Thursday, May 13, 2010

Multiplying Onions: A Revisit to Correct a Previous Error

Well, I'll be ashamed: i've given you all incorrect information.

In previous posts i have mentioned my multiplying onions. They're awesome and wierd and are currently in bloom. I expected said blooms to expand and dry into bulbs, like Egyptian Walking Onions. I stand corrected!

I contacted the woman whom i bought these guys from last fall and she put me in my place. The bulbs in the ground are in fact the onion bulbs. I believe these onions may also be known as potato onions. To increase onion yield, i should have clipped the blooms. I had been harvesting some as green onions earlier in the year and stopped when they began getting 'woody' due to the flower stems.

New advice:
Keep some of the blooms for the aesthetic value, but the goodies are down in the dirt. You can harvest the offshoot bulbs whenever you want them for cooking and leave the rest in the ground as storage. If you pick them all, the bulbs will dry out. They're perfectly happy hanging out in the dirt until i'm ready to eat or move them - in the fall i will harvest most of them, separate the bulbs from each other and transplant in the new bed in the back.
One could continue to do this forever: pick, eat some, separate the rest, transplant, watch them divide anew, repeat!

Onion bulbs into the fridge. As you can see compared to the previous photo, 
the bulbs have filled out some. They're small, but they pack a punch!

Discarded flowers headed to the compost heap.

The bees love the flowers, so leave a few, but from now on i'll be more diligent on picking off at least half the blooms to allow for better bulb production.

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