How to Grow Scallions / Spring Onions


  • Sowing Instructions
  • Crop Maintenance
  • How to Harvest
  • Storage
  • Pests & Diseases

Sowing Instructions

  • Sowing Time: From March until early summer
  • Stagger sowing times for a continual harvest
  • Sow in rows every two weeks
  • Sowing Location: Sow direct into rows
  • Can be sown under cover from Early February using a garden cloche or green house
  • Some varieties can be sown outdoors in autumn & over wintered using a garden cloche
  • To sow: Make drills 1cm deep & space drills 15cm apart
  • Sow seeds very thinly & thin out once seedlings are large enough to handle
  • Spacing is important. Close spacing for smaller onions and wider spacing for larger onions

Crop Maintenance

  • Dispose of all thinings to avoid attracting the onion fly
  • Water if the soil is dry and cover with soil   
  • Hoe regularly between the rows as weeds can grow quickly around onion plants
  • A sunny, open site is ideal
  • Soil should be light, and well drained while high in fertility, especailly nitrogen
  • Prepare soil the previous season by working in some well rotted farm yard manure into your soil
  • Remove any large and smaller stones, weeds and weed roots while preparing soil
  • It is recommended that you perform a soil fertility test at least once
  • Lime the soil if your soil is acidic, use carbonate of lime, and apply approx 150g per metre squared
  • Keep the soil weed free
  • Apply a general fertilizer such as grow more or poultry manure
  • Apply approx 35g of fertilizer per metre squared and rake into surface soil
  • If your soil is a heavy clay, it is recommended that you improve your soils drainage
  • Alternatively place a small amount of horticultural grit beneath seeds prior to sowing

Harvesting your Spring Onion Crops

  • Quick to mature, scallions can be ready for harvest three months after sowing
  • Harvest when leaves are deep green and standing upright
  • You can first harvest the leaves by removing with a scissors. Remove only one leaf per plant at a time and the bulb will continue grow
  • You can later harvest the entire plant by lifting the bulbs using a garden fork
  • Be careful when lifting as pulling one bulb will generally bring the surrounding bulbs with it
  • Spring onions can be eating directly after harvest

How to Store Spring Onions & Scallions

  • Consume any damaged bulbs first
  • Short term storage in the fridge
  • Can be stored for up to 7 months in a cool dry place
  • You can also tie up your bulbs using their own stems or some cord

Pests & Diseases

  • Bird attack is most likely the biggest threat to spring onions
  • Netting should be used to protect against birds that pull up roots
  • Other pests and diseases include: Onion fly, root fly, bolting and downy mildew
  • Plant spring onions near carrots to repel the carrot fly
  • Plant spring onions near tomatoes

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