I blogged earlier this spring about the potato onions I planted last fall. They’re kind of like shallots in that they multiply from a main bulb. I wasn’t sure how well these would do in my soil, I can’t seem to grow a nice sized onion. I had a few of them planted in the raised beds in the back and a few planted in my front foundation border.
According to Southern Exposure:
Heirloom potato onions enjoyed widespread popularity before the turn of the century. Nearly every gardener grew potato onions and they were available in yellow, white, and reddish-brown varieties, the yellow being most common. Potato onions are still a local favorite in some areas of Virginia. Each bulb cluster of potato onions may contain many bulbs, averaging 2 to 2-1/2″ in diameter. When a small bulb (3/4″) is planted, it will usually produce one or two larger bulbs. When a large bulb (3 to 4″) is planted, it will produce approximately 10 to 12 bulbs per cluster. These bulbs of various sizes may be used for eating, storing, or replanting. By replanting a mixture of sizes you will have plenty of sets for next year’s crop and plenty of onions for eating during the year. Potato onions can increase 3- to 8- fold by weight each year depending on growing conditions. Potato onions store better than most seed onions, and individual bulbs can be grown in flower pots to produce a steady supply of green onions during the winter.
The ones I had planted in the back garden didn’t grow as large as on the ones in the front garden. I ended up with a wide variety of sizes, which will be nice for cooking. The ones in the front garden are the largest onions I’ve ever grown here at Chiot’s Run. I’m very impressed with these onions and I’ll definitely be saving a few to plant this fall. These are definitely the nicest onions I’ve ever grown here in my little garden. (I just weighed mine and I planted 8 oz in the fall and harvested almost 3 lbs worth of onions)
I haven’t cooked one yet, but I’ve never met an onion I haven’t liked, so I’m pretty sure these will be great. I’ll be saving a few of the medium sized onions to replant this fall. Once I see how well these store, I may be planting more and more of these each year. They’re quite easy since you overwinter them in the garden; no seed starting or set planting in the spring and they take up a little less space than regular onions since they multiply from the main bulb. One of the things I liked about them was that they were quite beautiful in the garden this spring when they’re growing vigorously. I’ll definitely be trying a few other varieties of shallots and perennials onions in the coming years.
Have you ever grown shallots or potato onions?Filed under Edible, Onions | Comments (42)