PlantFiles is getting a new look! Just in time for spring, we're rolling out a new look for the best online plants database. It will also work with your smart phones and mobile devices, so now you can take it with you on garden center visits or botanical garden tours. Questions or comments? Please post them here.
-- Allium vineale being the one most people know as a lawn weed, but 'ramp' with the wide leaf being pretty popular to gather from the wild.
I agree it's fun to know what you can snack on in the wild. --as long as you know what you're doing!
Sally, she'd know if she ate a ramp! Heck, we'd ALL know!
I have 80 yellow onion sets and 80 red onion sets sitting here waiting for the right moon sign. They are not marked as to day-length. Dixondale Farms says medium day onions for my area, and probably yours too. I guess they are also called day-neutral.
I have never grown onions, but finally have a bed fluffy enough. Dixondale says although sets make bulbing onions, they do not store as well as transplants. I think I will oorder some transplants to come with my leeks from them.
I have the yellow Granex from Dixondale. Never could figure out when to plant them, so I still have them from 3 months ago. They still look viable. Bubba_MoCity got half my order and planted them last month. He says they're doing fine. I believe mine were short day-length. Glad to run across this post. I'm gonna call them to see if I can hold on to these until the Fall. I find that I'm enjoying the Fall garden infinitely more than the Spring/Summer. I just can't take the mosquitoes, especially since I've been remiss in taking my allergy shots for the last 8 months. I need to build up some serum in my system before I can hope to deal with mosquitoes.
Boy am I glad nobody asked me to explain day length! (which is really night length) I never knew if I was northern or southern enough to be one or the other.
My neighbor the total newbie gardener had beautiful onions. I think being new she probably watered well and I think she Miracle Gro'd them. My other neighbor grows tons of onions every year, but with a language difference I haven't tried to discuss it with him! So good luck with your onions!
Thanks for the post as it was truly timely. I was planning on starting the "scallion" seed I purchased this year, indoors, and now I'm a bit confused. I've included a scan of the seed packet which reads "Onion Bunching/Scallion." It also shows Allium cepa not Allium fistulosum. So, from what your article states, I really didn't get seed for true scallions even though they were sold as such. I did research this particular variety and knew that it could reach a larger bulb stage, but will they still taste as good as "store-bought" scallions I've used in cooking? Should I grow some of the seed for "so called scallions" and allow some for bulbs? It will impact how many seeds I will start. In the past I've only grown onions and scallions from sets and bunching onions from seed. Should I look into Allium fistulosum seed for a real scallion taste?
It has not been easy to find bunching onion seed. I ordered Onion "Purplette" seed some time ago and got a nice bulbing onion. It is, in fact, allium cepa, according to the package. I can't figure out why they call them bunching onions.
I will now try allium fistulosa and see if it makes bunching onions. I have some Korean neighbors who couldn't understand why I didn't eat my bulbing onions when they were young. I explained that we eat the bulb, not the leaves.
The neighbor, then proceeded to buy scallions from the grocery store and to plant them in his flower beds. That was last fall. This year they are growing nicely. Maybe this is how one gets bunching onions. They certainly wintered over. The question is, will they bunch? I guess I will know by the end of the growing season. I will, from now on , not believe the bunching part of the seed name. Instead I will look for allium fistula. If you find a perennial one for cold climates I certainly would like to know what it is.
I concur with Darius. The moon has a major effect on the growing of seeds and plants in the garden. Years ago my Mother had a surgery delayed because the doctors, not my Mother, determined that operating with a full moon would increased her chances of bleeding to death. I've lived on many beaches in my life and have seen the effects on the tide. Get yourself a copy of the Old Farmer's Almanac and you'll see planting instructions based on the moon. It's fact, true and tested, and it works. I've planted gardens for 30+ years and the years I didn't follow the moon, my gardens didn't fair well.My partner, who has a Doctorate in Horticulture, thinks I'm nuts but follows my instruction and we've had very successful gardens. Nature vs. Science.
(I had some trouble with that link, but it's at Cornell Cooperative Extension, Cornell Garden-absed Learning Institue, "Vegetable Varieties for Gardeners"
And here I'll copy what they say about it.
Quote-" Red slicing onion producing round, 3-inch bulbs under long day conditions or pick early for bunching onion. Grow for scallions under intermediate day conditions. Bulbs store well. Also known as 'Red of Florence'."
In reading these descriptions, the word bunching seems to be used here as a somewhat vague term meaning either "-these varieties may give you satisfactory scallions before forming a bulb" OR "may grow for the entire season without forming any real bulb" OR "as they grow they may divide themselves and form clusters of scallion shaped onions"
White Sweet Spanish is on this list, well known for bulb onions.
A: Several types of onions are used as green bunching onions. Evergreen White Bunching and Japanese Bunching are frequently planted varieties of this type. They may be planted from seed, sets or transplants. Bunching onions are generally classed as multipliers because they propagate themselves. They are cold resistant and can be grown during winter. They will not bulb and are harvested as needed, using both the root and the tops."
So, I think you will be happy with planting Allium cepa that are recommended for use as scallions, for scallions. Onions recommended for "bunching" may not all be fistulosum and may form some kind of bulb shape eventually. Bulb shape and size descriptions vary among the varieties. In your case, Florence should give you good scallions, and good up to 3 inch bulbs if you 'grow them under long day conditions" and for that please look elsewhere for help because I've reached the limit of my know how on onions. If you google 'how to grow onions' you should get some good University advice.
Thanks for reading and asking a good question.
Thanks for the additional info on scallions. I guess they are rather day length dependent as are bulbing onions. So, I will go back to studying which ones do best for bunching in my intermediate day garden. Will try several including Red of Florence. I guess I am back to my original view that scallions are just baby onions.
bozley- one source I just read says that if you grow long-day onions in summer in North they will bulb.
pajaritomt- A I read it, Cool weather grows onion greens and hot weather grows bulbs, aside from the day length thing. and to clarify- there are kinds sold that should not bulb no matter what the day length or heat- HeShiKo for one, as I have one of those in my garden thats never bulbed in 4 plus years.
But HeShiKo will not give you more divisons if it does overwinter.
I have been researching to address another reader's response, and found this for starters ==
Southern Exposure sells seed for "Evergreen Hardy", "White Spear" and "Deep Purple" and says they are perennial up to zone 4 or 5.
I haven't grown them.
Okay, sallyg! You have answered a question that has been bugging me forever -- and apparently my Korean neighbor. I will definitely try one or all 3 of the above mentioned bunching onions. I use a lot of scallions in cooking.
Sally, great information. I had no problems with the Cornell site and have registered to comment at the end of this coming season. It had vast amounts of info for many of the new varieties we are trying beyond the Florence Red. Some include heirloom varieties of tomatoes, eggplant and melons. I really do appreciate the time and knowledge you put into your research. Thank you again!