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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?

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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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