Sow onions & leeks

Sow onions and leeks

It’s a tad too hot in February for sowing onions, leeks and green onions in the ground, but starting them in punnets will give them a head start until conditions are cool enough to plant them out. Here’s how.

Single-cell punnets offer the easiest option to germinate the seed and grow seedlings on. Once they’re established (about 10cm tall), they can be tipped out and separated, ready for planting.

The seed of onions and their close relatives have a fairly short period of viability, so if you have a packet that’s been lying about for more than a year or two, replace it with a fresh pack to avoid the disappointment of poor germination.

Fill your punnet with a premium seed-raising mix, scatter your seed over the top, then cover with 5–6mm of mix. Place punnets in a spot that gets a few hours of early morning sun, with shade from late morning onwards, and keep moist. Once the seedlings are up, encourage rapid growth with regular watering and an application of liquid fertiliser once a week.

Check out more food plants that can be sown or planted at this time of year in the February 2021 issue of ABC Gardening Australia magazine, out now.