Onion, Walla Walla Sweet
Big round onions with sweet, mild, juicy flesh. The best mild choice for the North.
Days To Maturity
2-4 weeks BLF
Plant Shipping Information
Item 14985 cannot ship to: AA, AE, AK, AP, AS, CN, FM, GU, HI, MH, MP, PR, PW, VI See all Burpee plant shipping restrictions for your state
How to Sow and Plant
Onions may be grown from seed, from young bare root plants or from sets (small bulbs). Make sure to choose the correct variety for your day length. Southern gardeners should select Short Day varieties; Northern gardeners do best with Long Day varieties; gardeners in the middle of the country should select Intermediate Day varieties, but can use some Short Day varieties.
Sowing Seed Indoors
- Onion seed may be started indoors in small flats in seed starting mix 6-10 weeks before the last frost.
- Sow thinly and cover with ¼ inch of seed starting formula. Keep moist and maintain a temperature of about 60-65 degrees F.
- Seedlings emerge in 7-14 days.
- As soon as seedlings emerge, provide plenty of light on a sunny windowsill or grow seedlings 3-4 inches beneath fluorescent plant lights turned on 16 hours per day, off for 8 hours at night. Raise the lights as the plants grow. Incandescent bulbs do not work because they get too hot. Most plants require a dark period to grow, do not leave lights on for 24 hours.
- Seedlings do not need much fertilizer, feed when they are 3-4 weeks old using a starter solution (half strength of a complete indoor houseplant food) according to manufacturer’s directions.
- After danger of a heavy frost plant the seedlings in the garden when they are about the thickness of a pencil. Before planting in the garden, seedling plants need to be “hardened off”. Accustom young plants to outdoor conditions by moving them to a sheltered place outside for a week. Be sure to protect them from wind and hot sun at first. If frost threatens at night, cover or bring containers indoors, then take them out again in the morning. This hardening off process toughens cell structure and reduces transplant shock and sun burn.
- Space 3-4 inches apart in rows 1-2 feet apart. Plant more closely if you plan to harvest scallions.
Soil Preparation in the Garden
- Choose a location in full sun where you did not plant onions the previous year.
- Apply a balanced fertilizer and work into the soil prior to planting. Onions prefer a pH of 6.0 – 7.0.
- Onions prefer an organic soil that drains well. Work organic matter into your soil at least 6-8 inches deep, removing stones, then level and smooth.
Sowing Directly in the Garden
- Sow onion seeds in average soil in full sun after danger of frost in spring. In frost free areas, sow in fall.
- Sow thinly in rows 1- 2 feet apart and cover with ¼ inch of fine soil. Firm lightly and keep evenly moist.
- Seedlings emerge in 7-14 days.
- Thin to stand about 3 inches apart when seedlings are 1- 2 inches high.
- Burpee ships small onion plants about 10 to 12 weeks old in early spring. Plant onion plants as soon as possible after you receive them, as soon as the soil can be worked, before the last frost.
- Plant onion plants 1 inch deep, 5 – 6 inches apart, or 2 – 3 inches if you prefer to thin later for green onions or scallions. Water well.
- Just press sets into the soil up to their tops, barely covered with soil 3-4 inches apart in rows 1-2 feet apart. If sets are planted too deeply they will take longer to develop.
How to Grow
- Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their seeds from germinating.
- Ample water is important at all stages of growth, especially when bulbs are forming. Onions are shallow rooted and tend to dry out during periods of drought. The best method to water is by ditch or furrow irrigation. This provides water to the roots while keeping the tops dry. If the tops are regularly wet they are more susceptible to disease.
- Onions are heavy feeders, side dress with fertilize about six weeks after planting.
- Monitor for pests and diseases. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service for pest controls recommended for your area.
Harvest and Preserving Tips
- Pick green onions (scallions) when plants reach 6-8" tall, while the stalks are still white at the bottom and fairly thin.
- When harvesting onion bulbs, about 100 days from sowing, bend the tops over when about ¼ of the tops have already fallen over and turned yellow. After a few days, pull the bulbs and cover them with the foliage to prevent sunburn.
- Allow onions to dry in the garden for up to a week, then cure them indoors in a warm, dry place with good air circulation for 2-3 weeks. Then cut off the foliage, leaving 1" above the top of the bulb.
- Clean the bulbs by removing dirt and any of the papery skin that comes loose when you handle them.
- Put bulbs in mesh onion bags or old pantyhose and store in a cool, dry location. Check occasionally for any wet spots or mold and remove any damaged bulbs immediately to protect the rest.
- All onions lose their pungency when cooked. To neutralize the flavor, sauté, parboil or microwave the onions briefly before adding to your recipe.
- To minimize the discomfort of onion tears while chopping onions, work fast (but carefully!) and work closely to the kitchen fan. You can also use a food processor.
- Besides fresh storage, small onions may be canned by the hot pack method.
- Chopped, sliced or grated onions may be quickly dried in a food dehydrator and stored in air-tight containers on the pantry shelf.
- Small whole onions may also be pickled, while larger ones may be used in mixed pickles or to flavor cucumber or tomato pickles.
Days To Maturity80-90 daysFruit Size4-6 inchesSunFull SunSpread4 inchesHeight10-12 inchesSow MethodDirect SowPlanting TimeSpringSow Time2-4 weeks BLFThin4 inchesLife CycleAnnual
Onion, Walla Walla Sweet is rated out of 5 by 8.Rated 5 out of 5 by GourmetPig from Walla Walla onion set We enjoyed these tasty onion from green stage to maturity. After harvesting, they stayed fresh in the garage for 4 months. They may lasted longer but we ate them all. Highly recommended. They do great in Anchorage, Alaska.Date published: 2015-03-18Rated 5 out of 5 by PartTimeGardener from Nice and sweet, easy to grow! Since I am not an expert gardener, I usually don't spend this much on seeds, but for some reason I decided to try these. I was pleasantly surprised by how easy they were to grow. When the really hot and dry weather hit and the tops died, we harvested a bunch and still have a few left. But we left a few in the ground. When the rains came back they started to grow again, but of course the onion bulbs are no good anymore for eating. Since they are not very tall or wide, I planted mine along the walking path through my garden for easy picking as I needed them. It is true they don't store as long, but the reviews tell you that up front. Even so, we still have not had to buy onions for about 4 months. Delicious. I am sorry I have to go back to buying lesser onions soon. Looking forward to them again this next growing season.Date published: 2012-11-09Rated 5 out of 5 by Rhazz from Garden Standard This is a great home grown onion that is usually expensive to buy at the grocery store. I plant this one every year. They are easy to grow and can be harvested for several months. They don't keep as long as the Spanish types but the taste is worth it!Date published: 2010-01-13Rated 5 out of 5 by crappie from SWEET & BIG I grew so many Wala Wala Sweet that I gave some away. My friends said thye were very sweet. They grew large, like a baseball. Some say they were better then the ones gotten in the grocery store.Date published: 2009-01-11Rated 5 out of 5 by SoupAddict from Definitely a favorite! My crop just finished curing, and I'm so happy to report that these onions are simply wonderful! I made both soup and salsa this past weekend, and their addition made the day. It'll be hard to go back to store bought onions after enjoying these beauties!Date published: 2008-07-21Rated 5 out of 5 by Honeybeenc from Nice big onions I don't think these are supposed to grow here in North Carolina. They grew to a good size and tasted great, but didn't store well. Those I left in the ground too long, just rotted away. My fault! I'm still looking for an onion with that "old world" flavour that will grow well here.Date published: 2008-01-12Rated 5 out of 5 by carnut from Best Onion's Its 4/1/07 and we still have a couple of Walla Walla onions from last years crop in our old Refrigerator from last years crop. (They keep if you store them in the cold) These are the are the best eating onions that I ever had!Date published: 2007-04-01Rated 5 out of 5 by amargi from Wonderfully sweet... Planted a small crop of these mid-May,The plants were sturdy,strong and growing great immediately.We have just begun to harvest some of the sweetest,best tasting onions I've ever had.I can hardly wait to plant more!!!Date published: 2006-08-01