Sunday, 29 April 2012

Egyptian Walking Onions

One of the things we use most in the kitchen is onions so I'm always looking for ways to extend my onion growing abilities without giving over my whole garden to growing them. This year I am growing white and red onions (some overwintered and some spring planted from sets), shallots, spring onions, chives and multiplier onions. I am also growing Egyptian walking onions (also known as topsetting onions or tree onions). This is a new variety to me and the thing that makes it unusual is that the bulbs set at the top of the plant rather than under the soil like normal onions. This means that it can 'travel' around the garden if you don't pick the bulbs. As the bulb cluster forms, the plant becomes top heavy and bends down so that the bulb is on the soil. The bulb roots and throws up new shoots which create more bulbs. As long as you leave a bulb growing in the ground, you should continue to get new onions so this is a perennial plant.

I bought mine on eBay for a couple of quid and I have put it in a pot for the time being because I haven't yet decided on a permanent home for it. Like all onions, these like full sun and well draining soil. They can be planted at any time of the year as long as the ground isn't frozen although the Autumn is the best time. Egyptian walking onion sets will not produce topsets (bulbs) during the first year of growth apparently. I planted mine sometime last summer so I won't expect any bulbs this season - this explains why my plant is so small.

Possibly the best thing of all about this plant is that there isn't a part of it which can't be eaten. The green leaf stems can be picked and eaten a bit like chives and both the topsetting bulbs and the bulb below the ground can be harvested and eaten.

I can't wait for my first harvest! What unusual veg are you growing in your garden?

1 comment:

  1. Hi Lucy,I love the sound of Egyption walking Onions.My exotic veg this year will be the Purple Carrots,Pineberrys (white Strawberries that taste like Pineapple),and Gallia melon.Its been very wet here.