Prepare the site
Onions should be planted in sunny or partially shaded sites that are sheltered from the wind. Loosen the soil with a fork and remove any weeds or large stones. Use a rake to create a level surface. If you have poor soil you may want to add well-rotted organic matter before you start sowing. Use the head of the rake to lightly press down the soil and lightly rake the surface once more
Onions should be planted in shallow rows called 'drills'. Lay a piece of string on the soil as a guide to make sure you dig the row in a straight line. Lay a plank of wood next to your line. Then, use a cane or hoe to dig a narrow drill about 1 centimetre deep. Drop the seeds into the drills at the spacing recommended on the packet. If you are planting more than one drill, leave a 30 centimetre gap between each one. Using a hoe, gently cover the seeds with soil. Then using the head of the metal rake, lightly firm the soil.
If the soil is dry, water the seeds in. The soil should be kept moist and free of weeds throughout the growing season. It is also useful to label your onions so you know where and when they were planted.
To protect your plants from late frosts in Spring, build a frame to cover the drills. Push the sides of the fabric into the soil, or fix it in place with canes. Remove the fleece when the seeds germinate and the plants are visible through the soil.