How to Grow Scallions, Spring Onions in the Garden

Updated on March 12, 2018
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L.M.Reid is an Irish writer who has published many articles. She is a keen gardener with plenty of experience.

Spring Onions
Spring Onions | Source

How to Grow Scallions From Seed

Scallions are also called spring onions or green onions in other countries.

I show you how to grow and harvest scallions in the garden with step by step instructions with videos and photos.

It is so nice to be able to go into the garden and pick a few scallions for use in the kitchen whenever I need them.

Spring Onion Seeds

I used these scallions seeds this year and they produced a lot of nice plants.

There are 200 in the packet so I did not use them all and have enough for next years crop too.

Vegetable Gardening in Containers

Scallions can be grown in most areas of your garden and do not take up too much room for the high yield you get back. This vegetable does prefer a sunny spot but can tolerate less sun if necessary.

Do not grow them near beans or peas as their growth will suffer. I have also grown these vegetables very successfully in containers and pots.

So for those of you who only have a yard, balcony or patio you can easily add these to your containers where you are growing your lettuce and radishes.

When to Plant Seeds

Sow the first batch of seeds indoors just before the spring which is the end of February in Ireland. If you intend to sow the seeds straight into the soil then leave it a few extra weeks to the middle of march.

This is a lot cheaper than bulbs. It does take up to three to four weeks for them to germinate but once they do they will grow easily in the garden.

For a constant supply of fresh spring onions you should sow a new batch of seeds every three weeks right up to July.

Cold Frame

We have a very cold spring here in Ireland so I like to sow the seeds in a cold frame first. This gives them a head start and then I transplant them into the garden or into containers.

Once the warmer second month of spring comes I plant the seeds straight into the ground or containers.

Scallions Growing in Garden
Scallions Growing in Garden | Source

How To Plant in Trays

  1. The trays should already have plenty of drainage.
  2. Fill your trays with potting compost and firm it down
  3. Make rows of about half an inch deep with your finger and about three inches apart.
  4. Sprinkle the seeds into the rows.
  5. Cover them with compost and firm down.
  6. Water well.
  7. Leave in a sunny position in a green house if you are lucky enough to have one or a cold frame.
  8. My cold frame is tiny and made of hard plastic but it gives the seeds that extra protection from the cold and wind..
  9. Keep watered and you should see the shoots in about two weeks.
  10. They will be ready to be transplanted after about another three weeks growth.
  11. Place them in a warm spot in the garden for a few hours a day to harden them off.
  12. Prepare the soil in the ground where you want to grow them by digging it around and adding some fresh compost.
  13. Rake the soil until it is even.and firm it down
  14. Plant the small plants in the ground making sure the roots are secure.
  15. Plant them about two inches apart in rows.
  16. Firm them in with your fingers and cover over with soil.

Spring Onion Seed Tray
Spring Onion Seed Tray | Source

Planting The Seeds

  1. Prepare the soil by mixing in some compost and raking in evenly.
  2. If the soil is heavy mix in some sand as they prefer a well drained bed
  3. Make an indent about half an inch deep in a row down the soil.
  4. Place the seeds in the palm of your hand and use the fingers of your other hand to sprinkle the seeds along the row.
  5. Try to space them out as evenly as possible about two inches apart.
  6. You are bound to get some that will be bunched up and these can be thinned out later.
  7. Space the rows .about seven inches apart.
  8. Once you have finished placing the seeds in all the rows cover them with soil and press it down evenly.
  9. Place your name tags at the end of each row. This will remind you what you have just sown and where they are.
  10. This year I bought seeds that were encased in a thin sheet of paper. It made sowing them easier but I will have to see if they grow.
  11. Water well. Make sure the soil is not allowed to dry out but do not over water.
  12. It will take between three to four weeks before the seeds germinate.

Onions, Carrots and Scallions
Onions, Carrots and Scallions | Source

In Containers

You can grow scallions in just about any container, pot or box.

The root system is quite shallow and the plants do not take up too much room.

  1. Prepare your containers by giving them plenty of drainage.
  2. Add the compost and firm down
  3. Make an indent of about half an inch along the area you want the scallions to grow.
  4. Sprinkle the seeds and cover with soil.
  5. Firm it down with the palm of your hand and water well.
  6. Containers need to be watered more often so keep an eye on them.

Transplanting the Seedlings into the Ground

When the seeds have grown to about three inches you can transplant them to the garden

  1. Prepare the soil by adding some compost and digging in.
  2. Rake over to form a neat surface
  3. Take each delicate plant out of the tray and place in the soil.
  4. Do this in rows and cover the roots with soil.


It is important when they are still small to carefully pick out any weeds that develop around them.

When the plants are about seven to eight inches high you should cover the ground around them with some kind of mulch.

This will retain the water and keep down the weeds in the summer.

Scallions in My Garden
Scallions in My Garden | Source

When to Harvest

They will grow to about twelve to fifteen inches tall and this takes around twelve weeks.

But you can start to pick them when they are about ten inches tall and the bulb is not too thick.

At this stage they do not taste as strong and that is when I pick mine.

Both the Scallion bulbs and the green leaves taste delicious and are eaten raw.

At this stage in their growth you should be able to pull them up with your hands.

If they are too strong then gently dig around the root being careful not to damage the bulb.

Only pick what you are going to use in the kitchen that day.

How To Grow Green Onions

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I have written some recipes below that I use my own homegrown spring onions and scallions in.

How To Make Coleslaw Recipe


  • Half a large carrot
  • A quarter of cabbage
  • 2 scallions
  • Mayonnaise


  1. Wash and cut up the cabbage into small pieces
  2. Wash, peel and cut the carrot into small squares
  3. Wash the scallions and cut off the roots at the bulb end
  4. Cut the scallions into small pieces.
  5. Place half the cabbage into a bowl
  6. Add half the carrots and half the scallions.
  7. Mix with a fork
  8. Repeat the process with the other half of the vegetables.
  9. Take two tablespoons of mayonnaise and mix into the vegetables very well.
  10. Leave to chill in the fridge for at least an hour before serving.

Making Coleslaw
Making Coleslaw | Source

Make Your Own KFC Coleslaw

How to Make Potato Salad


  • 2 large potatoes
  • 3 scallions
  • A small bunch of parsley
  • Mayonnaise


  1. Peel the potatoes and cut into small pieces.
  2. Put in a pan of hot water and bring to the boil
  3. Simmer for twenty minutes
  4. Drain out the water and add a knob of butter.
  5. Leave to go cold.
  6. Take the scallions and wash them.
  7. Remove the roots at the end of the bulbs.
  8. Cut the green leaves and bulbs into small pieces.
  9. Wash the parsley and dry with a paper towel.
  10. Cut the leaves into very small pieces.
  11. When the potatoes are cold take them out of the pan and put them in a bowl.
  12. Chop them up further into smaller pieces.
  13. Add the parsley and scallions and mix in well.
  14. Add the mayonnaise and mix in well.
  15. Leave in the fridge for at least an hour before serving.

Recipes for Coleslaw and Potato Salad

5 out of 5 stars from 1 rating of Potato Salad
Potato Salad with Hamburger
Potato Salad with Hamburger | Source


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    • viking305 profile image

      L M Reid 2 years ago from Ireland

      Thank you Jay - Yes scallions are one of the easiest vegetables to grow. I am able to eat fresh scallions all summer from my garden

    • Jaypyramid profile image

      Jaypyramid 2 years ago

      Love all the photos in your article. Makes it so much more interesting to read All the amazing looking vegetables Must be great to live with you !

    • viking305 profile image

      L M Reid 3 years ago from Ireland

      Hello Thelma, I usually only grow vegetables that I know we will eat too. Scallions are very easy to grow and it has the advantage that you only have to pick what you want to eat that day.

      Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 3 years ago from Germany

      Great and useful hub. I love gardening and I planted flowers and some vegetables in my garden. Thanks for sharing your ideas about planting scallions as I mostly used these in soups and salads.

    • viking305 profile image

      L M Reid 3 years ago from Ireland

      Yes I love spring onions but when you buy them in the shops here they come in large bundles. I could rarely finish them before they go off.

      Now that I have them growing in my garden I can pick just the amount I want to eat and the others are always there fresh for when I need them.

      There are so many different ways that scallions can be eaten too.

      Thank you Raymond and Livingoom for taking the time to leave a comment, much apreciated

    • Livingoom profile image

      Ashadur zaman 3 years ago from Bangladesh

      really awesome hub ..................I like your idea.

    • raymondphilippe profile image

      Raymond Philippe 3 years ago from The Netherlands

      Enjoyed your hub. Loved how you ended all the work that you have to do before harvest with a recipe. Tasty!

    • viking305 profile image

      L M Reid 3 years ago from Ireland

      Yes Jackie scallions mixed in with coleslaw really makes a big difference to the taste.

      It takes few weeks for the scallions to germinate so it would be a good time to sow some seeds now. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Thanks for sharing this, your plates look very good! I noticed I have some onions coming up from last year, I better get them in soon. I love them too but never had in coleslaw. I will try that; just has to be good.