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Perennial onions & other edible alliums

Discussion in 'The Exchange: Buy, Sell, Trade, Giveaway' started by Zeedman, Aug 4, 2018.

  1. Aug 4, 2018
    Zeedman

    Zeedman Deeply Rooted

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    In permanent locations, I grow about a dozen perennial alliums of various species; Grolau chives (a Russian cultivar), Chinese chives, two bunching onions, two pearl onions, several walking onions, and two nesting onions. Some form bulbs, some do not. All but one have remained undisturbed for several years, to increase them to the point where I would have enough to share.

    I'm happy to report that I will be able to share several of those this year. For those which form bulbs, I dug up a portion of each patch. Two of those show great potential:
    20180705_201548.jpg
    Grandpa Achors. Small leaves, but that may be due to crowding. Divides rapidly from the base, and will form very small white topset bulbils as well. This looks nearly identical to another variety I grow (McCullar's), but with smaller topsets. When I divided some of the McCullar's & planted them in the Fall with my garlic, they formed clusters of 3-5 nice 1" onions the following year. I expect that Grandpa Achors will do at least as well. 20180710_140246.jpg
    Croation (Luk) also appears to have smaller foliage than most onions, somewhere between chives & scallions. It has neither flowered nor formed topset bulbils since I've grown it, but as you can see from the photo, it has divided very rapidly. I have yet to test it, but it too shows great potential for being a "perpetual onion", if a portion each year is divided & given space.

    I also have seed for an heirloom bunching onion, which is either Franz or Stevenson... both look very similar, so I can't positively identify which. When multiple tillings failed to kill them, their tenacity impressed me enough that I transferred them to a permanent location, where they have flourished. It is extremely winter hardy, divides rapidly from the base, and has 1/2" stalks that are very similar in length & width to the larger walking onions.

    As I review the stock available, I will be listing other perennial onions & related alliums as updates to this thread. Send me a PM if interested.
     
    flowerbug, digitS' and thistlebloom like this.
  2. Aug 5, 2018
    flowerbug

    flowerbug Garden Addicted

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    i've tried many times to get bunching onions going here with no luck. we rarely use the chives we grow for anything other than the purple flowers. are any of them good as a green onion? super easy to grow and not spreading from seeds/tops is also useful as i don't want to them to escape and become yet another problem child elsewheres...

    i have a darker purple flowering allium that i'm trying to move someplace else and haven't gotten all of the original plants removed yet. hard to track all those children down when they have so many tiny bulbs clustered around the main bulb.
     
  3. Aug 6, 2018
    Zeedman

    Zeedman Deeply Rooted

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    @flowerbug , what happened when you tried bunching onions? Were they started from seed? If you want to try again from plants, this would be a good time. Both of my bunching onions are in their dormant phase right now, so they would be more likely to survive being mailed. They will resume growth in a few weeks, for Fall scallions. The remaining plants of the two bulbing onions in the photos above have already broken dormancy, and are sending up new leaves.

    While any of the onions can be used as green onions, the bunching onions & walking onions are best suited for this purpose. I have bulbils for three walking onions, which I will mention later in this thread. Grandpa Achors will, I believe, be larger than it has been for me (the size of supermarket scallions) if not crowded. The bunching onions are probably the least likely to be invasive; but there is no risk at all - from any of them - if you cut off the flower stalk when it appears.
     
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  4. Aug 6, 2018
    flowerbug

    flowerbug Garden Addicted

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    i planted from seeds and they never sprouted. several times. no idea what was going on there since the regular onion seeds i plant seemed to sprout and grow ok.

    i have a very hard time cutting off flowers from anything. even weeds... :) will send a PM, just interested in things that can be used easily as green onions. don't care too much about how strong they are, i love fresh onion and fresh garlic chewed up right there in the garden. :) thanks!

    if you would like some garlic in exchange it's a pretty strong hard-necked garlic that has always done well here. no idea of the variety name, but it is very old so may be common and you may already have it. or any beans of course. :) or any other plants that you may be interested in... :)
     

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