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  • Tree onions

    Hello my tree onion bulbs have grown!

    Anyone grown these, and did you enjoy the taste or just for the novelty of it. Thinking of starting a perennial bed with tree onions, chives and elephant garlic.

  • #2
    I grew some for a while - I can say they did OK but considering the cost of onions in the shops I don't think I'd bother again myself - they were quite small.

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    • #3
      I grew them once - more as a novelty than a "real" onion!
      Perennial leeks (Babington) and Welsh Onions are good for a perennial bed.

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      • #4
        I've got some bunching/Welsh onions in a bed with my rhubarb and they're brilliant - went from 10 little ones last year to a tightly packed climb about 30cm across each way in a year.

        Dug a pile up for dinner tonight, gave a bunch to my neighbour for his veg plot, and replanted the rest - I can see them taking over from spring onions in my garden.
        Another happy Nutter...

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        • #5
          OH DEAR - YOU'VE SET ME OFF.

          With Walking Onions/Tree Onions/Egyptian onions I use them as scallions. Either divide a patch of them, taking the larger ones to eat and replanting the rest with a bit of space, or cutting off the tops and using them as green onions (a bit of straw mulch around them can increase the length of the white so you can cut the top off at soil level, the bulb will grow back and you have some white of the onion as well as the green).

          A third way is to use the top sets to start off your row of onions to be harvested as scallions/spring onions/bunching options. Use the sets for the first year or two to increase the onion patch (they will also bulk up by dividing the bulb) then you can start off scallions from sets. The top sets are small and I've found that this is the best way to use them.

          The bulbs of the Tree onions are the size of the bulbs for spring onions so aren't really used as bulb onions but some of the bulbs from the first year of the tops sets I've grown have been big enough to pickle.

          There's other types of perennial onions as well. Spring onion types include Welsh Onions, Perutil (a non flowering Welsh Onion which gives it a longer season of use) and Rakkyo (a japanese |type of Welsh onion often pickled).

          I've just planted out a patch of potato onions. These are a multiplier onion similar to shallots where you replant the smaller bulbs each year and they divide and multiply. You'll not get any record breaking championship onions but if you're the type of person who doen't like to put half an onion in their fridge they make bulbs just about the right size to use a couple in a dish. Whereas a single normal set gives you one mature onion a small potato can give two or three large onions and a large potato onion can split into a dozen smaller bulbs.

          When perennial leeks are mentioned the main type you'll hear about in Babingtons Leek. With this one you can either split up a patch and harvest some of the bulbs (they split each year) or cut the stems off at or just below the soil (again a mulch of straw or something similar will lengthen the white part of the leek). These will also send up a 4 foot flower spike which produces bulbils in the same way as the tree onions do which can be replanted and will grow into a mature leek in a year or two.

          Elephant garlic is another type of perennial leek. It's normally grown annually as a form of garlic but it is a leek and can be eaten as a leek. Harvest in the same way as Babingtons.


          Some esoteric leeks coming up next.

          Allium Polyanthum - aka Many Flowered Garlic. This is a plant that grown wild in the vinyards of France and it freely multiplies by bulb division. It's smaller than Babington Leeks but produces masses of babies - just dig up a clump and replant the smaller ones. I came across a photo of this one a few years ago but no one seems to grow it as food so I can claim this as a first for me.

          Oerprie (primordial Leek/Ancester Leek) is a leek species from Belgium, Netherlands and Luxemburg. It's not grown as much as it used to be and I had to get my brood balls from Belgium. Yes broodballs - thats the official name of the bulbs. This is what they are grown for, letting the plants die back and harvesting the bulbs at the bottom. These have a sweet leek/onion flavour and go great in soups and stews. You can of course harvest them as regular leeks. I have a bed with oerprie set out as an annual harvest and a patch growing to provide me wil a continued supply of broodballs to plant.

          Three Cornered leeks are a type you should keep in a container as they can be invasive. In fact it is "an offence to allow them to grow in the wild" so if you grow these you want to keep them under control. Luckily if you have a smaller container full this is easily done by eating - they are a nice sweet leek with great taste. Their scapes and flower heads are fantastic and they will produce a load of bulbs to start off next year - eat the larger ones whole in soups or stews.

          Sand Leeks - this is a small perennial leek that spreads via top setting bulbils as well. SAmaller than the others it's between chive and spring onion sice and can either be used en masse or as a leeky substitute for chives or spring onions.

          Now here's a thing.

          You've probably been growing perennial leeks for a while now, but you havent realised it. If you let your annual leeks stay in the ground they will form bulbs, die back and resprout next year. They will also produce smaller daughter leeks that will mature int larger leeks. Again either dig up a clump and eath the larger ones (replanting the rest with some space) or trim them around soil level.

          Here's some of my leeks.
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIm1iPxYIe0

          New all singing all dancing blog - Jasons Jungle

          ”I have not failed 1,000 times. I have successfully discovered 1,000 ways to NOT make a light bulb."
          ― Thomas A. Edison

          “Negative results are just what I want. They’re just as valuable to me as positive results. I can never find the thing that does the job best until I find the ones that don’t.”
          ― Thomas A. Edison

          - I must be a Nutter,VC says so -

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          • #6
            I've got Tree onions growing in a large tub they're more of a novelty then anything else the bulbs are tiny, but the flowers are pretty.

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            • #7
              Sorry but when I saw the thread title as I've never heard of Tree Onions all sorts of weird images were popping into my head. Had visions of grapes balancing precariously on giant Oak tree limbs tending their onions among the canopy and occasionally falling out and breaking limbs.

              Was thinking what next, Coal mine beans or Cloud Potatoes.
              The day that Microsoft makes something that doesn't suck ...

              ... is the day they make vacuum cleaners

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Muddy_Boots View Post
                Sorry but when I saw the thread title as I've never heard of Tree Onions all sorts of weird images were popping into my head. Had visions of grapes balancing precariously on giant Oak tree limbs tending their onions among the canopy and occasionally falling out and breaking limbs.

                Was thinking what next, Coal mine beans or Cloud Potatoes.

                MB - now don't be silly. They are called air potatoes, not cloud potatoes (also air yams) but only some varieties are edible.


                How about a plant that buries it's own flowers and grows it's seeds underground?
                Or a fruit that has it's flowers on the inside?

                New all singing all dancing blog - Jasons Jungle

                ”I have not failed 1,000 times. I have successfully discovered 1,000 ways to NOT make a light bulb."
                ― Thomas A. Edison

                “Negative results are just what I want. They’re just as valuable to me as positive results. I can never find the thing that does the job best until I find the ones that don’t.”
                ― Thomas A. Edison

                - I must be a Nutter,VC says so -

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Jay-ell View Post
                  Now here's a thing.

                  You've probably been growing perennial leeks for a while now, but you havent realised it. If you let your annual leeks stay in the ground they will form bulbs, die back and resprout next year. They will also produce smaller daughter leeks that will mature int larger leeks. Again either dig up a clump and eath the larger ones (replanting the rest with some space) or trim them around soil level.
                  Here are some I prepared earlier..............

                  https://www.growfruitandveg.co.uk/gr...ml#post1548195

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                  • #10
                    Thanks everyone. Looks like I should be adding babington leeks and Welsh onions! At this rate I need a third plot

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                    • #11
                      What happened next with the leeks VC?
                      Another happy Nutter...

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                      • #12
                        They keep growing into a clump, each side bulb becoming another leek. I've been leaving them to flower too and there are lots of little ones coming up nearby. You can pick out the places where the leek flower fell over and shed its seeds.as there's a group of seedlings.
                        I have cut a few of the leeks to eat but I either cut them low down the stem, to leave the roots in situ or replant the bases to regrow. Both ways work.
                        Last edited by veggiechicken; 14-04-2019, 07:34 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by kitty12345 View Post
                          Thanks everyone. Looks like I should be adding babington leeks and Welsh onions! At this rate I need a third plot
                          My babingtons are in here along with a couple of other of leeks (hey why grow different varieties when I can grow different species)

                          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KcWOdiUkMHU

                          New all singing all dancing blog - Jasons Jungle

                          ”I have not failed 1,000 times. I have successfully discovered 1,000 ways to NOT make a light bulb."
                          ― Thomas A. Edison

                          “Negative results are just what I want. They’re just as valuable to me as positive results. I can never find the thing that does the job best until I find the ones that don’t.”
                          ― Thomas A. Edison

                          - I must be a Nutter,VC says so -

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Maybe this is a stupid question but can you tell me when to harvest these things?

                            I have some babington leeks which are around 20cm tall.

                            I have some perennial onions (bunching I think) which have sprouted green sprouts and some of them seem to have 3 or 4 separate sprouts from the same onion.

                            A small row of Egyptian walking onions I thought had died have grown sprouts and now have things at the top that look like the flower heads of garlic scapes except a bit fatter and feel hard.

                            (So far failed miserably to be row any “normal” onions)

                            Do I harvest any of this yet? Or how do I know when to harvest them?

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                            • #15
                              The Babington Leeks you can cut off at the soil.
                              the Egyptian onions wait until the bulbils in the flower head have started to grow their own shoots then you can cut the flower head off and put in in a pot.

                              The bunching onions you can do one of several things.
                              Take individual leaves of each plant to use as green onions
                              Cut the leaves off at the group d and let them grow back
                              Pull up a little clump and harvest the larger ones as spring onions replanting the smaller ones to grow on and divide again.

                              New all singing all dancing blog - Jasons Jungle

                              ”I have not failed 1,000 times. I have successfully discovered 1,000 ways to NOT make a light bulb."
                              ― Thomas A. Edison

                              “Negative results are just what I want. They’re just as valuable to me as positive results. I can never find the thing that does the job best until I find the ones that don’t.”
                              ― Thomas A. Edison

                              - I must be a Nutter,VC says so -

                              Comment

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