As a kid, helping mom in the garden often meant planting onion sets (green onions) and radish seeds. I could not wait till those onions grew, making an appearance on the dinner table, trimmed and standing upright in a glass of cold water, green tops still attached.
Little did I know then, these were two plants which were hard to mess up. Hence we kids were encouraged to help plant them.
When I became my own gardener, green onions were one of the first plants added to my garden. I loved how the whole plant could be used for onion flavoring, or washed and eaten straight out of the garden. Imagine my surprise when my husband voiced his opinion on the matter – he likes onions but did not like to eat them straight.
What?! How could you not like these?
Come to find out, what he did like were pearl onions in stews.
It took me only one winter of buying $5 bags of pear onions every few weeks, bringing them home and skinning them, to realize I could spend $5 and grow a whole batch of green onions. Once grown, I could freeze them, and use them for stews the following winter. Not only would be save a lot of money on our grocery bill, but skinning fresh green (pearl) onions is a lot easier than getting the dried skin off the ones from the store. They also do not take up a lot of room in the freezer, which is a bonus if you have limited space.
Last year, I did not add onions to my garden and I missed it once I began making stew in the winter. I did not know what the year would bring and chose to only grow what we would eat at that time. While onions in the freezer help the grocery bill, trying to move frozen onions from one house to another is not a good use of funds.
With the warmer spring, due to where we live and the naturally warmer winter, I am behind on when I could have started planting onions sets. Thankfully, they wonderful vegetables can be grown throughout most of the growing season. The limiting factor is finding onion sets, or storing them successfully till you need them.
They can be grown in pots, straight out of a bag of compost, in among flowers, or in a garden. They are not necessarily picky plants. This is why onion sets will be the first plants found growing at our new house. I do not have a garden set up, do not even have furniture there, but I have pots, can buy a bag of soil and have these lovely ladies “in the ground” in less than 30 minutes.
Photos courtesy of Pixaby.