‘Mini Purplette’ Onions

Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved

Every year I go a little nuts growing large crops of onions such as ‘Egyptian Walking’ over at my community garden plot.

Onions grow easily in the ground, but they tend to take up a lot of space in containers. In the past I have grown smaller, bunching onions in pots as a way to have the odd onion on hand without wasting the kind of space that could be dedicated to coveted crops like tomatoes and basil. I like onions well enough, but nothing, not even a batch of slowly caramelized onions is coming between my mouth and a caprese salad.

Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved

Speaking of which, I made my first caprese salad of the season last night.

But I’m always on the lookout for something different to try, just in case. In the early spring I nabbed a pack ‘Mini Purplette’ onion seeds with the promise that I would have bulbous, miniature yet mature red onions come late summer. [I got mine from Urban Harvest however, Seeds of Change has them in the U.S.]

Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved

And sure enough, this afternoon I reached my hand into the soil of a medium-sized pot and discovered several round, golf ball sized red onions.

Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved

I’m very pleased with them and plan to grow more next year. I grew mine in fairly deep containers (about 10″) but am absolutely certain they would size up well in a window box. In fact, I would like to see that — several little onion tops neatly lined up in a row.

Or not. Because really, who am I kidding? My gardens are anything but neat.

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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5 thoughts on “‘Mini Purplette’ Onions

  1. I’ve been growing the Red Onion Scallions from Botanical Interests. I seem to let them go to this stage…so perhaps I should just get the seeds appropriate for the size I like.

    Thanks for the info on growing them in a container. That is actually my optional plan for next year. I seem to go through agressive weeding phases and I occasionally yank up the seedlings with the grass that will just not go away :-) Containers may be a safer bet.

  2. Now that I have pulled my onions out of the ground (August 11th) and I don’t plan on using them immediately, how should they be stored?
    Thanks, Susan Dagenais

  3. Lowe’s sold those this year in bag labeled “red” onions with no mention of their size, only to plant at lease 4″ apart so they could grow. I planted them in April and they still aren’t the size of golf balls. I had made a special area to grow the onions and wanted BIG ones because we love them so. I will know better if I try to grow onions again!

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