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Indoor Winter Gardening with kids: Planting onions

On the first day of the kids’ winter break, it was raining. A slow system was passing over Western North Carolina. After cleaning the fish tank, doing some artwork with watercolors, eating a snack and redecorating the Christmas tree, it was 8:50am. We needed an indoor gardening activity to occupy some of the next eleven hours until bedtime.

We decided to replant some bunching onions that we had pulled in the fall from the garden. Any small onion from the grocery store will work. Here’s what you need:


Everyone is going to want to dump the dirt in the planter. Make them do it together. It’s a good team building activity once the fighting has broken up.

Tuck the onions into the soil. This does not need to be done carefully. The root should be pointed down however and the pointy tip facing up. Otherwise the onions will sprout in China.

Get the most able kid to sweep up the mess. There will be a mess. After they have cleaned up the mess, take a moment to clean up the mess.

Give the onions a good watering (put a plate underneath, most planters have drainage holes) and place in a sunny spot in the house. Get a kid to water the onions whenever the soil is dry. In a week or so, sprouts will emerge and the onions will eventually flower if the planter doesn’t get knocked over beforehand. Happy Winter Break!