Growing Spring Onions all year.

It can be a bit confusing when talking about spring onions (or are they shallots or are they scallions) as there are lots of small onions with lots of different names, but when I am talking about spring onions I am referring to the onion which produces a slender white stem and hollow, cylindrical, dark green leaves, that when grown well, have a lovely mild flavour that can be eaten raw or cooked.

 

I love the fresh mild taste of spring onion in many dishes. I use them in stir fries and other Asian dishes, raw in leafy garden salads; they are a must in a good potato salad and an essential ingredient in quiche.

I use them daily in the kitchen, so like to have a continual supply, this is simple with a bit of planning and the willingness to successive plant seed every few weeks.

In most climates they can be grown all year but are best in spring and autumn, in the summer if they become water stressed they can become a little hot in flavour and in winter their growth slows.

As this is an ideal time to be growing spring onions, why not pop some seed in today.

sprinkle 3

Growing spring onions

As with most vegetables they like full sun and a soil that is well drained and prepared with well-rotted compost and animal manures. But in my experience they are pretty tough and will grow just about anywhere.

They are quick growing, only taking about 8 weeks, if fed well, before you can start to harvest them.

They take up very little room and can be popped in to spare spaces all year or grown in a pot. A pot just outside the kitchen door is very convenient  so you can pop out and grab a few to include in your favour dish as they make a great garnish and are often added towards the end of a dishes cooking time.

They can be grow very easily form seed and this is by far the cheapest way to produce them, but they transplant quite readily, so if you are wanting to get some in straight away, buy a punnet of seedlings.

a furrow

When growing them from seed I create a small furrow in my soil about 6cm deep and 5cm wide and fill this with seed raising mix, firm it down, sprinkle seed evenly over the  mix, cover with no more than a 1cm of more  mix, firm down again and gently water in well. Mulch up to the edges of the furrow and water again. Keep moist until they germinate.

Spring onion do not like competition from weeds and have extremely fine foliage when they germinate which makes it difficult to weed around them. By using a seed raising mix and mulch weeds should not germinate before the seedlings are growing strongly and much easier to weed around.

To maintain a continual supply I like to put in just a pinch of seed (about 20) every 4 weeks

Feeding.

When growing spring onions, you want to produce lots of leaf growth and they need to grow quickly so they retain their mild flavour, so once they have germinated, a start to fertilise them with a very weak solution of high nitrogen ratio organic fertiliser, such as power feed or a fertiliser tea made from chicken manure and /or legume foliage, twice a week. Once they are 6 to 8 cm high use half strength once a week.

water 2

Watering

Keep moist by thoroughly watering once a week once established and mulching.

Thinning

When  they reach  10 to 12 cm high,  thin them out to about 5am apart, this gives the remaining plants plenty of room to grow and allows plenty of air flow around the plants to prevent downy mildew occurring. After the initial thinning and the plants have  reached about  pencil thickness   I start to harvest them  as I need them by  removing  every second plant which gives more space for the remaining plants to grow.

Once you have found how easy this fabulous plant is to grow, I am sure it will become a staple in your garden.

Are you growing spring onions right now? I would love to see some pictures, which you can pop up on my Facebook page. If you’re looking for fantastic garden inspiration, try out my Pinterest boards – I keep them full of fantastic looking veggies, fruits and garden design.

Happy Gardening, Kathy

Posted on October 11, 2014 in HOW TO GROW, SUMMER

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Responses (8)

  1. rabidlittlehippy
    October 11, 2014 at 7:42 am · Reply

    I never pull up spring onions when I harvest them, just cut tehm off at ground level. They will regrow! 🙂

  2. keithbawden
    October 13, 2014 at 5:10 pm · Reply

    Great growing guide. Will try this myself. Currently growing broccoli my favourite. And great tip about cutting and regrowth

    • kmfinigan
      October 13, 2014 at 9:42 pm · Reply

      Hey Keith, thanks! Cant vouch for the cutting and regrowing tip myself, but Ill definitely be giving it a go! If you’re loving broccoli, I wrote about easy ways to get it growing here – http://bit.ly/1tyCJSP – easy ways to preserve it here – http://bit.ly/1uBWpqq – and my favourite recipes here – http://bit.ly/1qW4Vfe!! Can you tell I share your love of broccoli?

  3. paulballardin
    October 14, 2014 at 4:49 am · Reply

    Buy some from the supermarket and stick them straight in the garden instead of the fridge and cut as required for an instant and on-going supply…

    • kmfinigan
      October 14, 2014 at 9:26 am · Reply

      Another great tip! Ive seen lots of articles about growing veggies from the end of a celery stalk etc. and the only thing that concerns me is the reports that the veggies dont grow back anywhere near as strong or healthy as their supermarket forefathers. But Ill give it a go! If you’ve done it, I would love to see some pics Paul!

      • rabidlittlehippy
        February 22, 2015 at 10:26 pm · Reply

        I planted some spring onion roots into my front garden. They’re all going to seed at the moment and people always comment on the size of the leeks growing but they’re just the spring onion roots grown close to 3cm across! I have heard mixed results with celery though.

  4. A Changing of the Seasons | myproductivebackyard
    February 22, 2015 at 12:22 am · Reply

    […] am continuing to plant fortnightly crops of mesculn mix salad greens, spring onion, rocket and coriander. The rocket and coriander appreciate the cooler weather and do not bolt quite […]

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