Green onions have an almost unlimited amount of uses and are very easy to grow. Green onions can be grown from seed or as sets. I love green onions in soups, salads, on top of a nice steak, used as a baked potato topping, and many other ways.
Green onions are also referred to as bunching onions, and have a milder onion taste than storage onions.
They are actually immature onions that are harvested before the bulb matures. The green onion features a dark green stem (also called scallions) and a white bulb with roots. Both parts of the onion are edible.
Planting Green Onions
Plant onion seed as soon as the soil can be worked in the spring. Onion seeds germinate in a wide range of soil temperature, between 65° F and 86° F.
Sow and cover seed with ½” of soil and keep moist. Seeds can be started indoors 6-8 weeks prior to planting. They can be set in the garden about 1-1½” apart. To plant onions sets, simply press sets into the soil about 2″ apart.
Onions benefit from full sun, a soil pH of 6.0-7.5 and a well drained soil with plenty of premium compost or well rotted manure added. Feed with a complete balanced fertilizer during the growing season.
Maintaining Green Onions
Once your green onions have sprouted become well established, they are pretty easy to maintain.
Green onions generally need about one inch of water per week. If green onions are grown in rows, or raised beds, soaker hoses can be used for irrigation. It’s also a good idea to mulch around the plants to conserve soil moisture and suppress weeds.
The soil should be moist, but not soggy. A great way to check to see if your green onions need watering is the finger test.
Simply stick your finger in the soil down to the second knuckle near the green onion plan. If the soil feels moist there is no need to water. If the soil feels dry go ahead and water well.
Repeat the finger test once a week depending on how much rainfall you have received.
Green onions can also be grown successfully in containers. Soil in containers can dry out quickly during very hot summer temperatures, so you may need to water them up to three times per day if rainfall amounts are inadequate.
Allowing the soil to dry out too much can cause the onion bulbs to also dry out.
Also, make sure the container has good drainage holes. You want to avoid soggy soil in containers, too.
Getting the watering amounts down right may take some practice, but it’s not too difficult.
Harvesting Green Onions
To use as dried bulbs, wait until the green tops have withered and browned, then stop watering. Most green onions are ready to harvest between 70-90 days.
When you are slicing or preparing a green onion, leave about 1″ above the root. This section can be re-planted into the soil. Place the root section about 1″ deep in the soil, root side down, and lightly cover the top with soil.
The root section will then re-sprout the green tops within a couple weeks. This process can be repeated several times with the same root section.
A great way to “recycle” your green onions! For more information on regrowing green onions, please read Regrow Your Green Onions For Maximum Use.
Pests & Diseases of Green Onions
If you are interested in growing fabulous onions, then you should pick up a copy of Onions, Leeks, and Garlic: A Handbook for Gardeners. It is the definitive guide for growing all types of onions, garlic and leeks.
Your onions will grow bigger, faster, and taste better using the growing techniques outlined in this easy to follow book. I highly recommend it!