I have discovered one of the best ways to planting onions would be to use large totes rather than planting them in the garden. They result in much larger bulbs with a sweet long lasting taste that you can store much longer and enjoy through most of the winter.
For those with small garden space this method is perfect and is something that I do every season with great success. Let’s go through the exact steps to growing onions in totes.
Types of Totes
The first thing you need to do is purchase some large sized totes. It is best to look for some that are large enough to put plenty of onion bulbs into. My totes measure 27 ½ x 21 ½ and 14” deep and I am able to place 20-25 bulbs in each easily.
Not only do they have to be large enough, but they need to be strong enough to withstand the weight of the soil you will be placing in there. It should also be strong enough to battle the elements that it will face such as rain, wind, cool and hot temperatures.
Industrial strength totes are the best for this method to work correctly. I would recommend using totes that you would find in hardware stores. Storage bins you would find in any store are not strong enough to be used for planting onions. I have been using the same industrial strength totes for the past 15 years which is why I recommend using these types of totes.
You need to fill each tote with soil and some rich compost or manure. It is best to alternate between topsoil and organic compost/manure. You want to end on topsoil since this is where your onions will be placed onto.
I usually use two bags of manure and topsoil. I start with adding manure to the totes, then topsoil, manure, and last topsoil. This fills up the tote to the very top
for proper planting.
Before planting the onions I would mix some wood ash and some bone meal into the top layer of soil. This is optional, but is a good way to give your onions a good start.
Planting Onions in Totes
Now that you are done layering the soil you are now ready to place your bulbs into the soil. The great thing about totes is that you don’t have to spend your time making rows.
You can just place them easily into the soil and be done in a couple of minutes at the most. Once you get them in the soil you can then apply the same onion growing guidelines as you would if they were in the garden.