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How Long Are Onion Sets Good For – Timeline & Storage Suggestions

Onion sets are a prevalent way to grow onions for gardeners and farmers. After all, they are easy to plant and store. However, the time that onions can be saved is a bit confusing, especially for those new to growing onions. This will leave many gardeners wondering: How long are onion sets good for? 

Once adequately stored, onion sets can stay good for up to ten months. They tend to last much longer than onion seeds and older onion plant transplants, making the onion set a preferred way of growing onions for many gardeners. 

In this article, we will be explaining everything that you need to know about properly storing onion sets for next year. We will also explain what can happen if you store onion sets for too long. Let’s jump right into it! 

What Are Onion Sets? 

Onion sets are small onion bulbs. Although these bulbs usually appear to be dried out, they are dormant plants that are, in fact, alive.

This means they should germinate and start growing once planted in the ground. Onion sets are popular among farmers and gardeners because they are easier to store and last longer than onion seeds and older onion plant transplants. 

How Should You Store Onion Sets 

Onion sets should always be stored in a cool and dry place, especially when they are stored for months. This is because warm temperatures and moisture can cause onion sets to rot, rendering them useless for planting. Unfortunately, most basements are too moist to store onion sets properly. 

Many gardeners will also hang up their onion sets in mesh bags when storing them for next year. This will prevent moisture from collecting around the onion sets during storage.

Of course, checking on your onion sets periodically when storing them is also a good idea. This will allow you to check for signs of rotting and remove affected sets, which will also prevent rot from spreading to your other onion sets. 

Can Onion Sets Be Saved For Next Year? 

Yes, onion sets can be saved for next year when stored properly. That is when you produce the onion sets from seed yourself. Most gardeners will store their onion sets for up to ten months without any problems. This is especially true if the onion sets were well fertilized when initially planted and stored in a cool and dry environment after being harvested. 

However, if you have already purchased onion sets, it is not a good idea to wait ten months. This is because these onion sets have likely been stored by the producer of these sets for a long time already. As a result, it is best to plant purchased onion sets soon after you buy them, and it is not recommended to store them for more than a month after purchase. 

What Happens If You Store Onion Sets For Too Long? 

If you store onion sets for longer than ten months, then there is a chance that they will not germinate and produce a fully grown onion plant.

As a result, it is recommended that you use onion sets the next season after you have produced them or soon after you have purchased them from a supplier. Doing this will give you a better harvest with your onion plants. 

Similarly, onion sets stored for longer than ten months may be more susceptible to damage and rotting. This is because there are more chances that your onion sets will be exposed to warm temperatures and moisture when stored for extended past ten months. 

What Should You Do If Some Of Your Onion Sets Start To Rot? 

Finding an onion set or two that is starting to rot is not uncommon, even if you have only been storing them for a couple of months. The best thing you can do in this situation is to remove the rotting onion set. Doing this will prevent the rot from spreading to the other onion sets, allowing them to last longer. 

Things To Consider 

When storing onion sets, you may also want to consider if onion sets will grow when stored for an extended amount of time. Additionally, it may also be helpful to decide if onion sets will be the right method of growing onions for you. Here are some other things to consider about storing and using onion sets. 

Will Onion Sets Kept For Too Long Not Grow? 

Yes, most of the time, onion sets stored for longer than one year will yield much worse germination rates than onion sets stored until the next growing season. This is why planting your onion sets by the next growing season is so important. 

Are Onion Sets The Right Choice For You? 

Onion sets are not the only way to grow onion plants. Many people will choose to plant onion seeds or onion plant transplants instead of onion sets. When planting onion seeds and transplants, it is best to plant them the same year you get them. This is because they do not tend to germinate when stored for an extended time. 

As a result, onion sets tend to be better for people who want onion plant growing options already prepared for next year. They also tend to be easier to store than onion plant transplants. Meanwhile, onion plant seeds should be planted immediately.