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White Lisbon’ is a green or spring onion, and sometimes referred to as a scallion or bunching onion. A popular variety since the 1700s because it produces dependably in widely varying conditions. It thrives in a wide range of soils, is heat and cold tolerant, and can be sown successively throughout the season. For the finest quality, pencil-thin onions, sow seed densely and do not thin seedlings.
Sow onion seeds in modules in mid- to late winter and keep in the greenhouse at 10-16°C (50-60°F). Sow shallot seeds in late winter. Harden off before planting out in spring.
Although one plant per module is effective, growing three to four plants per module saves space. Sow five to six seeds per module and thin out if necessary, to three or four plants. When multi-seeded modules are planted out, the onions form a clump of bulbs.
Once the soil is drier and beginning to warm up, start sowing directly.
Sow onion seeds from late winter until mid-spring 1.3cm (½in) deep in rows 20cm (8in) apart. Thin out first to 5cm (2in) and later to 10cm (4in). Closer planting will result in more bulbs and a heavier crop, but smaller bulbs.
Sow shallots a little bit later from early- to mid-spring. Unlike shallot sets, seed-grown plants will only produce a single bulb. Thin out as required to 2.5-7.5cm (1-3in) apart.