Onion Farming, Planting, Care, Harvesting – A Full Guide

Onion Farming Techniques, Tips, and Ideas.

Onion is one of the most favorite vegetables for most of the people all over the world. Growing onions is very easy and profitable. Investment required for growing onions on a commercial scale is very less and plant care of onions are also very minimal. So, today, we learn the  top onion farming techniques, tips, and ideas.

Onion Farming
Onion Farming.

Suitable Soil for Onion Plantation:

Onions can be cultivated in a wide range of soils from sandy loam to clay loam with good drainage facilities. The optimum pH would be 6.5-7.5.

Onion Plants with Mulch.
Onion Plants with Mulch.

Suitable climatic conditions for Onion growth:

It is adapted to a temperature range of 13-24° C for the vegetative stage and 16-21° C for the bulbing stage, 30-35° C at maturity and harvest. The best performance can be obtained in mild weather without the extremes of cold, heat and excess rainfall.

Season   Kharif Season May-September (Onion only)
 Late Kharif Season August – February (Onion only)
 Rabi Season October – April (Onion and Garlic)

Onion seed rate per hectare:

7 to 9 kg/ha.(Note: 1 ha = 2.48 acres).

Nursery raising of Onion seedlings:

Seeds are sown on raised beds of 1.2 m width and 3-4 m length. The seedlings will be ready for transplanting in 45-50 days after sowing.

Preparation of soil or field for onion plantation:

Plow the land to get fine tilth and incorporate FYM 20 tonnes/ha or 10 tons FYM and 5 tons poultry manure or vermicompost at the time of the last plowing. Form flatbed or broad-based furrow (BBF) for planting.
Spacing: 15X10 cm   for both

 Fertilizers   kharif season Onion  100:50:50:50 kg NPKS/ha
Late kharif  Onion  150:50:50:50 kg NPKS/ha
Rabi season Onion  150:50:80:50 kg NPKS/ha

Apply 50% N and 100% P, K & S as basal dose and remaining 50% of N to be applied in two splits at 30 & 45 days after transplanting. The topdressing must be completed before bulb development.

Read: Strawberry Farming Project Report.

Irrigation requirement for Onion crop:

Water Requirement for Onions.
Water Requirement for Onions.

Irrigation is necessary at the time of transplanting/dibbling of cloves and light irrigation should be done on the third day after planting and subsequent irrigation will be done at   7-10 days interval depending upon the soil condition and season. Water the transplants immediately after planting. Because of the shallow root system, onions require frequent furrow irrigation. Avoid overhead irrigation, which causes foliage diseases. If the foliage has an unhealthy, yellowish tint the plants are being over-irrigated. The soil will be overly dry around an under-watered crop and may become cracked. Onions generally require 30″ of irrigation during a growing season and the closer to harvest, the greater the need for water. If the onion does not get enough water it will not make a large bulb. When the necks start falling over and the onions mature, watering should be discontinued and the soil allowed to dry.

Microirrigation and fertigation for Onion crop:

By using drip and sprinklers, irrigation should be done once in three days. The operating pressure for a drip system is 1.5kg/cm2 and for the rotary micro sprinkler is 2.5kg/cm2. Through drip, fertigation should be done by using nitrogen fertilizers (Urea). Apply 50% N as basal dose and remaining 50% of N to be applied in seven splits (10 days interval up to 70 days after transplanting) through the drip irrigation system.

Weed control and management of Onion plantation:

The crop should be kept weed free for good bulb yield. For the transplanted onion, pre-emergence application of Oxyfluorfen (Goal) @ 0.15-0.25 kg ai/ha or Fluchloralin (Basalin) @1.0kg/ha or Pendimethalin (Stomp) 3.5 l/ha combined with one hand weeding was found effective in both Kharif and Rabi seasons.
For onion nursery and direct seeded crop, application of Pendimethalin @3ml/liter just after sowing is found best in controlling weeds without affecting the germination, seedling growth, and final stand.

Cropping rotation in Onion Production :

Crop rotation is very important in onion farming process Soybean in Kharif season followed by onion in rabi season is the best crop rotation which improves soil fertility as well as monetary returns.

Harvesting, yield, and storage of Onions: 

Harvesting Onions
Harvesting Onions.

Onions should be harvested at 50% neck fall stage. Follow harvesting of onion bulbs at the right stage of maturity. It is important in deciding the storage life of onion as bulbs may be stored for about six months.

Freshly Picked Onions.
Freshly Picked Onions.

The onion bulbs, reach maturity when the plants cease to produce new leaves and roots. In onion, neck fall is the indication of maturity. Time of harvesting depends on several factors tike planting season, cultivar, market price and condition of the crop. In general, when about 50% neck fall is seen crop is harvested. Onion for storage should be fully developed. Thick-neck bulbs which result due to premature harvesting do not store well. Late harvesting leads to increased respiration, subsequent susceptibility to diseases and excessive sprouting during prolonged storage and left in field sunburn is also noticed. Bulbs are harvested by hand pulling if the soil is light; they are also harvested by hand implements. Kharif crop, since the growth continues forced toppling should be taken up to stop growth 15 days before harvesting. Onion along with tops are kept in the field for 2-3 days, curing for 3-4 days is necessary to remove excess moisture from outer skin and neck to reduce shrinkage and development of color in storage.

Onion yield
Onion yield.
 Yield:  Onion (Kharif)  15-20t/ha
 Onion (Late Kharif)  30-35t/ha
 Onion (Rabi)  25-30t/ha

Marketing of Onions:

Marketing is very easy, where you can supply to local wholesale stores or retail stores or even you can sell in government market yards.

That’s all folks about the ing of onions and the cultivation practices. Keep growing onions for better world!.

Read: Hydroponic Growing System.


  1. I’d like to ask about the quantity of yield mentioned above is it the total amount of the whole season
    because I’ve been told that onion regrow again in days after harvest and in the same season their are several time of harvest , is that true ?

  2. sir,
    I am 35 yrs aged who worked for different educational sectors for 9 yrs and now full time paddy culltivator.I live in village near udupi district ,karnataka state. i have one hectare land and want to try new cultivation which could yeild good profits in lesser time compared to paddy which takes more time and less profit, so i am planning to cultivate onion. As these areas the farmers are not open to other cultivation other than paddy so i always get negative feedback as to its not possible to cultivate any other crop or so. So request you to kindly guide me if i could cultivate as the ph level in udupi distrcit is around 6-7 and the land is not too watery or not too dry and there is a small water body where it can be used to irrigate. Please Guide.

    • yes done Onion crop after harvesting of Paddy (if Irrigation Facilities available) commonly Ruby season onion plantation mid December to mid January

  3. What breed of onion is sweet with high sugar content for raw eating/salad? I do recall white onion is sweet and mild which breeds would fit that category. Also where to buy that please do inform.

  4. Great informative article. I would like to start onion farming and may I please know the best way between direct seeding and transplanting seedlings

  5. I’m a small scale farmer I live in Zambia farming in solwezi interested onin farming I need help on the type to plant be tween March tyAugast


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