This Vertical Onion Garden is a fun project that the kids will just love. They will enjoy helping you put it together and watching as the onions start to sprout and grow out the sides of the bottle that you have set up for a container.Growing food from scraps and pieces is a fun way to introduce kids to the magic of gardening. Onions are one of the easiest of vegetables to grow indoors and they also grow quickly, so impatient little ones will start seeing progress soon, which keeps their interest up. All sorts of onions can be grown indoors. Spring onions are the fastest, onion bottoms also work well.
This vertical window garden is a delight to watch as it grows. The tips of the onions will sprout if you keep the soil well watered and they with sort of “reach for the light” which makes a fun looking planter as it starts to fill in.
This is how to make a vertical onion garden.
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For this project we will be using shallots. These small onions taste similar to an onion but grows a bit like a garlic head does. Their size makes them perfect for this vertical onion garden project. (See my tips for choosing, storing, using and growing shallots here.)
Small onions from onion sets meant for growing onion plants will also work. I just happened to have a big bag of shallots on hand and used them. Large spring onions would also work well.
To make the vertical onion garden you will need these supplies
- large wide plastic jar
- shallots or onion sets
- Box cutter or Exacto knife
- Designer Adhesive tape
- Small rocks
- Potting soil
I started with a cleaned out large tomato juice bottle and a bowl of small shallots. Any large size bottle will do, but the project works best if the bottle is some what wide. It makes it easier to put together and gives room to position the shallots. Clean off the labels from the bottle. (Goo Gone works great for this!)
Next, take your Sharp knife and cut the top of the bottom off about 1/4 down the side. Place a bottom layer of the rocks for drainage. This step is important since there are no holes in the bottom of the container and you don’t want the onions to rot from too much water.
Place a layer of potting soil on top of the rocks and cut out three holes evenly around the edges. Place the onions in the container on an angle with the tips sitting so that they are out of the holes. Cover with soil, rotate the bottle and cut three more holes and add three more onions. The rotation allows the bottle to be evenly planted with onions around the whole outside area.
Keep turning the bottle, making the holes, adding the onions and soil until you get to the top area where the bottle is cut off. Then make three more holes in the top part of the bottle and position the last row of onions so they will grow out of those holes.
Now you will need to make a seal for the top of the bottle. I used striped Duct tape with colors that coordinated with the top of my bottle and sealed the cut opening all around the bottle.
The only thing left to do now, is to add more soil to the top of the bottle and tap it down several times for the soil to set well around the onions. A good watering with a watering can gives my onions the moisture they need to start growing. I placed the vertical onion garden on a saucer and placed it in a bright sunny window to get the process of growing started.
Before too long the onions will start to grow by sprouting at the tips!
It just took a few days for the onions that were already sprouted to start sprouting.
And a few weeks gave me lots of new growth! I can’t wait for the rest of the onions to all get growing. They are going to look amazing with the growth on the outside of the bottle.
Vertical onion gardens need consistent moisture, and plenty of sun light. Within days, the onions will start to sprout and the green leaves will poke out of the holes. Before you know it, you’ll be able to snip off fresh onion greens to use as garnish for soups, or salads. The onions will continue sprouting new growth even after you cut them off.
Be sure to check out how I grew Vidalia onions from their bottoms. Have you ever tried growing onions indoors? What projects did you have the most luck with?
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