Sunday, March 26, 2006

It's Time To Plant Onions!

Red, white and yellow onion sets

Well, almost time at least. I'm giving you a little advanced warning. If you garden by the moon signs (I figure I need all the help I can get), then you'll want to plant your onions on a fertile day in the first quarter.* During this moon cycle, they are Friday, March 31st and Saturday, April 1st. After that, the next fertile first quarter days aren't until April 28th, 29th, and May 2nd, 3rd, and 4th--which is getting a bit late for starting onions.

As you can see, I'm all set to go with my three varieties of onion sets. As long as your ground isn't still frozen, you can safely start your onions anytime now, but you really should do it on Friday or Saturday. They're very hardy and once sprouted will survive even hard frosts (we're still having morning temperatures in the low 20s) with no problems. Onions are a wonderful addition to any garden, and they can be popped into even the smallest spaces.

So why do I buy onion sets rather than starting them from seed (like everything else in my garden)? The answer to this question is in one of the first articles I posted on Farmgirl Fare back in June of 2005, "Onions In The Garden," which also includes photos, planting instructions, and some newly added growing tips. Just click here to read it.

*Seeds to start on fertile first quarter days include: flowers, lettuce, all other leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage, cucumbers, beans, and peas. (Pretty much anything except members of the tomato/squash/pepper family--which you want to start on fertile days in the second quarter).


  1. cool! I just started my sad little container garden, but while I was at the nursery bought a set of noonday sweet onions to try and find a corner in my yard for! Love the new garden blog!

  2. I will wait til Friday then to plant my poor onion sets that i have had for a while now.... that will be a good day for planting as it is supposed to rain most of the week for us.... today, overcast and gloomy but still dry. Have a great week.

  3. Thanks or the heads up about the lettuce. It's time for me to sprinkle my seeds and get them going. Temps here are inching up to 60 everyday!

  4. I have a moon book that I follow too, today the moon is in Picies, a fertile day for certain plants. I planted my strawberries and some thyme and oh, some 50 glad bulbs!!

    That is so great that you follow the moon, it makes a big difference. Here in France, the wine makers follow it too, grandpa (retired wine maker) is always telling me when to cut and when to plant even though I already followed the moon before I was in this family.

    So glad that you found my blogs too! Yipeeee! It is because blogger in in french for me, and hell, i dont know what it is saying most of the time! I'll try to turn on my sharing of profile. You can always reach me by my flickr account too.

    Happy first quarter moon planting on april fools day! I'm going to start some seeds indoors those days.


  5. Thanks for telling us all of this. I need to get out and plant lots of things. It's finally stopped raining, so I have no excuses! Well, I always have an excuse.......

  6. Love your farm blog and this garden blog. I grew up on a little homestead-type farm in NH, and moved to Maine in high school. Now I live in Urban Heck, and want to go back to the country as soon as I can pry my hubby out of his urban-requirement job.

    Would love to add this to my garden blog list, but I don't see an RSS feed yet-- maybe you have one but haven't linked it in?

    Strata Garden Blog

  7. Love the new garden blog.... I can't wait until I have something garden-worthy to post about!

    I've never had luck with onion sets. I started growing them from seed three years ago, and it's been better than imagined! And I live in Maine, with a much shorter growing season than you. I start them inside in late Feb and transplant early May... so far my only enemy has been the cutworms. I never would have believed it, but they can completely dessimate them if I don't protect each and every wispy onion with a collar. It's worth it, even though I usually go on 'cutworm patrol' at 10 pm with a flashlight. My ducks adore onion-flavored cutworms! And I've never had a problem running out of time on the harvest... I get beauties. I guess what I'm trying to say is: don't knock onions from seed! :)


March 2013 update: My apologies for the inconvenience - I know word verification is a pain - but I've had to turn it on to help stop the ridiculous number of anonymous spam comments I've been getting every day. Thanks for your understanding.

Welcome to! Thanks so much for taking the time to write. While I'm not always able to reply to every comment, I receive and enjoy reading them all.

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I try my best to answer all questions, but sometimes it takes me a few days to get to them. And sometimes, I'm sorry to say, they fall through the cracks, and for that I sincerely apologize.

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