Knowing your onions

Out by the shed, near the chicken coop. The place everyone hangs out to discuss the various edibles they raise in their gardens/allotments.

Knowing your onions

Postby Zosherooney » April 9th, 2012, 6:47 am

I am coming to the end of a sack of 20kg english brown onions and some of them have sprouted. I am wondering if I plant them will they do what shallots do and grow 5/6 around the outside? Don't want to waste my time or garden space if this is a no go.

Zosh
User avatar
Zosherooney
Registered
 
Posts: 11004
Joined: March 31st, 2010, 3:04 pm

Re: Knowing your onions

Postby Mamta » April 9th, 2012, 6:58 am

I don't think fully grown onions will grow to give you new onions. It might be worth planting them in some corner and see what happens. If nothing else, they will at least give you a few seeds for next year and may keep some bugs away!
Last edited by Mamta on April 9th, 2012, 6:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Mamta
Registered
 
Posts: 3916
Joined: July 5th, 2010, 5:56 pm
Location: UK

Re: Knowing your onions

Postby Annie » April 9th, 2012, 8:22 am

Afraid not Zosh if you plant onions you need seed or onion sets. Onions are best grown from seed the further north you live (so quite a few do it round here) because the daylight hours are longer during the summer growing season. Onion sets are seeds that have got a start on growing a bit like buying plug plants but bare rooted.

When growing onions for culinary use think more along the lines of leeks not garlic both of which are from the allium family too.
Thanks, Annie
Annie
Registered
 
Posts: 13712
Joined: December 31st, 2009, 5:32 pm
Location: Co. Durham, England

Re: Knowing your onions

Postby ianinfrance » April 9th, 2012, 2:59 pm

As the others have said, won't work. However it is just possible that if you had planted them out in the autumn, you might have found they had flowered and given you seed.
--
All the best
Ian
http://www.souvigne.com
The Earth is degenerating today. Bribery and corruption abound. Children no longer obey their parents, every man wants to write a book, and it is evident that the end of the world is fast approaching.
User avatar
ianinfrance
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 14668
Joined: December 31st, 2009, 5:50 pm
Location: Forgès, France

Re: Knowing your onions

Postby Hope » April 9th, 2012, 5:38 pm

shalots clump up, but onions just grow bigger, so no.
Hope
Registered
 
Posts: 3911
Joined: August 8th, 2010, 2:06 pm

Re: Knowing your onions

Postby miss mouse » April 13th, 2012, 7:24 pm

Hope wrote:shalots clump up, but onions just grow bigger, so no.


Could I use shallots from the grocery store to grow?
miss mouse
Registered
 
Posts: 3310
Joined: July 19th, 2010, 8:32 pm
Location: under the arbutus trees

Re: Knowing your onions

Postby ianinfrance » April 13th, 2012, 8:52 pm

Yup.

But they should be planted - like all spring flowering bulbs - in Autumn, ideally.
--
All the best
Ian
http://www.souvigne.com
The Earth is degenerating today. Bribery and corruption abound. Children no longer obey their parents, every man wants to write a book, and it is evident that the end of the world is fast approaching.
User avatar
ianinfrance
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 14668
Joined: December 31st, 2009, 5:50 pm
Location: Forgès, France

Re: Knowing your onions

Postby miss mouse » April 13th, 2012, 10:49 pm

ianinfrance wrote:Yup.

But they should be planted - like all spring flowering bulbs - in Autumn, ideally.


So September would be the time, that is good news, thanks, Ian.

Another Q; I friend told me to plant spring onion roots and they will grow again so a few spring onion and leek roots are sitting in shallow water and seem to be sprouting. Will they really grow again or is the compost heap the best place?

Thanks
miss mouse
Registered
 
Posts: 3310
Joined: July 19th, 2010, 8:32 pm
Location: under the arbutus trees

Re: Knowing your onions

Postby ianinfrance » April 14th, 2012, 7:40 am

Hi,
miss mouse wrote: I friend told me to plant spring onion roots and they will grow again so a few spring onion and leek roots are sitting in shallow water and seem to be sprouting. Will they really grow again or is the compost heap the best place?
I have no idea, but t.b.h., I'd be astonished if they did.
--
All the best
Ian
http://www.souvigne.com
The Earth is degenerating today. Bribery and corruption abound. Children no longer obey their parents, every man wants to write a book, and it is evident that the end of the world is fast approaching.
User avatar
ianinfrance
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 14668
Joined: December 31st, 2009, 5:50 pm
Location: Forgès, France

Re: Knowing your onions

Postby Annie » April 14th, 2012, 10:23 am

Use or compost bin would be my choice for lees. Leeks in particular if they are planted will go to seed quite fast and if you want the seed fair enough but if you want to eat the plant forget it they will develop a tough inner core as a flowering stalk grows.

Some of the older posters on the board (I mean in age not how long they have been posting, myself included) will remember the leeks at the end of the season being 'woody'. These days with intense farming techniques the growing/selling season is much longer.
Thanks, Annie
Annie
Registered
 
Posts: 13712
Joined: December 31st, 2009, 5:32 pm
Location: Co. Durham, England

Re: Knowing your onions

Postby 4dogsagain » April 14th, 2012, 11:43 am

I've planted sprouting onions, and they have grown. Maybe it's a southern hemisphere thing.
Don't stop doing things because you are growing old; you only grow old if you stop doing things.
4dogsagain
Registered
 
Posts: 4676
Joined: March 31st, 2010, 6:10 pm
Location: Dundee, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

Re: Knowing your onions

Postby ianinfrance » April 14th, 2012, 2:02 pm

4dogsagain wrote:I've planted sprouting onions, and they have grown.
I'm sure they have, but did they make decent onions at the end of it without going to flower.

Onions are basically biennial bulbs, Sets aside, we take advantage of that to eat them at the end of their first year (sowing seed VERY early in the year, as you'd expect) when they become dormant, having stored up energy in the form of sugars to overwinter and start out into growth early the following year.

With onion sets, these are grown from seed sown late under special conditions and so we start them a bit later into growth and they don't get big enough to flower by the time they would normally want to (think of all spring flowering bulbs), so they decide not to flower and therefore grow on so we can harvest them as they go dormant - just like seed sown onions.
--
All the best
Ian
http://www.souvigne.com
The Earth is degenerating today. Bribery and corruption abound. Children no longer obey their parents, every man wants to write a book, and it is evident that the end of the world is fast approaching.
User avatar
ianinfrance
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 14668
Joined: December 31st, 2009, 5:50 pm
Location: Forgès, France

Re: Knowing your onions

Postby miss mouse » April 14th, 2012, 4:18 pm

ianinfrance wrote:I have no idea, but t.b.h., I'd be astonished if they did.


Me too.

Annie wrote:Use or compost bin would be my choice for lees. Leeks in particular if they are planted will go to seed quite fast and if you want the seed fair enough but if you want to eat the plant forget it they will develop a tough inner core as a flowering stalk grows.


The tops have been used, just the roots saved and that is a good point about the woody core. Hooray, to the compost bin it is.

Thanks, everyone.
miss mouse
Registered
 
Posts: 3310
Joined: July 19th, 2010, 8:32 pm
Location: under the arbutus trees

Re: Knowing your onions

Postby StokeySue » April 14th, 2012, 4:22 pm

I ussually find sprouting onions go soft and kind of soapy

However if they look vigourous I have been know to cut my losses by leaving them on the window sill for a couple of days, then used the sprouts like spring onions on cooking. the young sprouts are often very nice (though I think it varies a bit with variety)

I remember having woody leeks sold cheap in the market in the past
Sue
User avatar
StokeySue
Registered
 
Posts: 19873
Joined: April 21st, 2010, 5:18 pm
Location: Stoke Newington (London)

Re: Knowing your onions

Postby PatsyMFagan » April 20th, 2012, 5:35 pm

Bummocks .......... (as Sarah Kennedy used to say) I just posted a query and it disappeared ....

......So, when is the best time to harvest garlic and shallots as I have succeeded in growing both this year much to my amazement. They have been in the ground since last November and have plenty of greenery.
No-one knows if you've done your housework, but everyone knows if you've done your gardening !
User avatar
PatsyMFagan
Registered
 
Posts: 7715
Joined: July 31st, 2010, 10:27 am
Location: Harefield, Uxbridge

Re: Knowing your onions

Postby ianinfrance » April 20th, 2012, 11:34 pm

The saying goes in the UK that they are sowed on the shortest day and harvested the longest day. Not exactly correct, but gives an idea.

In general you know, because in normal years, when the bulbs have got what goodness they can from their leaves, they close down, so the leaves no longer transpire precious moisture - remembering that bulbs were evolved/designed to survive long hot dry summers. So when these bulbs are ready to harvest is when the leaves turn yellow and die down (cf daffodils etc) That presupposes more or less normal seasons. In a very wet summer, they may get confused and you can help them by bending down the leaves just above the bulbs towards the middle of June. This constricts the sap flow and encourages the die back of the leaves. Remember to dry out their bottoms. Spread the bulbs, bottom up so the roots dry right out on somewhere well ventilated. I use fine chicken wire stapled to a frame to keep them off the ground. Finally, they can be plaited into trusses to store.

Hope that helps.
--
All the best
Ian
http://www.souvigne.com
The Earth is degenerating today. Bribery and corruption abound. Children no longer obey their parents, every man wants to write a book, and it is evident that the end of the world is fast approaching.
User avatar
ianinfrance
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 14668
Joined: December 31st, 2009, 5:50 pm
Location: Forgès, France

Re: Knowing your onions

Postby PatsyMFagan » April 23rd, 2012, 10:58 am

Ah thanks Ian :tu:

I knew someone on here would know :)

I have put a note in my diary to turn the tops down in June if they have not already starting drying off.

I am slowly remembering that my dad used to do this.
No-one knows if you've done your housework, but everyone knows if you've done your gardening !
User avatar
PatsyMFagan
Registered
 
Posts: 7715
Joined: July 31st, 2010, 10:27 am
Location: Harefield, Uxbridge

Re: Knowing your onions

Postby hungryhousewife » April 23rd, 2012, 11:10 am

Hi there!
I would say - if they have started sprouting - plant them anyway and enjoy the flowers! Leeks put up gorgeous flowers if left to their own devices.

Just for info - not talking onions, I bought some little purple Asian shallots from the Chinese supermarket last year. They started sprouting and I suggested we try planting them out. It was a great success and we ended up with a nice little bundle of beautiful little fragrant shallots!! (probs breaking DEFRA rules! :oops: )
HH
Last edited by hungryhousewife on April 23rd, 2012, 11:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
hungryhousewife
Registered
 
Posts: 130
Joined: April 16th, 2012, 10:40 pm

Re: Knowing your onions

Postby PatsyMFagan » April 23rd, 2012, 2:14 pm

They sound lovely ........ :tu:
No-one knows if you've done your housework, but everyone knows if you've done your gardening !
User avatar
PatsyMFagan
Registered
 
Posts: 7715
Joined: July 31st, 2010, 10:27 am
Location: Harefield, Uxbridge


Return to The Kitchen Garden

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests