The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Potato onions

Potato onionsThe last perennial I bought with my splurge money was potato onions (also known as multiplier onions.)  We've had varying levels of success with onions in the past, and I hope that the potato onions will keep us from having to buy any more onions in the store.

Currently, we grow two kinds of onions.  Egyptian onions are one of my favorite plants --- they are so prolific that I end up giving away lots of top bulbs every year, expanding my patch, and still have the top bulbs sprouting out of my worm bin and compost piles.  We eat the greens nearly all year, but I'm often too lazy to clean the little bulbs that end up being considerably under an inch wide after peeling off the brown skin.

For bulb onions, we instead depend on plants grown from seed.  Copra hybrid has served us well, though we never seem to be able to plant enough to keep us going all year.  This year, I made the mistake of planting my onions in heavy soil and got very low yields.

Potato onions are supposed to be prolific perennials, like Egyptian onions, with big bulbs that store well, like seed onions.  I ordered my starts from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange --- the same company that sent us such great garlic bulbs last year.  I hope that within a few years, we'll have so many perennial onion patches that we'll no longer have to buy seeds!

This post is part of our Splurging on Perennials lunchtime series.  Read all of the entries:

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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I'm looking forward to seeing how they do for you. I can't get enough onions!
Comment by Fostermamas Fri Oct 30 10:14:13 2009

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