QUESTION: How do you grow onions from bulbs? Can I just plant an onion? -Jeff H.
ANSWER: First, select an area with well-draining soil which receives at least several hours of direct sunlight everyday. Then, amend your garden soil with a neutral pH potting soil that contains organic material, mixing it into the existing soil using a trowel (Or, if you prefer, fill a container with a neutral pH potting soil if you prefer to grow your onions in a pot or container).
Next, further amend your garden bed by sprinkling one inch of compost over the soil and working it into the top four inches of the soil to add essential nutrients to the topsoil before planting. Then, dig a hole in the soil two inches deep that is large enough to place your bulb into, and place the bulb into the hole with the root end facing downwards. The root end is the flat end of the onion which has a brown circle on it. Afterwards, cover the bulb with soil. If you are planting more than one bulb, use the same technique, planting each bulb four inches apart from the previous one. Water the bulbs generously immediately after planting.
In many areas, you can rely on rainwater to provide adequate irrigation for your onions for the majority of the growing cycle, but for the first month, make sure that your onions receive water every five to seven days. In dry climates, water every week until the soil is moist but not soaking wet. Keep an eye out for weeds and pull up any that you see. When the stalk of your onion plants produces flowers, falls over, and dries up, it is ready for you to harvest your onions. Gently dig around the bulb and pull it from the soil. To cure your onions, let them sit on the counter on a piece of newspaper for a week until the outside skin dries up.