Growing onions at home is always a great idea, as these vegetables are not only a fantastic cooking ingredient but also highly nutritious. A good starting point in growing them is knowing when to plant onions in Louisiana.
Onions are a cool-season crop, and they are typically planted in Louisiana from September 20 to October 15 as seeds or around December 15 to January 30 as sets. Harvesting can be done after 120 to 150 days, around April to May.
Table of Contents
Best Time to Plant Onions in Louisiana
Louisiana is under hardiness zones 8a to 10a, and the state has a humid subtropical climate characterized by hot and humid summers and short and mild winters.
The typical time to grow onions in Louisiana starts from late September for seeds and early mid-December for sets, but the exact timing will still depend on your city’s frost dates, so it is best to stay up-to-date with your local weather report.
- Onions are hardy and can tolerate light freezes. As a general rule, you can plant onion sets outdoors as soon as the ground can be dug, about two to four weeks before the final frost.
- As for fall gardening, start seeds four to eight weeks before the first frost to help onions establish themselves before dormancy.
Check out the estimated frost dates for Louisiana below:
|City||Last Frost Date||First Frost Date|
|Alexandria||March 06||November 18|
|Baton Rouge||March 07||November 17|
|Lake Charles||February 26||November 28|
|Monroe||March 14||November 08|
|New Orleans||February 16||December 19|
|Shreveport||March 07||November 16|
If you are planning to grow onions from seeds, you can start preparing them for fall planting indoors at around late September in north Louisiana up to mid-October in south Louisiana.
They can be overwintered in cities under zone 9 and zone 10 for a harvest in the next spring or summer.
How Late Can I Plant Onions in Louisiana?
Onions get the signal to start forming bulbs based on the number of daylight hours they receive per day. Hence, selecting the appropriate variety and correct planting time will have an effect on the bulb size of your onions.
The amount of daylight hours for each onion variety is as follows:
- 10-12 daylight hours for short-day onions
- 12-14 daylight hours for intermediate-day varieties
- 14-16 daylight hours for long-day varieties
If you are aiming for a bigger bulb, planting onion sets early to get as much onion leaves as possible is the priority, and if you are going to plant after your last frost date, it might already be too late.
August to December is planting season for onions in Louisiana, though August should be reserved for bunching varieties only.
Tips for Successful Planting of Onions in Louisiana
Onions can be grown successfully from seeds, sets, or transplants, and the growing requirements for these three are all the same. Outlined in the Louisiana planting guide below are the key requirements for growing onions.
|Planting time||Onions are usually planted in Louisiana in late fall or early winter, as soon as the ground can be worked on and there is no heavy freeze forecasted.|
|Soil||Plant onion seedlings in loose, well-drained garden loam or sandy soil, as compact soils tend to affect bulb size and shape.|
|Spacing||Plant onions 6 to 8 inches apart in all directions to give space for the bulbs to grow.|
|Sunlight||Select a location that receives full, direct sunlight.|
|Water||Give the plants about an inch of water per sq. foot per week, but increase the watering frequency when the temperatures climb.|
|Fertilizer||Use a complete fertilizer, especially if the soil is poor. Lightly dress the onion every three weeks with nitrogen until bulbing.|
Best Onions to Plant in Louisiana
Onions are sensitive to day length, and the most common types of onions in southern states like Louisiana are short-day varieties. Here are some of the best onions to plant in Louisiana:
- Red: Red Creole, Creole C5, Southern Belle
- White: Crystal Wax, White Granex hybrid, Contessa
- Yellow: Granex 33, Granex 429, Texas Grano 1015 Y
Harvesting and Storage Onions in Louisiana
The number of days from planting to harvest depends on the variety you choose. Onions planted from sets can be ready for harvest within 120 to 150 days, while those planted from seeds within 135 to 210 days.
Onions are ready for harvest when the top leaves turn brown and the stalk or neck falls over.
Carefully loosen the soil around the onion to encourage drying and easily pull the bulb out. Harvest during dry weather, as wet soil can increase the likelihood of contamination and rotting.
Once removed from the soil, cut the roots and trim the tops before curing the onions. You can then hang them in a cool, dry area with good air circulation. Store them in temperatures within 40 to 60 °F.
Onions are wonderful plants to have in your home garden. However, their planting and growing requirements might seem daunting, especially for beginners. Don’t fret, as once you nail down the basics and learn when to plant onions in Louisiana, you’ll surely have your thriving onion bulbs.
Hi, I am William – Floridayards’ digital content creator. My job is to find answers to all your concerns with thorough research and our team’s expert advice. I will also bring you honest reviews on the best products and equipment for raising your beautiful garden. Please look forward to our work!