Onions are one of the easiest vegetables to grow. A member of the Allium family, onion plants can be started from seed, seedlings, or onion sets. Onion sets eliminate a lot of guess work, and is one of the easiest methods of planting onions. We recommend onion sets because they are perfect for the home gardener as they produce onions for immediate use and for storage.

Success Tip #1 -- Choose the Correct Day Length

Onion sets come in two types known as short day and long day, based on the number of hours of daylight required to grow. Short day onion sets begin to develop bulbs when the day length increases to 10 to 12 hours per day. Short day onions are generally sweeter, and are perfect for cooking. Long day onions require 14 to 16 hours of sunlight to grow bulbs, and are better to store for use later. We recommend planting short day onion sets in the fall, and long day onion sets in the spring.

Success Tip#2 -- Plant Your Onions with Lots of Drainage

Onions like lots of sun and good drainage. We recommend that you plant onions approx 1 inch deep and 4 inches apart.  Onions have a short root system so watering regularly is critical. Your onion size will be much smaller if they don't receive enough water.  Raised beds are ideal for creating good drainage, and mulching will help prevent weeds from getting established and competing for water.

Success Tip #3 -- Cure Onions Prior to Storing

Pick your onions when the bulb is large and the green stalk actually begins to brown.  Onions can bruise easily, so handle with care when harvesting to prevent bruising and rot during storage. To cure your onions, hang them in a well ventilated area with lots of air circulation. As they dry the roots will shrivel, and the tops will cure to create a seal. After allowing them to cure for 7-10 days, clip the tops and roots, and store in a cool, dry place.

So what to do with all those beautiful onions you've harvested? Try this simple and seriously delicious Caramelized Onion Jam recipe from Food & Wine magazine.