I have long sung the praises of the perpetual aka perennial onion. Allow a few to multiply each year and you will have them forever.
I started growing one such type, ‘Egyptian Walking’ onion (Allium proliferum) aka tree onion in my community garden plot well over a decade ago. The exact date is a lost memory to me now as is how I came by it in the first place, but I suspect that I may have been growing from the same stock for approaching 18 years. In that time I have passed on countless full-sized onions and bulbils (the small bulbs that form at the top of mature plants) to friends and neighbours without making the slightest dent in my own yearly harvest.
Indeed they do. Or at least I do. We like spinach and we eat a lot of it, so it’s a good thing I sowed a nice-sized crop this spring. I grew two varieties: ‘Bordeaux,’ a stunning variety with bright pink stems and leaf veining, and ‘Monstrueux de Viroflay,’ an heirloom with monster-sized leaves.
The other day I wrote about hardening off onion and leek seedlings. This week I am planting out onion and shallot “sets”. Planting sets may seem redundant since I already have seedlings on the go, but I assure you there is a method to this madness.
In my house, we cook with shallots and onions everyday and we never seem to have enough. This year I plan to step up my game and grow more than ever. I don’t want them to be ready for harvest at the same time. Now THAT would be madness. Starting from a range of sources (seed, sets, and even store-bought transplants) allows me to have a steady stream of edible alliums (as well as tender onion greens) available for use in our meals throughout the growing season and well beyond. Not only have I already been using the fresh greens clipped from my onion seedlings, but I have even harvested some of the full-sized perennial bunching onions that I planted last fall! Over the years I have found that if I take care to plant at intervals and protect the plants, I can have some form of edible allium available almost year-round!
I’m currently in the process of hardening off the first round of onion and leek seedlings in preparation for permanently planting them outside. To recap, here’s the planting calendar that I follow:
It’s no secret that I love tomatoes. Growing them is an exciting, ever-changing challenge with a big reward at the end. I strive each year to experiment with as many different varieties as I can fit into my small gardening spaces, testing them in a variety of growing conditions to see how well they will perform. Some of my results are shared here.
Since many of you have already started your seeds and even have your plants outdoors in the soil, and others, like me, will be starting seed soon, I’ve waded through the extensive tomato archives on this site and picked out the posts that are most geared towards how-to growing, care, cooking, and preserving information. They’re now all available in one place that you can return to again should you need the help or inspiration.
Click here to see the You Grow Girl Tomato Growing Guide.