On your mark, get set, go! Gardening season starts now – when it is time to plant your onions indoors. Let’s give a big cheer.
Onions are easy to grow indoors (as you may know if the onions in your pantry are constantly sprouting).
Their ideal sprouting temperature is 70 degrees, a bit warmer than Mainers typically keep their homes in winter.
You moisten seed-starting mix that has been placed in plastic containers with drainage holes.
Sprinkle the seeds on top so they are about a quarter of an inch apart, then cover them with about an eighth of an inch of soil and moisten again.
Cover the pots with clear plastic and place them under artificial lights for 16 hours a day.
When the onion seeds sprout, remove the plastic.
Keep the seeds moist but not soggy.
In early April, you can take the seedlings outside during the day to harden them off, bringing them inside at night.
In late April or early May, plant the onions outside, carefully pulling each seedling away from the others.
I grow only storage onions, both because they last longer through the winter and they have a sharper, more intense flavor, which I like.
My latest favorite is the cippolini onion, which is short and flat and is still in good shape in our cellar as winter is ending.
Other good storage varieties are Copra and Redwing.
If you prefer a sweeter onion, even though it doesn’t keep as well, the traditional choice is Alisa Craig.
Gosh, it is good to be gardening again.