Growing Spring Onion in The Northern Territory
Introducing Spring onion
These delicious onions are quick and easy to grow. They’re not particularly fussy, but they will do best in a sunny spot with rich, well-draining soil and plenty of water. They're definitely a cool season crop, so sets or seedlings are probably the best option if you want to make the most of the short growing season. They're a great alternative to onions for The Northern Territory and do really well in pots and containers means you can move them under cover once the rains start.
Try not to let the soil dry out. Spring onions thrive in damp soil.
Spring onions do best in full sun, but will still be happy in a spot that gets some shade, especially if you're growing them in the warmer months.
Spring onions like rich, well-draining soil with plenty of organic matter, so work in plenty of compost. They prefer a slightly alkaline soil, so add some lime to your soil if its slightly acidic. Remember, most compost and manure that you add, will over time, make the soil slightly acidic, so it’s worth checking the ph. of your beds every now and again.
They'll struggle to germinate in the weather is too warm, so either wait till it's properly cool and plant them outdoors or find a cool spot for them to germinate.
Sow your seeds thickly and cover with soil or compost. A layer of soil about 1cm thick is ideal. The seeds need dark to germinate, but you don’t want a layer so thick that they can’t push through. Spring onions like to grow close together in bunches. They are upright-growers so they don’t’ compete with each other for sunlight and their roots untangle easily when it’s time to harvest. Keep the soil damp while the seeds are germinating.
Spring onions can also be grown from sets or small plants. Place a small amount of bonemeal into each hole before planting. This encourages your spring onions to develop strong root systems which will help them to thrive and grow into strong plants. Remember that they like to be planted close together in bunches. Water them in well and keep the soil damp.
This easy-to-grow crop needs no care. Just plant them, keep them watered, and then harvest.
Keep the soil nice and damp. You may need to water your spring onions at least 2-3 times a week throughout the dry season.
If your soil is rich and well prepared, then extra feeding may not be necessary, but a feeding of compost tea or fish emulsion every 4-6 weeks will help your spring onions thrive.
Apply a generous layer of organic mulch to help keep the soil moist for your water-loving spring onions. Lucerne, sugar cane or pea-straw are all good options.
Spring onions can be cut off at ground level to harvest. This means that the roots remain in the ground and will re-sprout to give you a quick second harvest. Alternatively, pull the whole plant out of the ground by gently twisting them as close to the soil level as possible.