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Forum Onions in the Garden

June 19th, 2012

Last Friday I harvested the first bulbing onions from the garden. After a few months relying on leeks and green onions to fill the onion void, it was cause for a small celebration. Most of my onions aren’t even close to being ready to harvest, more on those varieties tomorrow.

Last year I came across ‘Forum’ onions – described by Johnny’s Seeds as: Forum onion sets can be planted in the spring and yield a “green top” cooking onion by the beginning of July and a dried bulb by the end of July. This onion will fill the gap between last year’s storage onions and this year’s crop from seed. Not for long storage. Best at 37° latitude and higher.

They went into the ground the day after they arrived in the mailbox, April 12 (wish they had arrived a month earlier). I’ve been watching them and was pleasantly surprised when they started forming bulbs much earlier than my other onions, which were planted later than these.

They’re not fully formed yet, but some of the tops are flopping over already. The ones I harvested were about the size of a golf ball with one that was closing in on baseball size. They good thing is that these don’t store for very long so they’re not meant to be kept as a storage onion. They’re meant to be used up quickly making it easier to harvest them early like this.

Now that I’ve discovered this gem it will always have a place in my garden. I’ll be trying to find another variety or two early maturing onions to add alongside these. Some research produced a few early maturing short storage onions that can be grown from seed: Arsenal, Early Yellow Globe, Precedent. I’ll be searching for seeds for these varieties as well since I prefer to grow my own onions from seed rather than purchased sets or plants.

Do you have a hard time harvesting vegetables before they’re fully mature or full sized?

16 Comments to “Forum Onions in the Garden”
  1. daisy on June 19, 2012 at 5:32 am

    I think most veggies are better eaten when they are immature. The taste is usually better, more tender and flavorful. Those onions look wonderful. Can’t wait to grow some in the fall.

    Reply to daisy's comment

  2. KimH on June 19, 2012 at 5:40 am

    Nope, I dont have a problem at all harvesting small or immature veggies. I agree with Daisy.. I think most veggies are better when they’re small &/or immature.

    When I first started gardening on my own I had a problem thinning plants, but I soon saw the difference it makes, so no probs with that either anymore.

    Your onions look great!! I never could grow a storage onion… Mine all were about the size of a golf ball.. no matter what I did.. I just didnt have that onion touch.

    Reply to KimH's comment

  3. jennifer fisk on June 19, 2012 at 6:10 am

    It seems that I always end up letting pod veggies get past their optimum harvest point. I have vowed this year to not let that happen. Just waiting for the peas to pod up.

    Reply to jennifer fisk's comment

  4. Melissa from the Blue House on June 19, 2012 at 6:22 am

    Your blog is so fun for me to follow! I love posts like these… I’m just now growing my very first garden, and I love reading about new things like forum onions that I”ve never heard of before!

    Reply to Melissa from the Blue House's comment

  5. Kathi Cook on June 19, 2012 at 6:57 am

    I am the opposite of you…always in a hurry to harvest. I was making meatballs yesterday and realized I was out of garlic,so I harvested one garlic plant. It was not quite ready but still tasted great. I have grown garlic, chives, and leeks, but never tried onions. Maybe next near if I can somehow enlarge my garden.

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  6. Songbirdtiff on June 19, 2012 at 7:42 am

    Very nice find! I pinned this for next year.

    Reply to Songbirdtiff's comment

  7. Beth K on June 19, 2012 at 8:22 am

    This sounds like something I need to try next year. All I ever grow are storage onions. I hate the gap between the end of my stored onions and this year’s crop. Onions are a staple in my kitchen and I always end up pulling up some of the storage onions early to use them. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply to Beth K's comment

  8. goatpod2 on June 19, 2012 at 9:42 am

    I harvest small and immature veggies sometimes but some do taste better small though.


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  9. Kylee from Our Little Acre on June 19, 2012 at 10:16 am

    Yes, I find it hard to wait until they’re prime for picking! I’m just so EXCITED to eat them! LOL.

    Reply to Kylee from Our Little Acre's comment

  10. Maybelline on June 19, 2012 at 10:54 am

    Thinning used to be hard but no more. Most sprouts can be used as they are thinned like onions.

    Reply to Maybelline's comment

  11. Rick on June 19, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    Some times harvesting early means you get a much more tender and tastier veggie. We love to harvest summer squashes early. Small little squashes are super tasty. We also start harvesting our onions early as well. We are about out of storage onions so it will be time to start “robbing’ the garden soon!!

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  12. Martha on June 19, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    I love reading your posts. They’re among the first things I go to look for when I open my Google Reader. Thank you for blogging!

    Reply to Martha's comment

    • Susy on June 19, 2012 at 3:46 pm

      Thanks Martha – I keep it going for readers like you who appreciate it!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  13. Julie on June 19, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    I totally have a hard time waiting to harvest — I only have a 32 square foot urban garden, so sometimes when something is almost, nearly, sort-of ready I am so excited that I pick it immediately. I also love this post because I vow to stagger crops better next year & include varieties with different harvest points so I have fewer “lulls” in the season… with limited space it’s inevitable but I bet I can get better at it next year !

    Reply to Julie's comment

  14. alison@thisbloominglife on June 19, 2012 at 11:44 pm

    Which reminds me, it’s time to get my onions in!

    Reply to alison@thisbloominglife's comment

  15. Andre on July 18, 2012 at 4:48 am

    Wise choice! I discovered these via my CSA (Roxbury Farms). We also had lots of zucchinis and cucumbers, now beans.
    You might find their planting schedule of interest

    Reply to Andre's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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