How to Grow Spring Onions – A Guide to Growing Spring Onions or Scallions (Salad Onions)
Spring onions, also known as scallions, are very easily grown Salad onions, and provide a good substitute when bulb onions are not readily available. They are often overlooked in gardening books, possibly because they are really easy to grow, but they are useful in the kitchen and very popular.
Sowing and Growing Spring Onions
They are a useful crop to fill any gaps between other slow growing crops, but given their own position they prefer a rich, well drained soil. It’s a good idea to give some general purpose fertiliser, such as Growmore or Blood Fish and Bone a week before sowing and rake the soil into a fine tilth.
- Traditionally they are sown in rows 15cm (6ins) apart. Sow thinly into drills 1.5cm (half an inch) deep.
- They can also be broadcast over a small patch. Rake the soil over to cover with about 1.5cm (half an inch) of soil.
- Once the new seedlings have began to push through the soil they can be thinned out to between 2.5 –5cm (1-2 ins) apart.
- They do not need deep soil to grow and can be sown in a pot by the kitchen door, or a seed tray in the greenhouse for a winter crop.
- Start sowing in March and continue to sow some every couple of weeks for a continuous supply through the summer.
Sowings of a winter hardy variety, in August, September and a fine October will produce an early crop by late spring.
Spring Onions Pests & Problems
There are few problems with spring onions, they grow fairly fast and suffer few diseases but they do like a rich soil to grow well
Varieties of Spring Onions
White Lisbon is the best known variety but there are quite a few others, including Japanese bunching onions such as Ishikuro, available. For a normal spring onion, my favourite is White Lisbon which tends to be a very cheap and easily available. Buy White Lisbon Winter Hardy, which has won the coveted RHS Award of Garden Merit for over winter growing.
You can also buy North Holland Blood Red onion seed. This has the benefit that you can sow a patch, picking alternate plants as required and those left behind will bulb up. I really like the flavour when it has bulbed up, sliced in a salad or just on a cheese sandwich.