Small Onion


Red loam to black soils with good drainage facilities is highly suited for onion cultivation. It performs well at a soil pH range of 6-7 and a mild season without extremes of heat and cold.


Sow the medium sized bulbs during April – May and October – November. It requires sufficient soil moisture during its growing period but heavy rains during bulb germination and bulb formation affects the crop growth.

Seed rate

1000 kg/ha is required. Medium sized bulbs are to be chosen for planting. Seeds @ 8kg/ha

Land View

Raising seedlings and transplanting

This is the most common method practiced for irrigated crop as it results in high yield and large size bulbs. In plains, seeds are sown during October-November for a rabi crop. In hills, seeds are sown from March to June. Seeds are first sown in well prepared nursery beds of 90-120 cm width, 7.5-10.0 cm height and convenient length. Ratio between nursery area and main field is about 1:20. Seed rate varies from 8 to 10 kg/ha. Seedlings of 15 cm height and 0.8 cm neck diameter are ideal for transplanting and this is achieved in 8 weeks. However, it varies from 6-10 weeks depending on soil, climate and receipt of rain. There is a practice of topping seedlings at the time of transplanting if seedlings are over-grown.

Preparation of field

Plough the land to a fine tilth and form ridges and furrows at 45 cm spacing. Sow the bulbs on both the sides of the ridges at 10 cm apart.


Irrigate at the time of planting of seedlings and third day and later at weekly intervals. Withhold irrigation 10 days before harvest.

Onion flood irrigated field

Onion drip irrigation field

Sprinkler irrigated Onion field

Application of fertilizers

Apply FYM 25 t/ha, Azospirillum 2 kg and Phosphobacteria 2 kg/ha, N 30 kg, P 60 kg and K 30 kg/ha as basal and 30 kg N/ha on 30th day of sowing.


Apply a dose of 75% of the total recommended dose of superphosphate i.e. 285 kg/ha as basal dose. Azospirillum and Phosphobacteria each @ 2 Kg/ha along with FYM 50 Kg and Neem cake @ 100 kg are applied before last ploughing. Raised beds of 120 cm are formed at an interval of 30 cm and the laterals are placed at the centre of each bed.

Planting design

Bulbs or seedlings are planted in rows of 20 cm spacing and 12 cm between plants. Planting is done at 6 rows in each bed, thereby it accommodates 55,560 plants in one hectare. Irrigation is done after transplanting or planting the bulbs. Complete wetting is necessary to maintain uniform moisture level.