I planted wild onion bulbils today. They came in the mail and are not good to keep in an envelope. I split them into two groups and planted them in two corners of raised bed 3.
I had these wild onions in my Texas garden, they are very common lawn “weeds” and smell pretty bad when you mow over a bunch of them. They are, however, delicious onion greens for cooking or eating raw. They multiply like crazy, so once you get them started, you will never need to buy green onions in the market economy. Toss some on top of meat when you grill, and enjoy.
In Texas and Seattle, I dug and transplanted wild onions into my mixed vegetable-flower beds. It is good to have plenty of them because their pretty pinkish-white flowers look lovely in the front of flowers or vegetables and they repel insects and voles.
My Texas lawn had a good hundred of them, which I transferred to the back garden like crazy. In part because my son was feeling rebellious about mowing the lawn while masses of onions made his eyes burn and the smell was overwhelming, and in part because they are a national treasure. When they all bloomed, it was gorgeous.
In Seattle, I found some in a field near my son’s house and dug up a small batch of them to transplant into my vegetable garden. They did not suffer transplant shock and bloomed the same year. There are a few plants that resemble wild onions, but none taste or smell like onions.
As the flower heads turn into bulbils, share with others. The bulbils are nice to add to pickles, and hold their shape well. I look forward to adding them to my lacto-fermented vegetables as well.
Wild onions are a medicinal plant, as are all the alliums. Just adding them to your diet has many health benefits. That onion smell is sulphur and they were the original sulfa drug. I had so many in Texas that I planted little groups of them all around my yard both for their beauty and for their insect protection.
Granted I have just over a dozen wild onion bulbils, which won’t come into their own for at least a year; however they are worth the wait. As hard as it was to hit the market economy for something I expect to be free, better to bite the bullet and make the addition to my circular economy and food forest. As they grow and multiply, I will transfer some uphill.
Deer won’t normally eat wild onion, but turkeys like them. Turkeys were once common here, but were hunted out. They were restocked but they have not spread this far… yet. Doesn’t hurt to start planting turkey food.
Allium canadense is delicious and will naturalize in most US gardens. I recommend it as one of the easiest edibles for a new gardner. Let it come up where it will, pull and eat.