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walking onion planting question

Posted by cheapheap 7a (My Page) on
Tue, Mar 16, 10 at 21:06

I bought some "Grandma Vadas Walking Onions" (I guess the Granny Vada part is marketing) in 4" pots. The plants are about 8" tall and there are about 4 per pot. The planting instructions on the tag say to plant 6-8" apart in rows 12-18" apart.

Should I separate the plants and follow that spacing or should I just plant them as clumps?

I plan to place them in a 3x3 or a 4x4 raised bed of their own - larger if necessary.

Thanks for any suggestions.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: walking onion planting question

Onions are very easy to transplant.

Just soak them in water real good, put aside for a while,
take them out of pot, separate them by gently shaking,
pour more water on them if needed to separate.
And plant them as the instruction says. You don't have to
plant them in a row, as long as they are about 8" apart, maybe more.

RE: walking onion planting question

Thank you very much for your reply. I will definitely separate and give them a bit more room. Then I can try out a couple of places for them.

Thanks again!

RE: walking onion planting question

I row em' but also plant them in clumps all by themselves, kinda like mint. Fall planting ensures they almost all topset in July.

RE: walking onion planting question

Do you have any pictures. I am curious about how they look. I have never heard of this cultivar.

RE: walking onion planting question

I did not plant mine in clumps, but I also gave them less than 8" apart, and the seem to be doing fine now. If space is scarce, you can probably put them closer together as long as you keep the soil rich.

Some of the ones I planted were from top sets, and some from previous stalks that I re-planted in the ground. I put them in the ground late last spring, they grew somewhat slowly in summer, over wintered with no problems, and this spring they have grown to be tall and thick. Now they are preparing to make top sets, which I expect to see in another month or so.

RE: walking onion planting question

I ended up planting them in an 8" grid pattern. The roots were coarse and pretty easy to separate. Hopefully they will get sets this year.

farmerton - I dont have any pictures yet. I do have one more to separate and plant when there is a long enough break in the rain and will take some pictures then.

RE: walking onion planting question

I think they're closer in size to bunching onions than bulbing onions, so a closer spacing is probably acceptable. The bulbs shouldn't crowd eachother out. These are often eaten green too, so you can plant them densely and consume every other plant mid-season.

RE: walking onion planting question

I finally got around to posting a picture (I hope). The walking onions are in the center and to the left, regular sets planted for green onions to the right.

Any ideas about the basic type of walking onion? - I think that the name on the tag was just made up (my post is the first hit on google for "Vada walking onion" without quotes). The plant in the center of the picture is about 18" tall, one that was planted at my moms is 24" (even though I thought I had selfishly kept the best)- so I think they will be taller when they get going. The little bulbs at the top are about the size of a pea and are white. It appears that there will be another tier of top sets.


RE: walking onion planting question

  • Posted by jnfr z5b CO (My Page) on
    Tue, Jun 8, 10 at 21:12

I believe if you get tiers of top-sets, that is top-sets on your top-sets before they're even taken down and planted, that is called Catawissa type. At least that's what I was told about the ones I grow, which come out of the paper topset often with another paper topset already formed.

RE: walking onion planting question

I have grown them for a few years now (received very kind and great advice here when I started growing them). For me the yield is not quite as great as I can get from transplanted storage onion plants, but they are definitely much less work to grow (especially when you grow transplants from seed, which I believe is a more fair comparison than purchased plants.) I get plenty of rain in the spring and about none in the summer and they seem to like it well enough, they benefit from watering but will get by without. I weed a couple of times but they fill the bed nicely.

I planted in 4x4 foot beds in 4 rows of 4. Last fall I divided basal bulbs and planted a 4x4 grid pattern.
Topsets to be used as green onions were planted around the perimeter and in rows between the rows - pretty much 6 rows of 8 with a few more - for over 50 green onions. It worked very well. The green onions need to be cut out with a knife near the sides before being pulled (don't angle the knife much, they were deeper than I planted them). It also seems to be pretty important to give the plants that you intend to keep for the whole season some room, so removing the green onion plants that you did not eat is important (they can be transplanted elsewhere.) No matter what soil, nutrients, or whatever you give them, giving plants enough space is probably the most important lesson that I have learned in gardening.

The pictures are from 1 4x4 bed. Hope this works.


RE: walking onion planting question

I meant to post this to: the thread linked below

oh well. I think it will get to those who want to see it.

happy gardening!

Here is a link that might be useful:

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