Onion spacing- 16/sq ft vs. Dixondale recommendation

mmqchdygg(Z5NH)May 1, 2009

Dixondale farms suggests 4" between onions, and a full 3 feet between rows. What's up with that? Besides not wanting to waste space, it seems that if you only need 4" on one side, why wouldn't 4" on the other work?

I actually put mine in about a foot apart in a longish raised bed (it just seemed to work)...now I'm wondering if I can pull them back out and put them even closer (making a 3rd row in the middle), or if Dixondale is right in their spacing. I only wonder if they are simply making room for mass planting & mass growing/harvesting. Obviously if you're a commercial grower, you'd need the walking space for your hired help...

...but knowing you SFGers, you probably have it 'more right' for the homeowner, and I can save the space for other things in that bed instead of wasting a full 12" x 20 feet in this particular bed!

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sinfonian(U8b A2 S5 SeaWA)

Exactly. The 3 feet are for pathways for tractors or people. I planted green onions 16/sf no problem last year and am doing it again.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2009 at 12:31PM
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Dan Staley

Green onions can go closer but 16/sf for full-size onions won't work. Next time you are in the grocery take 16 full-size and put them next to each other and try to fill them up in a 12" square. My full-size I have 9/sf and for green I probably have 16-20 but I have more sets than I have space...


    Bookmark   May 1, 2009 at 12:48PM
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I have onion sets 9 per sq ft. I started mine from sets. Does anyone know how long it takes from planting sets to harvesting the BIG onions?

Has anyone started them from seeds? How long did that take? I started some from seeds and they still look like grass. Sooooo tiny. Somewhere I read where if you start them from seeds it takes like 6 months to get to set size.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2009 at 4:59PM
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Old thread, new and related question:

What is the spacing for growing full sized onions? I came home with a 1015Y bunch and am looking at 9 or 16 per square foot. These onions can grow 3 inches wide, maybe more.

I know about utilizing some along the way, what is the best plan of attack and what is the spacing at the end when they are largest?



Dallas 8a

    Bookmark   January 22, 2015 at 12:39PM
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theforgottenone1013(MI zone 5b/6a)

I know square foot gardening is about pushing the envelop in terms of how much to plant in a given area, but if I were after maximum sized onions I'd plant 4 per square foot. Think about it, garlic are spaced 4/sq.ft. (although some do 9) and onion bulbs get larger than garlic heads do. If I wanted more medium-large sized onions I'd do 6/sq.ft., medium sized I'd do 9.


P.S. I think I should add that I only loosely follow the square foot gardening principals.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2015 at 3:28PM
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Last year, I did three squares with 16 each and harvested all at full size (no green onion harvest). I'd say they ended up as small to medium sized bulbs. Definitely not large. It felt crowded. This year, I'm going down to 9/sq and see how that works.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2015 at 12:53PM
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