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poison free gardening, Victoria BC, growing fall onions


 

Growing Fall Onions

 onions galore

Several kinds of onions, scallions and shallots are quite winter hardy here and can be sown in fall for a continuous year-round supply of green onions - from the thinnings - as well as onion bulbs, as they mature next spring and early summer.


Yellow Multiplier Onions
One of the most prolific and beautifully winter hardy onions. Start these in September from bulblets, like garlic, but with the top of the bulb just even with the top of the soil. From each bulblet you will get a cluster of 10 or more 3 inch (7 cm) diameter onions - hence their popular name "potato onion" - next July and August. Save the nicest and replant in September to repeat the process. These onions will also store in a cool dry place for up to a year. Meanwhile, you'll have a steady supply of green onions from the thinings, and small and progressively larger onions as they grow.


Buffalo
When sown in August, Buffalo produces an up to 4 inch (10 cm) diameter mild and sweet Spanish type bulb by next June. It stores well for up to 4 months. Again, the thinnings and then the growing plants will supply a steady supply of green, and then progressively larger bulb onions throughout the winter and spring.


Ambition Shallot
Extremely easy to grow from seed sown in August. These reddish and slightly garlic flavoured onions can grow to 2 1/2 inches (7 cm) in diameter by December, and can supply delicately flavoured greens from thinnings, and progressively larger bulbs throughout their growing phase. They also store extremely well in an onion bag in a cool dry place. A 'must' for any gourmet cook - try them sauteed in butter for a heavenly treat - and a joy to have in the fall and winter garden.


Walking Onions
Started from bulblets in August, these "alien" onions produce clusters of nut-sized bulblets instead of flowers at the top of the flowering stalk. When mature, the stalks fall over and the bulblets start new plants when they touch the ground. Hence their name, "walking onions". Use as green onions and like shallots throughout their growing period, and use the top bulblets - great in salads - freely, lest these onions "walk" all over your garden and turn it into an onion forest.

Good, and well drained soil - raised beds are a must in our soggy winters - is all that's needed. Otherwise the growing methods are the same as for all onions.



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