In order to decide, you’ll need to understand the differences between the two…

Onion seeds are just that- seeds! Onion seeds are considerably less expensive than sets and you will find a much larger variety. However, they need to be started very early indoors (January-February) so if you’re late getting started or you prefer direct-sowing outdoors, you’ll need to look into onion sets instead.

Onion sets are little onions! They’ve been grown for one year, dug up, and stored over the winter. In the spring, they are ready to be planted directly into the ground. Since they are already a year old, sets will yield full-sized bulbs at the end of the season without being started indoors early.

As you get acquainted with gardening, you will likely develop a preference for one or the other. Some gardeners believe sets are more prone to bolting and that seeds produce larger onions overall. Others will report quite the opposite!

As with anything in the garden, factors like soil quality, weather, and each unique gardener can have a huge impact on your results. We recommend having fun with trying new things in the garden and you can never have too many onions! They are so versatile, you can always use them in the kitchen.

Looking for more bulbs?

If you like the convenience of sets, check out our Spring Garlic, Seed Potatoes, and Gladiolus! They’re all ready to be direct planted this spring!

One thought on “Should You Buy Onion Seeds or Sets?

  1. I wonder which onion is best as a keeper for next winter. Which one grows best when its hot out. We had a problem last winter with the yellow onions we grew. We dried them for a long time but they started to rot after being stored for only a month or so. Wonder what i did wrong or was it the type i bought. I bought yello and red sets from a store in my area. Thanks for your help. Lin

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