Help with green onions

macheske(6/7 NorthernVA)January 8, 2008

Ok...I'm confused. I have never planted onions in my garden before. My parents always said they were too difficult (a very long time ago). I'd like to grow green onions for a continuous supply. What is the best way to do this? I've read 10 or so pages from a search and don't see the information (or it was conflicting) that I was looking for. I'd like to know about the following:

1. Do I plant as seeds?

2. What variety should I plant if I only want green onions?

3. When do I plant? (spring is my next chance)

4. What is the spacing? I'm putting 16 raised beds in my 40' x 80' garden that are 2' x 7' each for items that are perrenials. Would this be a good place?

5. How long until I start being able to harvest?

6. Will they propagate by themselves? Would I need to move them in the fall?

BTW...strawberries (this spring), asparagas (this spring) and garlic (this fall) are going in the other raised beds.

Thanks for your help..


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To my knowledge, there are 3 basic species of "green onions":

1) Immature garden onions (A. cepa) harvested early.

2) Scallions (A. fistulosum), which I have tried and cannot seem to grow.

3) Topsetting Onions (A. viviparum), which are very easy to grow (They grow like weeds) and can be harvested all year round, even under the snow. There are several cultivars, including Moritz Egyptian (aka Egyptian Walking), Catawissa, and many others. They make topset bulbils that fall over and plant themselves. Some cultivars will also produce true seed in addition to the topsets. True seed will not necessarily grow into a true strain, which is why there are several strains of catawissa available. The greens, topsets, and shallot-sized bulbs can be eaten. In actuality, many of the market shallots are not true shallots (A. oschaninii) but either this species or just a small garden onion (A. cepa).

    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 1:02AM
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1. you can plant as seeds, or direct seed. if you direct seed you need to make sure it's warm enough.
2. variety is up to hawaii green onions are very popular and those folks use a white variety...but the days are shorter so they dont' bulb up, n cali they might start to browse the seed catalogs.
3. plant those onions anytime...if you plant from seed, make sure it's fresh seed.
4. you can put ALOT (50-60) onions in one bunch and they'll grow...assuming you have good soil, which it sounds like you do. better to grow the amount you want to eat per bunch...
5. you can harvest when they look good to eat.
6. they'll go to seed...but i think they're biennials...if you really want green onions all the time, then time wise it's better to go to the farmers market because they're cheap!

    Bookmark   March 1, 2008 at 9:13PM
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For quickies, you can also plant the bottoms of your green onions you buy. I leave about 1/8 of the bottom of the onion and plant it. I do this with green onions and the provide me with yet another few green onions in a few weeks. I also do it with sprouting garlic and onions. Hopefully I have planted enough seeds and bulbs that I won't have to buy another onion again.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2008 at 11:29PM
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There also the bunching onions, which never bulb and are grown exclusively for green onions (scallions). The quickest and easiest way to get green onions is to buy a sack of sets ( dried tiny bulbs) and set an inch to two inches apart each way. They can be used as soon as they are big enough, most folks start at pencil size. Takes approximately 60 days. Plants are also relatively fast. Seeds are fine but take a 150 days or so. Shallots and multipliers divide and form multiple onions, which be divided and replanted in the fall. The topsetting onions are perennials and just keep going and going.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2008 at 8:53PM
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