Saturday, October 4, 2008

Perennial Onions

Last fall a friend gave us a flat of welsh onions. I didn't know anything about them but, hey, they were free food so i planted them in the garden. They are a bunching onion. They continually divide themselves making a bunch of up to a dozen stems. In the fall and winter we cut the tops and used them like chives. I wasn't quite sure when or how they should be harvested for the onions which are not bulbs but more like spring onions. In the spring they flowered and i figured the tops would die down after that. But no, they kept on dividing! After the seeds ripened (which i collected) that stalk did die. We started pulling up some bunches through the spring. They have a mild flavor. I left the rest to grow through the summer.
A couple of weeks ago i decided to dig up the remaining bunches, divide them and plant out the divisions. Perennial onions work well as part of a permaculture. With the economy collapsing, gas (when you can get it) getting increasingly expensive and the future in doubt we want to become as self-sufficient as possible. What if we can no longer afford to buy seeds from seed companies in Maine or New Mexico. From now on we are only going to grow these onions. We planted over 100 new clumps from the divisions and potted up a bunch to sell at The Urban Gardener. In the spring we'll sow the seeds and set out some more.
For more information on welsh onions take a look the U. of Florida fact sheet.

1 comment:

8558fhd said...

I'd sure like to get me a big bunch of welsh onions to plant. I can get seeds later on but it will take some time to establish.