Red and White Onions from the Garden

We’ve started cleaning the garden up for winter. Where once there was zucchini and summer squash, tomato plants, and okra and onions, now there is overturned soil, a clean slate upon which to begin again in the spring once compost is worked back in.

This season saw a lot of onions jammed into random spots in the beds. Some had a position of prominence in what I liked to refer to as the salad bowl bed, others were tucked in beside the lavender and sage, while still more sat in beds where winter squash overtook them.

The last of those that were denied full sun by the squash vines above them (and my decision to plant them in such a spot) were harvested this week. A little tiny, of course, but full of both color and flavor just the same.

And here they are, complete with crazy, contorted onion tops

Though onions are cheap, I’m still pretty excited to have a stash hanging around, dug out of our yard, tasty, assertive, and pretty, besides.

5 Comments to Red and White Onions from the Garden

  1. Angry Asian says:

    when do you plant the onions?
    living in the city, we have small box that we keep on the fire escape. i’m debating btween garlic, onions or kale. i want something easy to maintain and will thrive in the cold…

    • Amy McCoy says:

      Hi Lan!

      Onions are actually one of the crops that require the most time to reach maturity, even longer than tomatoes, and they like long exposure to sunlight, plus warmth, so hold off on those until mid-winter when you can start them from seed indoors 10 to 12 weeks before you want to move them outside, then transfer them out to the planter for the summer.

      Garlic is a great choice for overwintering, because they need to be exposed to temps colder than 65 degrees in order to form bulbs, and you can harvest in June or July (usually July here, so maybe June for MD).

      I’m going to post about growing garlic on Friday because we just planted ours. You could split the planter between garlic and kale, just be sure to keep an eye on the kale and protect it if necessary. You’re fortunate that you have the mid-Atlantic climate, so kale should do better for you there than it does here, we have to have a cold frame for it usually by Thanksgiving.

      Another thought is to plant spicy greens that you can eat as baby greens or full-sized leaves. Our kale is already mature (I planted it during the summer), though I am about to plant mustard greens that will be mature in 21 days. There’s a mix from High Mowing Seeds that we really like because it’s good in salad or sauteed (we have it with carrots a LOT here): – And they’re cold tolerant, which is great. You’d have more than enough with the 1/32 ounce package. Let me know what you decide!

  2. Eileen says:

    Hooray for garden onions! We have a whole bunch of green onions to harvest, but no actual bulb onions. Next year!

    • Amy McCoy says:

      I’m totally with you on that – hooray! I wish that I had done another planting of green onions, because store-bought isn’t quite doing it for me now. That’s my next year onion thing! Succession planting of green onions! I’m glad we had this talk! Thank you, Eileen!

  3. Abigail says:

    I was just reading Lan’s comment and your reply. Garlic is a great idea that I’ll have to try! I too just have a little fire escape area for gardening. I’ve got some radishes going now. They were recommended as a good fall container crop for NYC. They do need a little depth (6-8 inches) for their roots, so a deeper box or pot is best. But they are very quick to grow! Let me know how your planting goes! Thanks for the post Amy.

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