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possibly stupid Onion questions?

Posted by heather38 6a E,Coast (My Page) on
Sun, Mar 28, 10 at 21:32

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.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: possibly stupid Onion questions?

  • Posted by kandm 8b coastal alabama (My Page) on
    Sun, Mar 28, 10 at 22:58

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?

RE: possibly stupid Onion questions?

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

RE: possibly stupid Onion questions?

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 :-)

RE: possibly stupid Onion questions?


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.

RE: possibly stupid Onion questions?

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.

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