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how are onions grown? is it true one acre can accommodate 300,000 seedlings of onions? can somebody help answer?

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Hi Nicholas for loving farming. There's no specific figure of seedlings an acre can accommodate. You see, you plant onions the way you plant beans. An experienced farmer estimates an acre to accommodate 120,000. If you want best varieties, reach me Regards

Tads, a farming journalist

Thanks Taddewo, u know i got contacts of a group of people called empower reached at and they said they help u grow btn 200,000 to 300,000 onions on one acre and after buy from u for exports. i real got interest but wanted to know how realistic that could be. you being an agriculture journalist you can help me confirm about their projects before i can invest with them.

will reach you on mail for more..

That figure really depends on the size of the onions. From what I have seen being done for large onions, onions are generally grown on raised soil beds in rows and these are approximately the parameters:

row height: 5"
row width: 20"
row spacing: 15"
soil pH: 6 to 7
seedling planting: 1" deep
plant spacing: 6"

so, we can work out the seedlings per acre:

taking a square dimension of an acre, you get  200ft x 200ft

to get  length of each side in inches: 1ft = 12" so 200ft = 2400"

how many rows = length of side / (row width + row spacing) = 2400" / (20" + 15") ~= 68 rows

how many plants per row = length of row / plant spacing = 2400" / 6" = 400 plants

total plants per acre = plants per row x number of rows = 400 x 68 ~= 27,200 plants per acre

I contacted these people of empower at and the information there did not look realistic. can u visit that website and see. that where my questions come from. kindly get to me and either give me a go ahead with them or not. thanks

Which part of their site does it mention this figure?

My advice is don't be too taken up by one figure. Try and find out the details of what it takes to grow 1 acre of variety x of onions. Once you know the details, you can calculate costs, output volume, net profit, etc.

Thanks Brian

Check on the part of marketing on their page, it also talks about the same figures for crops like pepper, chilli and others. The figures of profits are also good but do not seem realistic too. check again and see.

Hello Brian,

Calculating the output volume,net profits and the rest can be done but don't be surprised when you over estimate or underestimate them,,,the best thing is to try out what the experts say and if they don't work out then you have the ground to criticize them.

The best way of criticizing someone is trying out his step by step ideas and instructions and when they don't work out then you have all the rights to say that their information is invalid.

I visited the site you directed me to and i read something about onions and below is the link for onions.

Indeed you first try it out and you will get the ground to say that it didn't work out.


Kigenyi Rajab


Rajab Horticultural Center.

hello brain  this is very useful information can you try to narrow it down to about a quarter an acre so that the small growers can be able to visualize the plant population and the anticipated yeilds.


hi, i think it all depends on the variety. I tried variety-red creole on 10x10m and got impressive results-1 1/2 sacks about 150kgs. U need to watch out for variety, topography and soils as these are key in onion production.


Hi Kalinge,


I've joined the discussion late but an acre of onion (depending on the variety) takes an average of 1.5kgs (farmers do 1kgs-2kgs) for the large bulb varieties. A gram has 225-300 seeds so a kg will carry an 225,000-300,00 seeds. Working with an average of 250,000 seeds per kg, an acre will carry 375,000 seedlings. In this instance am looking at hybrid onion Jambar F1 by Seminis which has the tinniest seeds. Spacing is 14cm X 7cm.

The yield per acre is 23tons or 230 sacks of 100kgs. We have a practical demonstration of this in Semuto, Luwero district on Friday 7th June 2013 amongst other crops; determinate tomato, water melon, cabbage, and sweet pepper.

For details call Abbey on 0772 443 704.

Dear Abbey, thanks for the inspiration. I have decided to try Jambar F1. I have a bed of 1 kg and have already cleared the land and planning to start the ridges. Sorry i have missed a number of your training but still i would love to learn and be the onion Guru given my marketing strategy. Am inquiring how i use DAP when planting onions because mine are 2 weeks old in the nursery bed and soon, am planting. will be grateful for any support. Thanks team 


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