Archive for March 26th, 2012

Did you know that rather then send the bottom of that onion to compost bin or garbage you can plant it and let it grow to seeds for next seasons garden?  As you bought the onions anyway, the seeds are a free bonus with purchase.  The type of onion doesn’t matter, this can be done with yellow, Spanish, white, reds, scallions or green onions.  This is the method I have used time and again to great results for maintaining a steady supply of onions in garden from home harvested seed.

The first step is removing the rooting base from your onion of choice.  It might already have roots visible such as one in picture, or it might merely have the clump where the roots form. Either is suitable.  Be sure to leave some flesh on the onion, you want approximately 1 1/2 inches to 2 inches of flesh remaining with the root bulb.

Second step, after cutting place onion to side, uncovered or contained for a few hours to a day to let some drying out of the flesh occur.

Third step,  fill your pot 3/4 full with good potting soil slightly moistened.  Insert your onion, root ball side down against the soil and gently twist back and forth to create a well for it to rest in.

Fourth step, cover with soil 1 to 2 inches deep over onion root ball.

Fifth step, water as needed and keep in well lit location.

Sixth step, be patient..it takes a couple weeks for the new roots to grow and set and a few more for new leaves to sprout. 

Seventh step,  Once leaves are visible remove new onion plant from starter pot and replant.  Either in a larger pot inside or directly into your garden.  The old onion will become “mushy” as it breaks down.  You can choose at this time to remove it or to allow it to stay.  I just let mine stay as it provides added nutrients as it breaks down.

And there you have it,  how to grow a new onion from a discarded onion base.   Once the onion stalk grows it will seek to flower and then seed.  These seeds can be gathered to use in your garden for next years harvest.

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