possibly stupid Onion questions?

heather38(6a E,Coast)March 28, 2010

I brought "sets" (little onions) after failing with seeds last year, (who from a country with only 2 zones would know that there was such a thing as long and short day?).

anyway I did a search and learned that they are more likely to set seed as they are 2yr, and any over the size of a dime is more likely to do this, So I spent a few hours with a dime and my onions...I led a madcap, roller coaster of a life... in my head!

well over 2/3's where under that size and I have planted them 16 per sq ft, and I am now left with the rest, so here at last are my questions

1/ I read these could be used like green onions, what are green onions? like bunching/scallions?

2/ if like bunching I presume the bit you are eating is the shoots/leaf type part?

3/ if you are using them in this way, not for the bulb, can you plant them closer? so more than 16 per Sq ft?

4/ once you cut them, will they grow more shoots?

I realise that the last 3 depend heavily on my assumption of number 1, but I am clueless.

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kandm(8b coastal alabama)

Green onions are immature bulbing varieties of onions. If you let them age a little more you will have "pearl onions" which are used in many recipes including pickled for martinis. Scallions are a type of onion that will never bulb regardless of it's age.

You can eat the green part of both as far as I know.

Yes, you can plant them closer if you plant to pick them young. You may want to plant them close in a row and harvest every other onion in the row.

I don't understand your last question, do you mean can you reroot the plant?

    Bookmark   March 28, 2010 at 10:58PM
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You can eat the green shoots and the little onion if you'd like.

If you just eat the green tops, I would guess they would grow back. People trim their seedlings' tops all the time from what I understand (assuming you'd be giving the onion a "haircut" and not pulling it).

Here is a link that might be useful: Tales of a Transplanted Gardener

    Bookmark   March 29, 2010 at 12:16AM
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heather38(6a E,Coast)

thanks, for that, between you I think my question is answered, as in I can chop the green or pull the whole plant young, and space closer...and no they aren't like scallions :-)

    Bookmark   March 29, 2010 at 8:44PM
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Melissa Houser


I planted onion sets, just as you did. I planted mine 16 to a square, and some are probably more than that. I also worked the onion sets into every spot I thought a set would grow, mostly because there are so many sets in a bundle.

Mine are growing quite nicely and taste amazing. I'm currently thinning out the crowded squares and eating the onions at scallion size. The goal is to leave 4 per square for larger white onions later.

If you're careful, you could cut one or two green "leaves" from each onion and they will continue to grow. I can't imagine they'd love it if you cut all the green stems down since that's how the onions get many of the things they need to drow.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2010 at 10:57PM
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Heather, what we call "green onions" are what people call "spring onions" in the UK & Europe. They are just baby onions that are picked & eaten while the bulb is still small. You can just pull them up, trim off the roots, & use the whole thing, bulb & green tops. I wouldn't cut off all the green tops because as a previous poster said, the bulb needs the tops for sustenance.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 9:00AM
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