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PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 2:33 pm 
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I was cleaning out around my old garden and found a handfull of onions that where left from last year. I am not sure what to do with them. I pulled one to see what it looked like and it was small in size. They have not flowered yet either.

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PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 7:38 pm 
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Location: Sunol, CA (9B)
They'll almost certainly flower this year, but you could keep the seed from them.

Truth be told we've been eating bolting onions for the last month or so. There's less to them and they are less tender (dice them), but if they're already there, they're free. ;) I still have about a cup of onion seed from last season in the fridge.

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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 8:07 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2010 7:50 pm
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Location: SE Michigan
Truth to tell, I have a largish crop of onions regrowing from ignored sets last year. I'm figuring that the aboveground parts ought to be harvestable for something. How does one use them well? Just treat them as large, sharpish chives? Chop the abovegrounds into really good potato soup?

I will probably want to use this info again next year. One of our housemates loves the "idea" of growing onions, but she never gets out to actually harvest them. There is a bag of yellow onion sets and another of whites that she bought that I need to find garden room for.....

I suspect I should pull and use and eat the the old plants to make some space. ["Why" does someone waste very limited garden space on the cheap-to-buys, instead of pricier veggies or heirloom varieties.] Sorry. Just whining....

Thanks for giving me a place to vent....

I'll stop now <wry grin>.

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To find your roots, get your hands in soil. To live fully in the present, imagine your garden and make it happen. To see all of reality, spend some time sitting quietly in the garden.... Then get your hands back in the dirt.


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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 9:44 am 
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I'm always finding "survivors" from last year's garden. I don't have the heart to pull 'em out! I figure, if they were tough enough to survive the winter, they deserve to live! Many times the product is as good as this year's. Onion tops are always good for chive-like seasoning.

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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 3:23 pm 
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Location: Sunol, CA (9B)
If you let them go to seed and sprinkle the seed around the parent plants, the seed will grow and produce onions for you next year - though they do need transplanting. My 'bolting onions' are in a bed that's about 24"x30" and I removed about 400 onions of 1/8" to 3/8" diameter. Gave a few bunches to friends and planted the rest everywhere. I don't know if the parent plants were hybrids, and there were red, yellow and white onions in that bed, so the seedlings may be hybrids of hybrids. The original sets went in 4 years ago. I intend to phase them out with OP varieties after this season so I can have perennial beds or large pots for mother plants and seedlings.

The broadcast sown seedlings were much more vigorous than seed I started in pots at the same time, including the same seed, yet much less work. Onions and other alliums get direct sown from now on. I just need to establish mother beds like the one I describe above for a few varieties.

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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 3:35 pm 
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They are not taking up any space so I might just let them go. Thanks

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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 8:39 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2010 7:50 pm
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Location: SE Michigan
Thanks, guys. I knew I took my *whining* to the right place (grateful grins.) Still brainless and venting..... Ignore at will.

Everything on the property has been reconfigured over the last year or three, for really good reasons, (but don't get me started.....), and we didn't have the money to put up a worthwhile fence around the designated new veggie garden area. Important, since we have a great many groundhogs and rabbits close by.

The rock garden, herb garden, woodland area, and so on., are all pretty much recouped. Really good progress on the parts I care about most..

But the veggie garden area is, for now, a narrow corridor, and very small, so that we can get the (I wish...) football players out to get the fence up without disturbing the veggie beds.

The space I have to work with as temp right now, really roughly, is maybe 6' by 15'. I threw in some snap peas, beans, and some small squash as easy and no-care-much. Now, there are more things I need to find room for.

I think I'll pull all the old recurring onions, and turn them into food.... Have no space to spare right now.

Thanks, all.

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To find your roots, get your hands in soil. To live fully in the present, imagine your garden and make it happen. To see all of reality, spend some time sitting quietly in the garden.... Then get your hands back in the dirt.


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