Spring Planting, Onions (Allium sp.)

Just finished planting 160 onion sets, all are yellow storage onions.

Yellow Onion Sets

Yellow Onion Sets

As with everything else, I planted these too close together.  As with everything else, I will start “thinning” and eating them as young onions with greens.  My goal is to store about 50 onions for winter use.

I also planted about 40 Tohono O’Odham I’itoi bunching onions.  These were brought to Arizona by the Spaniards but escaped and naturalized.  When found, they were thought to be a native Allium, but DNA testing indicates a European naturalized onion.

Any onion that naturalized in the Southern Arizona mountains might happily naturalize here as well.  They look seriously dehydrated, so I am not sure how many will sprout.  It is drizzly today, and I expect more rain tonight and tomorrow.  I hope they will get well watered in.

I ran out of steam before planting red shallots… tomorrow is another day.

I planted them in raised bed six, which is stone and will not keep brer rabbit out.  Thank goodness brer rabbit is not fond of onions.

When I find an evergreen shrub or two for this bed, I will just pull a couple onions for dinner and plant the shrub(s).

Onions are very nutritious and medicinal as well.  Savory dishes usually have onion and I would have a hard time making winter soups without onion.  I have both onion and garlic chives under lights in my back bedroom, but they aren’t an absolute replacement for plain old bulb onions.

Onions are the original sulfa drug and there are entire books about the health benefits of the onion family.  Eating onion as a regular part of your diet is about all that iis necessary to give a nutrition boost.

I recommend onions as an easy crop for new gardeners, especially bunching onions because they are a buy once have forever crop.  I find bunching onions easy to dry and store.  For cooks, I recommend shallots in colors.  Also easy and nice multipliers.

To get a wide variety of onions, start from fresh seed as a biennial.  In any case, plant onions indoors or out.

My goal is self-sufficiency in my food supply.  I like bunching onions for their be fruitful and multiply habits.  I like chives for the same.  Bulb onions are a bit harder but can be saved from seed as well.




About rebeccatreeseed

I am a naturalist raised by naturalists. Treeseed is my earned name, while Rebecca is my birth name. I am of Northern European descent, with a quarter Irish.quarter thrown in. I suspect I was a product of northern invaders into Ireland into Ireland. but hard to say since DNA disproved the family story about Apache blood! I have found some odd ancestors to replace them. Last year I bought 5 acres of pinyon-juniper forest on the side of a mountain in Santa Fe County, New Mexico. I am fulfilling a lifetime dream of a cabin in the mountains and a food forest that will feed me and local wildlife. I want to share this new phase of my life with others that might be interested.
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2 Responses to Spring Planting, Onions (Allium sp.)

  1. Helen says:

    I’ve never had success with bunching onions (does that mean spring/green onions perhaps)? My chives are doing magnificently, on the other hand, and soon I’ll be eating their lovely flowers.

    I do the same with onions – that is, pick as I need…. Such a great vegetable. I just wish my daughter would learn to like them, too!

  2. Helen, she will like onions better as she gets older. Onions are strong stuff raw. Cooked onions have that slime factor in soups. For years I bagged the onions in soup and pulled them out before serving so my son would eat it without a battle. When he started cooking his soups were not good because he left onion and other thing out… he started adding onion.
    The worst was I grated vegetables up finely and added them to his low sugar, low fat cookies, spaghetti sauce etc.! He claimed to his wife that he never ate vegetables!
    Maybe I should have had battles over it but opted to be a sneak instead. He eats everything now.
    I used whole

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