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Growing Onions Vertically On The Windowsill

postheadericon One for the enthusiast

How nice would it be to just be able to pluck fresh green onions from the soil whenever you need them? Nothing beats fresh onions for your salads, dips or soup. But how can you ensure a supply of fresh onions at hand all the time?

Sure, onions are available all year round from the supermarket, but they are hardly fresh and there’s almost always no way to know for sure where they came from.

Gardeners of course will simply grow them but some simply have problems with available space.

I came across an image of spring onions grown vertically on the windowsill, using a common 5 Liter PBS bottle, which I thought was a practical, space-saving and green way to grow onions. I posted the image on our Facebook Page and a few people asked how it was done…

onions

…and since I was curious myself, I did a bit of research and this is what I found:

FIRST, you need a planting vessel:

plastic bottles

NEXT, you need to remove the neck of the bottle then cut holes around it. You can use a scissor or a heated metal tool to make the holes. Make sure the holes are just the right for the onion bulbs.

CUT BOTTLE

NEXT, fill the bottle with layers of onion sprouts and soil.

LAYER

TOP VIEW

Keep adding layers until you reach the top of the container.

NEXT, water it…

WATER

AND FINALLY, set it on your windowsill…

onions on windowsill - Copy

And watch daily as your onions grow…

125983-c332e-40881528-m750x740-uc8bb7

In no time, you’ll have something like this:

125983-acd6f-40881545-m750x740-u27f90

So the next time you want to add some garnish to your food, sweet spice to your soup, to whip up a savory dish or to make a nice, crunchy salad, all you’ll need to do is pluck some from your vertical onion garden.

And you don’t even have to worry about storing them.

Wouldn’t this make a great project?

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408 responses

  1. Pingback: 17 Foods To Buy Once And Regrow Forever

  2. do you know if it will work for white onions also?

    May 16, 2014 at 1:57 am

    • Thanks for asking ” Norietta “….SURE …It will work for any colour or any variety…After all, they are all Onions :D.
      Cheers, and have fun.

      May 16, 2014 at 2:58 am

    • thank you I’ll try it and let your know if it works for me.

      May 16, 2014 at 3:35 am

      • YOU ARE WELCOME ;)

        May 16, 2014 at 4:58 am

  3. John

    May sound like a stupid question, but what is a 5 liter PET bottle? I’ve only 1 and 2 liters, or 3 in Canada.

    May 16, 2014 at 2:57 am

    • Thanks for the visit ” John “….You mean 5L PBS bottles I believe, ………PBS is food grade plastic, NON TOXIC…That’s it, and it is safe….3L is fine.
      Cheers and have fun.

      May 16, 2014 at 3:30 am

  4. Jeannia

    Do you thinkthis wil work for other spices ie dill coriander?

    May 16, 2014 at 4:04 am

    • Hi there Jeannia….Not really, do not spoil it… :D …..Dill tends to grow as high as 1 meter and Coriander also almost, depends on variety…..I would not spoil the fun….
      CHEERS

      May 16, 2014 at 4:26 am

  5. Kathy Lee

    Where do you get the small onions you plant? Thanks

    May 16, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    • Thanks for the visit ” Kathy Lee “..It all depends on your location…I would suggest the local farmers market first, if not possible, try your local Garden/Nursery Shop or even Wall Mart…..Alternatively grow them from seeds, and transplant the onion bulbs when big enough.
      Cheers , and Have Some Fun.

      May 16, 2014 at 3:59 pm

  6. Reblogged this on Meryland Knows Best and commented:
    This is an awesome idea!

    May 16, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    • YES INDEED ” merylandknowsbest “…..Specially fun with kids. ;)
      Thanks for the visit and for PUTTING IT ON YOUR SITE ;)

      May 16, 2014 at 5:09 pm

  7. yolanda

    I wonder, would the same work for other herbs like rosemary or parsley?

    May 16, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    • Thanks for asking ” yolanda “…..The answer is straight NO IT WILL NOT WORK…Remember that Rosemary bushes can get to an very large size, and Parsley can grow up to a meter tall. :D …Don’t spoil the fun. …Use an large pot for Rosemary and a medium pot for parsley if you wish to grow them…
      Cheers and have fun. ;)

      May 16, 2014 at 5:06 pm

  8. Hi it’s Patti again. My onions have been so much fun! My 7 year old grandson would never eat onions until I made him one of these to take home. He is in charge of watering it and they are using it for many recipes that call for onion. Mine? it’s amazing how you cut them down and use them and you can almost watch them re-grow. It also got me started on other things. I bought a green house and put in a small garden. I am thinking of growing garlic do you have any good hints for that and also I’m trying to grow tomatoes in the ground and in the hanging upside down pot. I’m not so sure about the hanging one it seems to be doing poorly. Any ideas on that one? Thanks very much.

    May 16, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    • Hi there “afbhfsl80″….I am smiling here :D … Hearing that you are happy with this kids project makes me also happy….Looks like you are going to expand the fun and that I can say, YOU CAN’T LOOSE HERE… :D ..Now !…Growing garlic never have been so easy, just add lots of chicken poop to the soil ;) , best to grow them in the ground, and rotate the plots every season….With tomatoes my favorites are the ( Cherry Tomatoes, they yeld heavy crops, are more resistant to sickness and/or diseases, also, one can plant them under a tree, where they can claim over and last far in to the Autumn or even winter in some zones….For these hanging ones, YOU NEED TO HAVE FRESH, RICH ACID SOIL IN THE BASKET EVERY TIME YOU PLANT ONE.
      Good luck, looks like you are on the ball …HAVE FUN.
      CHEERS and thanks for coming by.

      May 18, 2014 at 5:39 pm

  9. crystalbluj

    This is a nifty idea. I am going to do strawberries this way.

    May 16, 2014 at 11:35 pm

    • :D ….”crystalbluj”.. …I have 2 full 6M long gutters with strawberries my self… Love it :D
      Cheers and have fun.

      May 18, 2014 at 5:43 pm

  10. Michele Dochat

    Neat idea. The finished product appears to have the neck of the bottle attached… How was this done?

    May 17, 2014 at 8:49 am

    • Smille “Michele Dochat” :D , It is easy done….Some, specially the kids, love to see the TIDY , EFFECT/S OF THEIRS LABOUR :D ….You may glue it back on top after you fill the bottle with soil ;)
      Cheers and have fun.

      May 18, 2014 at 5:50 pm

  11. TJ

    If you make the holes the size of the baby onion, how do you get them out when they’ve grown to maturity? If you take them all at once I know they will come through the top, but for one at a time, do you start at the top and work your way down?

    May 18, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    • Hi there ” TJ “….For one, the wholes are being cut NOT TO the size of the young small onion bulb, but much larger ( That will be the aprox size of an mature grown bulb ) ” Use your imagination :D “….Also, when they are fully grown, one can’t predict where to start pulling them out, since they will mature on theirs own on theirs own choice…I can tell you in advance, you may end up harvesting one or few at the bottom, and one or few at the top, or perhaps some-were in the middle, etc….It all depends which mature first. ;) …Don’t worry, just harvest them as they mature, regardless where ( Top or Bottom ).
      Cheers, thanks for the visit, and have fun :D

      May 18, 2014 at 7:13 pm

  12. Lulubelle

    So you mean we are to harvest the onion itself? I thought you leave the onion in the container and just cut off the green scallions that grow out of each onion as you need them. Can you explain please? Thank you so much.

    May 20, 2014 at 1:18 am

    • Thanks for your visit ” Lulubelle “….Let me explain ..You leave the onion bulbs inside container and you harvest the green shoots , but eventually, the bulb will go to seeds as it get mature and older, ( Like all things get older WITH TIME :D ), that’s when you may harvest it and use it for your self…. ;)
      HOPE NOW IT GETS CLEARER FOR YOU EH ? .. :D
      CHEERS AND HAVE FUN.

      May 20, 2014 at 1:28 am

  13. great idea.

    May 24, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    • Thanks ” Wilma ” :D

      May 25, 2014 at 11:57 pm

  14. Reblogged this on Pop Rox blog.

    May 26, 2014 at 7:46 pm

  15. Russell

    Hi and thank you for posting this great idea.

    I have 1 question, and probably a very silly question (just getting into vegetable growing and gardening) but do onions grow back?
    I ask because if I wanted to pluck one of the onions out, how would it grow back unless I put a new one there?

    Or is the essence of this onion growing system that you cut off, say, half an onion, and then watch it grow back?

    Thanks again and hope to read your reply soon. :)

    June 2, 2014 at 3:44 am

    • Hi there ” Russell “…To answer simply , YES THEY WILL REGROW EVERY SEASON if left in the ground.
      ONE MAY PICK ONLY THE GREEN SHOOTS only for salads, leave the bulb permanently in the ground. Another easy way to regrow onions is ..Use the roots cut from them left as kitchen scrap , stick it in the ground and soon you will have onions :D
      Good luck and have fun.
      PS:…Don’t have to touch the bulb or cut it in half…Just leave it there, it will shoot again.
      Thanks for coming by. ;)

      June 2, 2014 at 4:08 am

  16. Ray

    What about bugs? Did you have any problems with pests? New to gardening, or growing anything for that matter, and would love it if it had little or no pests and bugs in my apt, preferably none, because of it.

    June 2, 2014 at 10:22 am

    • Welcome to my page ” ray ”
      .
      .onions and garlic like bulbs do not attract any bugs of any kind.
      …have fun gardening.
      Cheers and get out-there having fun….Don’t worry a bit.

      June 2, 2014 at 10:42 am

  17. marry anne

    Hi when you want to get them they are growing another oninios too?

    June 3, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    • Hi there ” marry anne “….Don’t quite understand what you mean, but I presume you ask if they multiply in the ground like any other flower/s bulbs ??/…The answer is NO and sometimes, depends what you do with them Yes….If you let them in the ground or bottle, you may see another plant shooting from the same old rotten one :D …Either way, you can’t loose if you leave them in, and they will regrow from the heart of the old one.
      If you let it go on seeds, that’s an different story, you can regrow them from seeds.
      Thanks for coming by and have fun. ;)

      June 4, 2014 at 12:04 am

      • Norirtta Sears-Belcher

        I have a new question.  Can I plant bulbs now that are supposed to be planted in the fall.  We have some bulbs we received last fall that we couldn’t get in the ground due t health issues.  I hate to wait til fall and have another problem getting them in the ground

        June 7, 2014 at 1:45 am

      • i would not personally, i would store in cool dry place until fall. if you tell me what they are i can research for you. i tried that with spiderwort that was to be planted in November and it did not come up, had to snag an offshoot from mother plant of a friend’s instead.

        June 7, 2014 at 2:10 am

      • Sure as long as they are not certain flower bulbs or other variety….Carinarango ( Chi ), will check it for you if you just let her know what bulbs you have there…” Norirtta Sears-Belcher”….Onions and garlic do not require to keep them in the cool room box or in the fridge before planting…..Just one tip of wisdom from me…If in your world it is SUMMER, keep them up with moisture….Don’t drawn them in water, but keep it moist.
        Cheers and have some fun

        June 7, 2014 at 8:29 am

  18. John

    I apologize, but I still don’t understand what a 5 liter PBS plastic bottle is. What would I find in a store that it would contain? 2 liter, I understand, but a 5 liter seems pretty large and am a bit puzzled. Thanks!

    July 14, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    • I see :D ….If I suggest an GALLON bottle will help ? :D
      Thanks for coming by John ;)

      July 16, 2014 at 1:03 am

  19. martin balanay

    So nice to start a window garden

    July 15, 2014 at 10:28 am

    • Agree mate :D …Fun for the kids also ;)
      Thanks for the visit ” martin balanay “

      July 16, 2014 at 1:05 am

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