August 3, 2015

Growing Walking Onions

This spring a friend gave me a clump of walking onions from her patch. I've been fascinated by them for some years and was thrilled to add them to my garden.

Walking onions are perennials; they overwinter and grow back when the weather warms up.

Now that it's July, the bulbs are getting some size to them, but there are still lots of tiny onion bulbs in that clump too. Each tiny bulb will grow into a new plant.
 
Why are they called walking onions? In late spring the plants bloom, just like regular onions. (I should have taken a picture then, but that's when hubby had his surgery so I had other things on my mind.) Walking onions don't make seeds though.


The flowers turn into little onion bulblets, and as the bulblets grow, they get heavy. The stalks bend over under the weight, and the bulblets touch the ground where they take root and grow more onion plants. Since I have mine in a large tub, the bulblets were trying to land in the grassy yard, so I encouraged them to stay in the tub. I wiggled a little depression into the soil with my finger, set the bulblet in the hole and nestled it into the loose soil. They'll take root here and grow more onions.
 
 
The hollow onion stalks can be cut and eaten like green onions. The onions can be harvested, but once you do, that plant won't grow back. Cutting the stalk with the bulblets will encourage the plant to grow larger onions. 
 
 
I'm not harvesting any of the onions this year, I'm letting the patch grow and become established, but eventually I can pull and eat some of the larger onion bulbs.
 
Don't you just love perennial vegetables?


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26 comments:

  1. Anonymous9:37 PM

    I have these onions too. I don't pull them when I harvest...I cut them off at the top of the ground and a new onion will grow from the roots. Pat B.

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  2. That's good advice, Pat. The bulbs are all so close together and there are teeny tiny ones too, so pulling one onion could easily dislodge several others. Thank you for commenting.

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  3. What an interesting crop! They remind me of the spider plant (may be wrong one) that grows little bulbs. Kinda creepy because they make a weird slurping sound when you pull them up to share with friends.

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  4. Oh yes, spider plants! I've had a few of those over the years. I didn't know they made a sound when you pull them up; I used to cut the stem and just give friends the babies to plant rather than rooting them myself. Thank you for that fun memory, AnnCluck.

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  5. Oh how interesting! I have never heard of perennial vegetables. ... If you have a chance, I hope you come share at our monthly garden party. http://www.elizabethandcovintage.com/2015/08/august-garden-party.html

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  6. Sharon, thank you for visiting. There are a few perennial veggies but not many - asparagus is one. Tomatoes are actually a perennial if you live in the right climate.

    Thank you for the invitation; I'll hop over and visit the garden party.

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  7. I hadn't heard of these kind of onions before. They are something I want to add to our garden. Thanks for sharing at the Tuesday Garden Party.

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  8. They are a worthwhile addition to the garden, Shelly. Thank you for stopping by.

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  9. Isn't Mother Nature amazing? I'd heard of these, but wasn't sure what they were. Looks like you'll have plenty next season!
    Thanks for sharing this on The Maple Hill Hop this week!

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  10. What a cool crop! I have never seen walking onions. We have green onions and chives that do really well here though. I will have to keep my eye out for the walking variety!

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  11. Carlee, they are sometimes called Egyptian walking onions. I hope you are able to find some.

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  12. I never heard of these before!

    Thanks for sharing.

    Linda

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  13. What a fun thing to learn about! Thanks for sharing.

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  14. Linda, they are a fun vegetable to grow. Thank you for stopping by!

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  15. Betty, what can be better than a veggie that continues to grow year after year and give you food, right? Thank you for your comment.

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  16. I have never heard of these before. I'll have to try growing them! Thanks for sharing at the Weekend Blog Hop at My Flagstaff Home!

    Jennifer

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  17. I was so interested to read about Walking Onions and how to grow them, Kathi! I had never heard of them before. Pinned to my Gardening Board on Pinterest. Thank you for being a part of the Hearth and Soul Hop.

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  18. You're welcome, April. Thank you for commenting, and for pinning the post!

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  19. I have never heard of walking onions! I'm going to pin, so I'll remember to start looking for them. Thanks for sharing on the Homestead Blog Hop!

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  20. Thank you for pinning the post, Jennifer!

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  21. wow!! How cool are they? I haven't ever tried them before, but I will be adding them to the list! Thanks for adding to From The Farm and congratulations on being one of the favorite posts this week!

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  22. Oooh, thank you for featuring the post, Heather!

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  23. These are way too cool! I have never heard of such a thing! Thanks for sharing.

    Thanks for linking up with Green Thumb Thursday! I'd love to see you back this week!

    Lisa

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    1. I'm glad you stopped by, Lisa, thank you.

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  24. I have these. Did not know the name, thanks. For the past few years I have, though, been harvesting the onions that come from the flowers, sometimes it is 10, other times it is 50 per flower. I separate all but one or a few and plant them like regular onions. If I leave one or two onions at the flower head, they in turn sprout chives, which flower, and produce more onions. Not sure I will ever need to buy onion seeds or onion sets again. I just harvested a few hundred and will be offering them up to my community garden pals.

    David

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    Replies
    1. I agree with you, David, we'll never have to buy onion sets or seeds again! Good for you for sharing with your local gardening friends. I love the community of gardeners!

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