How to Grow Bunching Onions In Paperpots (Paper Chain Pots)
Growing Bunching Onions in Paperpots
No hand transplanting!
Less transplant shock!
Bunching onions (or full size onions) are one of the easiest crops to grow in paper chain pots. If you don’t get good results direct seeding onions, then consider starting them and transplanting them in paperchains; a process that will save you a lot of time over hand transplanting.
Bunching onions are a relatively easy crop to grow for most market gardeners.
Direct seeding them can be very successful in the right conditions. The benefit. of direct seeding is – it is fast, easy, and cheap. But sometimes conditions don’t allow you to direct seed onions effectively, so transplanting is a better option.
But transplanting onions (the traditional way) brings its own set of problems. The seedlings are tiny and delicate and transplanting takes a long time.
The Paperpot Transplanter solves this problem.
It allows you to germinate seeds in a controlled environment then quickly and easily transplant them into the field 28 days later.
All without bending over and less transplant shock!
The Specifications for Paperpot Bunching Onions
|PAPER CHAIN POT||6"|
|ROWS PER 100’ X 30” BED||4|
|TRAYS PER 100’ X 30” BED||3|
|KWIK KLIK™ TOP PLATE||Plate: Paperpot (264 holes) / Thickness: 3mm / Hole Diameter: 5mm|
|SEEDS PER CELL||5-7|
|SEED PER 100’ X 30’ BED||4,560 seeds (+/-) *Always round up when placing seed orders to ensure having enough|
|RECOMMENDED CULTIVARS||Guardsman, Parade, Deep Purple|
|GERMINATION||72 hours at 78°F|
|DAYS TO TRANSPLANT||28 days (+/-) *time from seeding to transplanting in the field|
|DAYS TO MATURITY||70 days (+/-) *time from seeding to being ready for harvest|
|HARVEST WINDOW||14 days (+/-) *time crop is at ideal stage for harvest after reaching maturity|
|TOTAL DAYS IN FIELD||56 days (+/-) *DTM + harvest window - days to transplant|
|HARVEST UNIT||Bunch (10-12 green onions per bunch, 3-4” bottoms)|
|TARGET CROP YIELD||380 bunches per 100’ bed (+/-)|
|PRICE PER UNIT||$2 *depending on local market pricing|
|REVENUE PER BED||$760 *depending on local market pricing|
|SEEDING||Kwik Klik™ Drop Seeder, Paperpot Germination Trays, Paper Chain Pots|
|TILTHING||Power Harrow or Precision Depth Roller (With no tractor: Tither)|
|AERATION||Meadow Creature Broadfork|
|SHAPING||Bed Preparation Rake|
|WEED CONTROL||Flame Weeder|
|CULTIVATION||Wheel Hoe w/ Bio-Disc Cultivator or collinear hoe|
Suggested Tools for Paperpot Bunching Onions
Bed Preparation for Paperpot Transplanting
- Red Kitten
Days to Maturity:
- 55 days (+/-)
Target Crop Yield:
- 60 lb (+/-) per 100’ bed (average 3 cuttings per bed, 20 lb per cutting)
- JP5 or JP1 (JP5 recommended)
- Tilther or Power Harrow
- Bed prep rake
- Flame weeder
- Row cover or insect netting (depending on the season)
- Flex tine weeder
- Quick Cut Greens Harvester (or harvest knife if preferred)
Seeding Bunching Onions in Paperpots
Prepare trays with 6” paper chain pots, and fill with potting mix.
Install Paperpot bottom plate and specified top plate into Kwik Klik™ (KK) Drop Seeder. Pour seed onto the top plate and rotate until approximately 5-7 seeds fill each hole.
Position the KK Drop Seeder over the tray, ensuring the holes are lined up with the cells, and click to drop the seeds.
Water the trays, then place in germination chamber for 72 hours at 78°.
Transfer the trays to greenhouse tables after germination.
Keep onion tops trimmed to 4” tall, channeling more energy into root development.
Transplanting Bunching Onions with the Paperpot Transplanter
Water the beds thoroughly with overhead irrigation, or four rows of drip.
Overhead irrigation poses risk of downy mildew for bunching onions if ventilation is inadequate.
Dry conditions can lead to unpleasant flavor in bunching onions.
10-14 days after transplanting, cultivate using a Terrateck Wheel Hoe with the bio-disc cultivator attachment.
This tool provides a hilling effect while cultivating both on the row and in between rows in a single pass.
A long-handled collinear hoe is also an effective approach to cultivating, just not as fast.
Harvesting Bunching Onions
Bunching onions are ready for harvest when the white base of the onion is 3-4”.
Harvest in the kneeling position, bunching two plantings together with rubber bands, creating bunches with 10-12 onions each.
Harvest a planting within 14 days after reaching maturity to maintain optimum tenderness.
Dunk the bunches in cold water, then spray all sides of the roots with the high pressure Washdown Gun.
Avoid the green tops with the gun to prevent damage.
Transfer the washed bunches to totes, and store at 35° until taken to market.
Washing and Packing Bunching Onions
Overall Paper Chain Pots make bunching onions a much more farmer-friendly crop.
Time savings, ease of transplanting, and uniform planting distances are some of the reasons why bunching onions are one of the most popular market garden crops grown in paperpots.
Get started growing bunching onions on your farm using a Paperpot Transplanter and download the Growers Notes below.