evening water should be avoided so bulbs are sitting in excess dampness over night when temperatures drop. Flower stems should be broken off as soon as they appear; this is sign of bolting (going to seed). A hard stem will form inside the onion making them unsuitable for storing. These onions will still be suitable for consumption but should be used shortly after harvest. Onions will be almost ready for harvest when about ¾ of the stems have yellowed and fallen over. This occurs about two weeks before they are ready for harvesting. After the two weeks use a fork to lift the bulbs taking care not to damage the skins, as this can encourage decay and micro-organisms to attack on inner onion flesh. Harvesting should be on a bright dry day and excess soil should be cleaned from the bulbs. Bulbs should be left out to dry on a bed of soil where they can be air dried for a few days. To store your onions over the winter, they should be cured for 3 – 4 weeks, by hanging them in a well aired place in mesh or string bags.