HomeCropField Preparation for Onions

Field Preparation for Onions

India is the second largest onion producer. Indian onions are famous for having their pungency all year around. Due to this fact there is a lot of demand for Indian Onions. India has exported 1,537,496.89 MT of fresh onion to the world for the worth Rs. 3,432.14 crores during the year 2021-22. Some of the major export countries are Bangladesh, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, United Arab EMTs, Nepal and Indonesia. Major onion growing states are Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand and Telangana. 

Difficulty Level: Medium 

Selection of Seeds

There are various kind of onion varieties to choose from like Co­ 1, Co­ 2, MDU­ 1, Agrifound Rose, Arka Bindu, Bhima Shubra, Bhima Shweta, Bhima Safed, Pusa White Round, Arka Yojith, Pusa White Flat, Udaipur ­102, Phule Safed, N­257­9­1, Agrifound White, Phule Suvarna, Arka Niketan, Arka Kirtiman, Bhima Super, Bhima Red, Punjab Selection, Pusa Red, N­2­-4­-1, Pusa Madhavi, Arka Kalyan and Arka Lalima. 

Onion Seed Treatment

The green shoots of the onion are completely cut and removed. The onion bulbs are then treated with bavistin (or) dithane M45 @ 2 gm/litre water for 5-10 minutes before sowing. This will help prevent the bulbs infection from soil borne pathogens. 

The seeds are treated with thiram @ 2gm/kg of seeds. Two days after treating the seeds, they are treated with Trichoderma viride @ 1.25 kg/ha is also recommended to manage damping off and raise healthy seedlings.

Nursery Bed Preparation for Onions

The seed requirement for one hectare is approximately 5 – 7 kgs. The ideal nursery size is about 6 to 7 cents. The land is ploughed 5 – 6 times and all the debris is removed. The soil is mixed with 500 kg of FYM and raised beds are made. The raised beds are of 10-15 cm height, 1.0 & 1.2 m width and length respectively with 30 cm distance between each bed. The seeds are then sown in lines at 50 mm to 75 mm. This is followed by light irrigation. After 35-40 days after sowing (DAS) for Kharif and 45-50 DAS for late Kharif and Rabi seasons,  the seedling will be available for transplanting. 

Land Preparations for Onion

Onion land preparation follows the land being ploughed for three to four times. Add 20 tons of FYM per acre at the time of last ploughing. Ridges and furrows are made with 20 cm spacing and fertilizers of Urea: 26 kg, SSP: 144 kg and Potash: 19 kgs are to be added to the soil. The treated bulbs are planted after irrigating the field for easy transplanting. 

Soil Type Requirements for Onion

Onion is grown all throughout the country. Therefore, onions can be grown in any soil. However, loamy soil or clayey loam soil is considered to be ideal. 

Soil pH for Onion Production

Soil with neutral pH is optimal. 


Onion is a hardy crop that can be grown anywhere. Onions, unlike other crops, can be stored for a long time. Therefore, onions regardless of when or where it is grown can be stored and sold in the market. 


  1. What is the seed rate for onion?

The seed requirement for one acre is approximately 2 – 3 kgs. 

  1. What are the popular varieties of onion?
States  Varieties 
Karnataka & Telangana  Nasik Red onion (N-53), Royal selection onion, JSC Nasik Red onion (N-53), Prema 178 onion 
Andhra Pradesh  Nasik Red onion (N-53), Prema onion, JSC Nasik Red onion (N-53), Prema 178 onion, Gulmohar onion 
Madhya Pradesh  Nasik red onion (N-53), Gulmohar onion, Laxmi onion seeds diamond super, Royal Selection onion, Rise Agro Laxmi onion diamond super 
Maharashtra  Nasik Red onion (N-53), Gulmohar onion seeds, JSC Nasik red onion (N-53), Royal selection onion, Rise Agro Laxmi onion diamond super 
Uttar Pradesh  Nasik Red onion (N-53), Royal selection onion, Prema onion, JSC Nasik Red onion (N-53), Gulmohar onion 
  1. What is the ideal time for transplanting onion seedlings?

After 35 – 40 days after sowing (DAS) for Kharif and 45 – 50 DAS for late Kharif and Rabi seasons, the seedling will be ready for transplanting. 

  1. What is the fertilizer recommendation for onion?

The general dose of fertilizer recommendation for onion is 38:14:22 kg/acre. The commercial quantity to be applied in the field is given in the table below: 

Nutrient  Fertilizers  General Dose (per acre) 
Organic  FYM   6 ton 
N  Urea (or)  83 kg 
Ammonium Sulphate  178 kg 
P  Single Super Phosphate (SSP) (or)  89 kg 
Double Super Phosphate (DSP)  44 kg 
K  Muriate of Potash (MOP) (or)  37 kg 
Sulphate of Potash (SOP)  45 kg 

(For zinc deficient soil) 



Foliar application: 0.5 -1 gm/lit water 

Soil application: 10 kg 

B              ALLBOR Boron 20% 


Foliar spray: 1gm/lit water 


  1. How is seed treatment done for onion bulb/seeds?

Bulb treatment: Treat the onion bulbs with Bavistin (or) Dithane M75 (Mancozeb 75% WP) at 2 – 2.5 gm/litre water for 5 – 10 minutes before sowing.  This will help prevent the bulbs infection from soil borne pathogens.  

Seed treatment: The seeds are treated with Vitavax powder (Carboxin 37.5% + Thiram 37.5% DS) at 3 gm/kg seed per acre or treat with BACF TRIDENT (Tricoderma viride 1.5%WP) at 4 gm/kg seed is also recommended to manage damping off and raise healthy seedlings.  

Note: The information contained herein is for informational purposes only. Nothing herein shall be construed to be financial or legal advice. Pesticides are a considerable risk of loss in crops and viewers are advised to do their own research before making any decisions.

Read More

Stay in Touch

Subscribe to receive latest updates from us.

Related Articles

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x