When to Plant Onions in Arkansas? (Best Time)

Written by

William Golder


Dorian Goodwin

when to plant onions in arkansas

Arkansas’ richest farming lands are no secret. 14.5 million of its land resources are recognized as workable farmland; it has been a major exporter of different types of grains.

But how about onions? Does Arkansas have a suitable climate landscape to produce this bulb vegetable? If so, you might be asking – ”when to plant onions in Arkansas?”

It’s advisable to plant onions during the cool and moderate temperatures of late winter or early spring. Thus, the best time to plant onions is from 10th February to 15th March.

Best Time to Plant Onions in Arkansas


One of the fun facts about this state is that 97% of farms are family owned. It means that almost all citizens in this state have the liberty to grow their food at home.

However, when it comes to growing onions in Arkansas requires proper timing. Planting them too early in the spring may prevent them from dying while planting onions too early will prevent you from having a harvest before the first frost in the fall.

Note that this vegetable is categorized as cool-season; thus, its planting season usually falls from February until April.

As a farmer, it is worth noting that when to plant onion in Arkansas also depends on factors like the growing method and areas.

1. Depending on the growing method

  • Plant onion transplants


When using transplants, the recommended planting time in Arkansas is typically in February or early March. Transplants are young onion plants started indoors or in a controlled environment.

They are usually available for purchase from local nurseries or can be grown from seeds indoors in pots. By starting with transplants, you can get a head start on the growing season, as they are already established and have a more robust root system.

  • Plant onion seeds


If you prefer starting from onion seeds, the planting time in Arkansas is similar to transplanting. Sow the seeds indoors or in a greenhouse about 8 to 10 weeks before the last frost date, typically in February or early March for most regions in the state.

This allows the seedlings to develop before being transplanted outdoors. Starting from seeds gives you more options, as numerous onion varieties are available in seed form.

  • Plant onion sets


Onion sets are small, dormant bulbs grown from seeds the previous year and harvested before they reach full maturity. Growing onions from bulbs are often used for convenience and quicker growth.

For Arkansas, it’s recommended to plant onion bulb set in late winter or early spring, around the same time as transplants and seeds. Plant the sets about one inch deep with the pointed side up, and space them four to six inches apart.

2. Area or USDA plant hardiness zones


Arkansas has three plant hardiness zones — 6, 7, and 8. Each zone has different planting schedules. Thus, it is vital to determine which zone your city belongs to know what month you will do a specific activity. Here are the zone schedules for planting onions in Arkansas:

Zone Start Seeds Indoors Transplant/Plant Seed Outdoors Harvest Time
Zone 6a and 6b Mid-March – Last week of April 1st week of May – Mid-July Mid-July – Last week of September
Zone 7a and 7b 1st week of March Mid-April – Last week June 1st week of July – Last week of August
Zone 8a and 8b Mid-February – Mid-April Mid-April to Mid-July Mid-July to Last week of August

Planting Onions at Home in Arkansas

1. Indoor Onion Planting


If you want to enjoy homegrown onions in Arkansas, even during the colder months or have limited outdoor space, indoor cultivation is an excellent option.

For a successful harvest, choosing a suitable onion variety is essential. Select onion varieties ideal for indoor cultivation, such as ‘White Lisbon’ or ‘Evergreen Hardy White.’ These varieties thrive in containers and have a shorter maturity period.

Planting time: Start indoor onion seeds 8 to 10 weeks before Arkansas’s last expected frost date. This typically falls in February or early March. Check the seed packet for specific timing recommendations.

2. Outdoor Onion Planting


For those with ample garden space or who prefer the traditional approach, outdoor onion planting in Arkansas is rewarding. It is best if you use onion sets for this method.

Plant them about 1 inch deep with the pointed end facing up. Space the sets 4 to 6 inches apart in rows 12 to 18 inches apart. However, if using transplants, dig small holes and place them in the ground at the same depth they were growing in their containers.

Planting time: In Arkansas, the ideal time to plant onions outdoors is in late winter or early spring, around February or March. Choose a sunny location with well-drained soil.

How Late Can I Plant Onions in Arkansas?

Regardless of the zones, Arkansas usually has 200 days from the last and first frost, which you can maximize to plant your onions.

City Last Frost Date First Frost Date
Corning April 15 October 14
Fayetteville April 25 October 7
Fort Smith April 14 October 18
Jonesboro April 13 October 24
Little Rock April 9 October 29
Ozark April 14 October 21
Pine Bluff April 3 October 25
Texarkana April 6 October 31
Wynne April 14 October 13

Tips on How to Plant Onions in Arkansas Successfully


1. Best onions to plant in Arkansas

Choose the suitable onion varieties for Arkansas’s climate. Here are some best onions to plant in Arkansas:

  1. Texas Early Grano – This variety thrives in Arkansas due to its adaptability to warmer climates and excellent storage capability.
  2. Yellow Granex (Vidalia) – Known for its mild and sweet flavor, this onion variety grows well in Arkansas’s fertile soil and moderate climate.
  3. Red Creole – Well-suited for Arkansas, this onion variety has a pungent flavor and is highly resistant to diseases and pests.
  4. Candy Hybrid – With their high yields and exceptional sweetness, Candy Hybrid onions are a popular choice in Arkansas, thanks to their ability to flourish in various climates and soils.

2. Watering

Provide consistent moisture to onions by watering deeply and regularly, especially during dry spells, to prevent bulb splitting and promote healthy growth.

3. Weed monitoring and fertilizing

Control weeds diligently around onion plants to reduce competition for nutrients and water, ensuring robust development. Apply organic mulch around onion plants to regulate soil temperature, retain moisture, and suppress weed growth.

4. Pest control

Monitor for common onion pests like thrips and onion larvae, and take appropriate measures such as using insecticidal soap or row covers to protect your crop.

5. Harvesting

Harvest onions in Arkansas when the foliage begins to turn yellow and topple over, indicating that the bulbs have reached maturity, and allow them to cure in a well-ventilated, dry area before storing them for long-term use.

When to Plant Onions in Zone 7b Arkansas?


It’s recommended that you plant the seed in early spring, from February to March, and do the transplanting during mid-April.


Determining when to plant onions in Arkansas may appear deceptively simple, but it poses challenges. Nevertheless, we trust that this all-inclusive guide has provided valuable assistance for your endeavor to cultivate a thriving bulb garden.

So, why wait any longer? Seize your shovel and embark on the planting journey without delay!

Read more: Best time to grow other plants in Arkansas such as tomatoes and potatoes.

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