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Friday Rookie Topic XIV: Potato Onions

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Post  greatgranny on 9/26/2012, 9:42 pm

@camprn wrote:
@greatgranny wrote:Okay, planted the potato onions and garlic today. Wonder if I should soak the squares or should I just leave them. There was some moisture in the squares but the surface is not wet. What do you think?
Did they come with planting instructions? I would give them a wee drink.

Granny, where did you get your potato onions from?

Yes, there were instructions. It mentioned the watering issue in reference to keeping the soil moist during the entire period of active growth.

I got the potato onions from Southern Exposure.
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Post  mollyhespra on 9/27/2012, 2:51 pm

Thanks for the info, CampRN! I just sent Kelly from the the third link you posted a request for a starter set & some seeds. I'm liking how these onions store a long time & the ease with which they propagate... now to have the patience to wait until Spring for planting...
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Post  countrynaturals on 12/1/2019, 12:37 pm

WAAAA! I want these right now and I can't find them anywhere. Crybaby . Well, Etsy has them, but I don't trust them. If anyone has some to swap, I just got a huge seed grab bag from Sustainable, so I have a pretty good selection to send back. I love you
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Post  markqz on 12/1/2019, 3:10 pm

@countrynaturals wrote:WAAAA! I want these right now and I can't find them anywhere. Crybaby . Well, Etsy has them, but I don't trust them. If anyone has some to swap, I just got a huge seed grab bag from Sustainable, so I have a pretty good selection to send back. I love you

It looks like Etsy sold out already.

I found two sites that claim to have bulbs ... but they don't ship to CA. Typical.

For the Egyptian walking onion, there's an entire site:

Egyptian Walking Onion

This is actually a good price, compared to Amazon. But can you trust them?

Also for the Egyptian, there's this site that claims to sell them:

Richters

But it doesn't give me a lot of confidence when a site doesn't bother to keep it's SSL certificate up to date. That kind of suggests they may be sloppy in other ways too.

You can find quite a few on Amazon. Search for "multiplier onions -shallot" . It looks like it will set you back at least $30 after postage.

Probably they'll be easier to purchase in spring.

Maybe no one sells them, because once you do, the customer never has to come back?
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Post  countrynaturals on 12/1/2019, 3:35 pm

Thanks, Mark. Hubby only likes sweet onions, so that eliminates the Egyptians. My research says that potato onions are sweeter than regular onions. Hubby will be the judge -- and he's a tough one. Razz
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Post  OhioGardener on 12/1/2019, 3:58 pm

Piedmont Farm and Garden has Potato Onion sets for sale, with free shipping:

Potato Onion Sets (3)

As does the Maine Potato Lady:

Potato Onions

And, Experimental Farm Network has Onion Potato Seeds for sale:

Potato Onion Seeds (50)

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Post  Scorpio Rising on 12/1/2019, 4:14 pm

Wow!  So those potato onions would need actual ground?  

I love my Egyptian Walking Onions, I got them from Judy on here!  But they aren’t sweet, you're’ right.
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Post  OhioGardener on 12/1/2019, 4:27 pm

@Scorpio Rising wrote:Wow!  So those potato onions would need actual ground?  

I love my Egyptian Walking Onions, I got them from Judy on here!  But they aren’t sweet, you're’ right.

Yep, gotta plant them, and they form a clump much like potatoes do. Thus they are most often called Nesting Onions.  They definitely not sweet, they are much sharper in taste than Shallots, for example. They are best used for cooking in soups or stews, rather than eating raw.

I have Walking Onions that we brought with us from our previous farm when we moved here, and that was some 38 years ago. They just keep walking....  Very Happy

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Post  countrynaturals on 12/1/2019, 5:27 pm

@OhioGardener wrote:
@Scorpio Rising wrote:Wow!  So those potato onions would need actual ground?  

I love my Egyptian Walking Onions, I got them from Judy on here!  But they aren’t sweet, you're’ right.

Yep, gotta plant them, and they form a clump much like potatoes do. Thus they are most often called Nesting Onions.  They definitely not sweet, they are much sharper in taste than Shallots, for example. They are best used for cooking in soups or stews, rather than eating raw.

I have Walking Onions that we brought with us from our previous farm when we moved here, and that was some 38 years ago. They just keep walking....  Very Happy
I hope you were talking about the Egyptians not being sweet. What I read said the potato onions are sweeter than shallots. If that's not the case, I just wasted $4.50. Sad
thankyou  for the link, OG. Now I just hope they ship right away, so I can still get them in the ground before winter. bounce
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Post  OhioGardener on 12/1/2019, 5:39 pm

@countrynaturals wrote:
@OhioGardener wrote:
@Scorpio Rising wrote:Wow!  So those potato onions would need actual ground?  

I love my Egyptian Walking Onions, I got them from Judy on here!  But they aren’t sweet, you're’ right.

Yep, gotta plant them, and they form a clump much like potatoes do. Thus they are most often called Nesting Onions.  They definitely not sweet, they are much sharper in taste than Shallots, for example. They are best used for cooking in soups or stews, rather than eating raw.

I have Walking Onions that we brought with us from our previous farm when we moved here, and that was some 38 years ago. They just keep walking....  Very Happy
I hope you were talking about the Egyptians not being sweet. What I read said the potato onions are sweeter than shallots. If that's not the case, I just wasted $4.50. Sad
thankyou  for the link, OG. Now I just hope they ship right away, so I can still get them in the ground before winter. bounce

Well, the Potato Onion I had were not sweet. They were what I considered cooking onions. I don't have any of them left now - the in-ground bed they were in stayed too wet and the bulbs all rotted.

From the Cultivariable site:

Cooking and Eating: All parts are edible. You can snip the new leaves as green onions. The bulbs substitute well in recipes calling for storage type (not sweet) onions. Try incorporating them into soups or baked into breads.

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Post  countrynaturals on 12/1/2019, 6:29 pm

@OhioGardener wrote:
Well, the Potato Onion I had were not sweet. They were what I considered cooking onions. I don't have any of them left now - the in-ground bed they were in stayed too wet and the bulbs all rotted.

From the Cultivariable site:

Cooking and Eating: All parts are edible. You can snip the new leaves as green onions. The bulbs substitute well in recipes calling for storage type (not sweet) onions. Try incorporating them into soups or baked into breads.
From a link on the first page of this thread:

VeggieGardeningTips.com wrote:The bulbs themselves are much larger than shallots and are easy to peel and prepare for kitchen use. Potato Onions have a mild, sweet taste that I prefer over regular onions, and will impart more of a distinctly gourmet flavor to your favorite recipes when used in place of onions.

GRRR!!! I never would have ordered them if not for the above quote. Evil or Very Mad
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Post  OhioGardener on 12/1/2019, 6:45 pm

@countrynaturals wrote:From a link on the first page of this thread:

VeggieGardeningTips.com wrote:The bulbs themselves are much larger than shallots and are easy to peel and prepare for kitchen use. Potato Onions have a mild, sweet taste that I prefer over regular onions, and will impart more of a distinctly gourmet flavor to your favorite recipes when used in place of onions.

GRRR!!! I never would have ordered them if not for the above quote. Evil or Very Mad

Hopefully, CN, they have a strain that is sweeter than the old heirloom variety I raised.

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Post  countrynaturals on 12/2/2019, 10:23 am

@OhioGardener wrote:
@countrynaturals wrote:From a link on the first page of this thread:

VeggieGardeningTips.com wrote:The bulbs themselves are much larger than shallots and are easy to peel and prepare for kitchen use. Potato Onions have a mild, sweet taste that I prefer over regular onions, and will impart more of a distinctly gourmet flavor to your favorite recipes when used in place of onions.

GRRR!!! I never would have ordered them if not for the above quote. Evil or Very Mad

Hopefully, CN, they have a strain that is sweeter than the old heirloom variety I raised.
Their description doesn't say anything about "sweet" and they do say "old", but they are shipping right now, so I'll at least be able to get them going fast. It will give me something else to grow over the winter, and the rest of the family isn't nearly so picky about "sweet onions" so if they don't work for us, I can grow these for the rest of the clan. I've been a total failure at all other onions, so maybe these will give me a chance to redeem myself. Embarassed Thanks again for the link, OG.
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Post  OhioGardener on 12/2/2019, 11:10 am

For your next onion growing experiment, CN, you must try the Red Welsh Bunching onion - they aren't from Wales, but from China...  They are bunching onions that have side shoots that are pulled off and re-planted for the next harvest. Kind of cool.  If you like bunching onions, these are great!

Welsh Bunching Onions

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Post  countrynaturals on 12/2/2019, 11:53 am

@OhioGardener wrote:For your next onion growing experiment, CN, you must try the Red Welsh Bunching onion - they aren't from Wales, but from China...  They are bunching onions that have side shoots that are pulled off and re-planted for the next harvest. Kind of cool.  If you like bunching onions, these are great!

Welsh Bunching Onions
Is there a "sweet" bunching onion?
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Post  OhioGardener on 12/2/2019, 12:09 pm

Well, they claim that the Japanese Bunching Onion (Allium fistulosum) is sweet, but I have grown them so don't know first hand. I prefer a stronger onion taste, so don't often look for sweet onions.

From Territorial Seeds web page: "This award winning, Japanese bunching onion is non-bulbing and has a mellow, sweet flavor for garnishes, salads, and dicing into savory dishes. Summer Island tops out at 12 inches tall with brilliant white shanks and jade green tops. Cold hardy for delicious, fresh, green onion flavor throughout the cool months."

And, from Baker Creek web page: "An heirloom Japanese, perennial bunching onion; stalks grow and divide from the base. Mild and tasty. These are an essential ingredient in both Oriental and American foods. A non-bulbing white type."

Japanese Bunching Onion

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Post  countrynaturals on 12/2/2019, 6:24 pm

@OhioGardener wrote:Well, they claim that the Japanese Bunching Onion (Allium fistulosum) is sweet, but I have grown them so don't know first hand. I prefer a stronger onion taste, so don't often look for sweet onions.

From Territorial Seeds web page: "This award winning, Japanese bunching onion is non-bulbing and has a mellow, sweet flavor for garnishes, salads, and dicing into savory dishes. Summer Island tops out at 12 inches tall with brilliant white shanks and jade green tops. Cold hardy for delicious, fresh, green onion flavor throughout the cool months."

And, from Baker Creek web page: "An heirloom Japanese, perennial bunching onion; stalks grow and divide from the base. Mild and tasty. These are an essential ingredient in both Oriental and American foods. A non-bulbing white type."

Japanese Bunching Onion
I think I'll give them a try next time. Cool thankyou
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 12/2/2019, 8:10 pm

Interesting thread...I had my first ever harvest of actual onions this year out of my SFG...I have Egyptian Walking onions on the south side of the house.  I loved having onions to pull!
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Post  sanderson on 12/5/2019, 2:48 pm

I have Egyptian walking onions, but now I'm interested in the potato onions. I'm assuming individual onions can be broken off the cluster, leaving the rest of the cluster to grow. ?? Thanks, guys.

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Post  OhioGardener on 12/5/2019, 4:16 pm

@sanderson wrote:I have Egyptian walking onions, but now I'm interested in the potato onions.  I'm assuming individual onions can be broken off the cluster, leaving the rest of the cluster to grow.

That's correct. Or you can pull the cluster, pop off the smallest ones, and re-lant them to start the new cluster.

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Post  countrynaturals on 12/5/2019, 7:08 pm

@sanderson wrote:I have Egyptian walking onions, but now I'm interested in the potato onions.  I'm assuming individual onions can be broken off the cluster, leaving the rest of the cluster to grow.  ?? Thanks, guys.
Mine came, today -- not what I expected. They're more like garlic, and they never form true onion bulbs. They will always be segmented. I already put them in the ground, so now we'll just have to wait and see (not my best thing bounce ).
Friday Rookie Topic XIV: Potato Onions - Page 2 Potato10

I couldn't find anything about how deep to plant them, so I left the green tops at dirt level. If they should go deeper I can fix it, tomorrow. Also, that one bulb could have been divided I guess, but I wasn't sure, so I left it alone. Again, if that was wrong, I can pull it up and split it, tomorrow.
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Post  OhioGardener on 12/5/2019, 7:40 pm

@countrynaturals wrote:I couldn't find anything about how deep to plant them, so I left the green tops at dirt level. If they should go deeper I can fix it, tomorrow. Also, that one bulb could have been divided I guess, but I wasn't sure, so I left it alone. Again, if that was wrong, I can pull it up and split it, tomorrow.

CN, there should be one bulb each that are planted. The smaller bulbs may only form a cluster of 2 to 3 onion bulbs. Larger bulbs will form clusters of 5 to 10 onion bulbs. If the first crop you get only has 2 onions, that is because the "starter" bulbs were young and immature. The next crop will be bigger and more onions per cluster. 

Plant the bulbs 4" to 6" apart, and with the top of the bulb 1/2" to 1" below the soil level.

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Post  countrynaturals on 12/5/2019, 8:03 pm

@OhioGardener wrote:
@countrynaturals wrote:I couldn't find anything about how deep to plant them, so I left the green tops at dirt level. If they should go deeper I can fix it, tomorrow. Also, that one bulb could have been divided I guess, but I wasn't sure, so I left it alone. Again, if that was wrong, I can pull it up and split it, tomorrow.

CN, there should be one bulb each that are planted. The smaller bulbs may only form a cluster of 2 to 3 onion bulbs. Larger bulbs will form clusters of 5 to 10 onion bulbs. If the first crop you get only has 2 onions, that is because the "starter" bulbs were young and immature. The next crop will be bigger and more onions per cluster. 

Plant the bulbs 4" to 6" apart, and with the top of the bulb 1/2" to 1" below the soil level.

Friday Rookie Topic XIV: Potato Onions - Page 2 Potato10
Thanks, OG. I got it about right, depth-wise, but I should have separated the one on the left. I'll fix that, tomorrow.
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Post  countrynaturals on 2/4/2020, 9:34 am

@OhioGardener wrote:Yep, gotta plant them, and they form a clump much like potatoes do. Thus they are most often called Nesting Onions.  They definitely not sweet, they are much sharper in taste than Shallots, for example. They are best used for cooking in soups or stews, rather than eating raw.
Turns out there used to be several varieties, so that explains the discrepancy in descriptions. Fingers crossed that we either have the sweet, mild variety, or that it's still available somewhere.

These puppies grew beautifully all winter long. I pinched off one leaf for Hubby to try as chives, and he loved it. Now my question is how much can I take without harming the plants?
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Post  OhioGardener on 2/4/2020, 9:47 am

@countrynaturals wrote:These puppies grew beautifully all winter long. I pinched off one leaf for Hubby to try as chives, and he loved it. Now my question is how much can I take without harming the plants?

If you cut just the out leaves when the plants are 5" or 6" high, you can harvest 1/3rd of them for continuous harvest - they will quickly grow new inner leaves to replace the ones you harvested.

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