When to Plant Onions in Kansas: Tips and Tricks

Onions are one of the most popular vegetables in the world and are a staple in many kitchens. They come in different types, sizes, and colors, but their distinctive flavor and aroma remain the same. 

If you are a gardener in Kansas and want to grow onions in your garden this year, here are some tips and tricks that you need to know.

What are Onions?

When to Plant Onions in Kansas

Understanding the Basics of Onion Cultivation

Onions are bulb-shaped vegetables that belong to the Allium family. They are grown for their bulbs which are made up of layers of fleshy leaves that store nutrients and water. 

Onions are easy to grow in Kansas and can be planted in the spring for a late summer harvest. They thrive in full sun and well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter.

Types of onions

There are different varieties of onions that you can grow in Kansas. The most common types are yellow onions, white onions, and sweet onions. 

Yellow onions are the most versatile and have a pungent flavor, while white onions are milder and have a sweeter taste. 

Sweet onions, on the other hand, are perfect for salads and sandwiches.

Best Onion Varieties for Kansas

When choosing the type of onion to grow in Kansas, it is important to consider your growing conditions. 

For Kansas gardeners, the best onion varieties to grow are those that thrive in the cool season. 

Some of the recommended varieties are Candy, Red Burgermaster, Walla Walla, and Stuttgarter. 

These onions do well in Kansas and produce large bulbs that are ready to harvest in late summer.

Planting Onions in Kansas

When to plant onions in Kansas?

The best time to plant onions in Kansas is early in the season, specifically in late March or early April. 

This gives the onion bulbs enough time to grow and mature before the hot summer months. 

If you prefer to plant onions from seed, you can start indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost.

How to plant onions?

To plant onion bulbs in Kansas, you need to prepare the soil by adding organic matter and conducting a soil test to determine if it has the right pH level. 

Onion bulbs should be planted 1 to 2 inches deep and 1 inch apart in rows that are spaced 12-18 inches apart. 

When planting onion seeds, sprinkle them on the soil surface and cover them with ¼ inch of soil.

How Far Apart to Plant Onion Sets?

If you want to plant onion sets, they should be planted 4 inches apart and 1 inch deep. Onion sets are small onion bulbs that have been grown from seed and are easier to plant than onion bulbs.

Growing Onions in Kansas

Caring for Onion Plants: Watering and Weeding

Onions need regular watering especially during dry periods. They require at least 1 inch of water per week to grow well. It is also important to weed onion beds regularly to prevent competition for nutrients and moisture.

Fertilizing Onion Plants

To promote the growth of onion plants in Kansas, you need to fertilize them with a balanced fertilizer that is high in nitrogen. The fertilizer should be applied 3-4 weeks after planting and again 3-4 weeks later.

Harvesting Onions in Kansas

Onions are ready to harvest when the tops start to yellow and fall over. Once the onions are harvested, they should be left to dry in the sun for a few days and then stored in a cool, dry place. Mesh bags or baskets are ideal for storing onions.

Tips and Tricks

How to Grow Onions from Seed?

Growing onions from seed is easy and economical. To get the best results, you need to start your onion seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost. 

Once the seedlings are big enough, you can transplant them to your garden.

Starting Your Onions Indoors

Starting onions indoors is a great way to get a head start on your growing season. 

You can start your onion seeds in a warm and sunny location in your home and transplant them to your garden once they are big enough.

Storing Onions for Later Use

If you want to store onions for later use, it is important to harvest them when they are fully mature and have a dry outer skin. 

After they have been harvested, they should be stored in a cool, dry place in mesh bags or baskets.

Planting onions in Kansas is easy and rewarding. By following these tips and tricks, you can grow onions that are healthy, delicious, and ready for harvest in late summer. 

Whether you prefer yellow onions, white onions, or sweet onions, there is a variety of onion that will grow best in your garden.

FAQ

Q: When is the best time to plant onions in Kansas?

A: Onions should be planted in early spring in central Kansas and in late winter or early spring in other parts of the state.

Q: What are the different types of onions that can be grown in Kansas?

A: Some of the common onion varieties grown in Kansas are intermediate-day onions, short-day onions, and long-day onions.

Q: Should I grow onions from seed, bulb, or onion plant?

A: You can grow onions from seed or bulb. Onion plants can also be used to save time.

Q: Can onions be grown from seed indoors?

A: Yes, onions can be started from seed indoors about 8-10 weeks before planting outdoors.

Q: How far apart should onion seeds/plants be planted?

A: Onion seeds should be planted ¼ inch deep and 1-2 inches apart. Onion plants should be planted about 6 inches apart.

Q: What is the best way to start your onions?

A: To start onions indoors, place seeds in a container with moist soil. Keep the soil moist and under a grow light or in a sunny window for up to 10 weeks before planting outdoors.

Q: What type of soil do onions prefer?

A: Onions prefer well-drained soil with a pH of 6.0-6.8. Keep the soil moist throughout the growing season.

Q: How often should I water my onions?

A: Keep the soil moist throughout the growing season, watering every 7-10 days depending on Kansas conditions.

Q: When are onions ready for harvest?

A: Onions are ready for harvest when the tops begin to fall over and dry. Pull the onions up from the soil and let them cure for a few days before storing.

Q: How should I store onions after harvest?

A: Store onions in a cool, dry place. Properly stored, onions may last for up to 8 months.

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