A staple ingredient that’s easy to grow at home.

You can grow onions from seeds, but it’s much easier and quicker to grow them from baby onions, which are called ‘sets’. Plant them outdoors in early spring, in a sunny, sheltered, and well-drained site.

Add compost and general-purpose fertiliser to the soil. Plant sets individually so that their tips are just showing. Space them 10cm apart and leave 30cm between rows. 

Top tips

– Water them if the weather is dry, and feed occasionally with a general-purpose liquid fertiliser to give them a boost.

– Stop watering and feeding them in mid summer once they’ve got bigger.

– Weed regularly by hand. You may also need to cover them with horticultural fleece to stop birds pulling them up.

– Harvest when they’re big enough to use, or when the leaves start to turn yellow. Let them dry out thoroughly before storing by leaving them on newspaper or a rack outdoors in full sun for about two weeks.

Key timings

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