About 500 of my 1500 onions are pulled and eaten fresh out of the garden before they reach maturity. The others are cured when they reach maturity (so they’ll store longer) and eaten after summer harvest through December.
During 34 years of gardening I’ve discovered a lot of ways to make sure I have onions in some form even in January thru March when my larder of mature onions has been depleted. I’ll share one in this post.
Through those late winter months we especially enjoy having green onions right out of the garden — even in years when the snow is piled up.
If you’re planting onion plants (also called transplants) – a small growing onion with the green top – you can have green onions in winter with very little effort if you know what to do and look for.
As you already know if you order onion plants, they come in bunches of several dozen plants in various sizes. Some will be very tiny, like the one to the far right in my hand in the above picture. Others can be a bit bigger than a pen or a pencil, like the one to the left. How these various sizes of onions turn out depends on a lot of variables, but there are some generalities we can make to help us be more successful in growing them.
- The larger transplants (like the one closest to my finger tips) tend to be more susceptible to bolting. So there’s a good possibility that these will produce a flower stalk. When that happens pull it up and eat it if you want, because it won’t store.
- In general the ones that make most of the good sized onions are the ones that are about 1/2 the size of a pencil; like the second one from my finger tips in the picture.
- Although tiny plants can make regular sized onions, I think of them more often making a very small onion. (Just like sets that many people plant in the spring to get mature onions.)
Unless you plant all the small ones in one spot, they’re easy to miss when you’re harvesting. Their tops have died back and they’re just under the soil. They cure in the ground and sprout later making nice spring onions that will go through our Virginia winters without problems.
If you find them when you’re harvesting and want to take them up — you can. If they’re not cured — go ahead and cure them. If they’re already cured, store them and transplant them in late summer of early fall. You’ll have some great green onions all winter.
Organic Gardening is easy, effective, efficient and it’s a lot healthier.
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