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Potato Onions from true seed - grow journal

 
Karl Trepka
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Hi

Off and on I have been growing potato onions for about 10 years and really love them. After my last batch was stolen (community garden) I decided to get back and start growing them again. When searching on the web I found Kelly Winterton https://sites.google.com/site/kellysgarden/potato-onions who grew his from true seed.

I finally tracked down some true seeds from www.usefulseeds.com and have grown them out this season.

Normally potato onions are grown like garlic/shallots by planting a bulb in this way they are clonal stock. With seeds the genetic dice is rolled.

The season has been very cold this spring/summer and I started later in the season that I should have but we have relatively mild winters so I risked planting late.

My details

Australia south east of Melbourne

Latitude about 38 degrees

Climate coastal/temperate/Mediterranean

Seeds f2 Green mountain genetics


so here are the pics

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most are out by the 21 Oct 2016
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progress 26 Oct 2016 200 seeds about 150 seedlinds
 
Karl Trepka
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forgot to mention seeds were soaked in 3% hydrogen peroxide for about 10 mins then soaked overnight in one cap hp in about 500ml of water.

more progress pics
 
Karl Trepka
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more progress pics
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16 Nov 2016
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16 Nov 2016 planting out
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about 150 seedlings all put to bed
 
Karl Trepka
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even more pics
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19 Dec about 1 month in the bed
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better shot 24 Dec
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11 Jan 2017
 
Karl Trepka
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yet more.......
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11 Jan 2017 one of the first to bulb and pink too
 
Blaze Gorski
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Location: USDA zone 5b Ulster County, NY, USA 1200' elevation, catskill mtn foothills area
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I think i'll try this with 'regular' onions...instead of buying bulbs next year...great photos, dates, and descriptions.

Thank you for sharing and motivating
 
Thekla McDaniels
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There is another option in addition to bulb onion sets and seed.

Dixondale Farms   http://www.dixondalefarms.com/category/onion_plants  ; in Texas sells little onion plants in bundles of ~75.  If you are buying 30 bundles, the price $83.00.  They have long day short day and intermediate day onions, sweet,hot, long keeper storage onions, as well as red and white varieties of ciopolini.

I just looked, and unfortunately they don't have shallots or potato onions, but they might be of interest just for all the onion growing knowledge they share on their website.  You can also sign up for their newsletter.
 
Trish Dallas
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Location: Dallas, TX, zone 8a
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Neat project – I look forward to seeing how it progresses! Here also is a compilation of interesting historical references put together by Steven Edholm of skillcult.com –

http://skillcult.com/blog/2012/03/14/402
 
Casie Becker
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I had planted onions with my saffron last year. This year when the saffron came up, two surprise onion plants did also. Somehow I missed them when I was harvesting, so I'm hoping to get onion flowers and then seed to try growing this fall.

 
Karl Trepka
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Hi Trish

Yes skillcult has some really good stuff here is is link to youtube on potato onions ALL THREE are worth a look 
 
 
Tracy Wandling
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I'm not familiar with potato onions. What sets them apart from regular onions?

I started my regular onions from seed last year, in soil blocks, with 4 seeds per block. That way it is faster to plant them out. If you're planting 150 onions/potato onions, and you plant 4 seeds per block (or plug) you'll only have to plant out 37 instead of 150. My onions grew just fine all bunched together. I planted 300 onions, but only had to plant out 75 transplants. Just give them a little more space between transplants. Worked great! I'll be doing the same this year. I did the same with green onions, but put 10 seeds per block. They grow in a nice handy bunch for taking to market.
 
Karl Trepka
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Hi

here are more pics of different Phenotypes ........most are still not colouring up however lots are dividing in two which i didn't expect in this first year from seed.

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pink/purple from previous pic dividing
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this type divided very early
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looks white?
 
Karl Trepka
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more pics
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white?
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white?
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may be brown
 
Karl Trepka
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more!
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this looks like it will be puple
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expect one of these will divide
 
Karl Trepka
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Hi Tracy

Potato Onion (Allium cepa aggregatum) ....good linK https://www.cultivariable.com/instructions/others/how-to-grow-potato-onion/.................also look above link vids "skillcult"

these are a perennial rather than a biannual with normal onions 1 seed = 1 bulb with potato onions 1 bulb = 2 to 16 bulbs

think of them like shallots or garlic.....they are a form of multiplier onion

onions are heavy feeders and my soil isn't very rich yet so i'm being careful about spacing .......usually for cropping about 8 inches apart is use for po's
 
Tracy Wandling
garden master
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Thanks, Karl. They sound interesting. I think I'll look for some seeds here in Canada.
 
Karl Trepka
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Hi Tracy

we are very isolated here in OZ regarding plant varieties but you may have better luck getting hold of Kelly Wintertons Green mountain and coral Mountain bulbs they are much improved ..........his blog is worth a look https://sites.google.com/site/kellysgarden/potato-onions
 
Roger Taylor
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I've got around 20 in from last autumn, and it's interesting to see that the colours can already be picked out in the bulbs (as you pointed out with the red).  It's a pity Kelly had so little luck with storability of the reds.  Still worth a try though.
 
Karl Trepka
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Hi Roger

he did have luck with his pinkish coral mountain hopefully i will get something similar.

what variety are your potato onions.......what's the chance of a pic
 
Deb Rebel
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Karl, thank you so much for this post. Your source is Australia, of course, and I'm half a world away but. I shall follow up on other links give. Usefulseed.com has me in a drool, you are lucky to have them.
 
Karl Trepka
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Hi

Thankyou Deb for the support and wishes finding posts/forums on rare topics has helped me greatly over the years so it's good to pay it forward

Here is a partial harvest of the onions that have drooped/shriveled enough to harvest, these i'm calling early with some having no green tops left at all.

The others left in the bed still show signs of growth so will leave them in for now.

I seem to have more that have split/divided compared to Kelly Wintertons trials, not sure why.

Also my theory is the earlier the harvest the more likely they are daylength sensitive.

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First batch
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Second batch
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still growing- one has divided the other is a single - both huge!
 
Karl Trepka
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one more
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this is a big cluster
 
Trish Dallas
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#jealous #drool. I'm so impressed!  Well done- thank you for sharing this experiment.  I'm growing out a few Green Mountain, I'itoi, seed Blum, and Copper Shallots from Steven Edholm, and Red Dutch and some perennial leeks from Kelly Winterton this year.  Steven also sent me see OP potato onion seeds, and I planted a few this week, and will do the rest this Fall (Septemberish here).  The seed Blum, some are splitting up nicely, some not so much, and some forming just one big bulb.  It's fun to watch! 
 
Karl Trepka
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wow!

That is an impressive list. i'm experimenting with red shallots soon too.

I'm expecting you to post copious pictures of these precious little babies as they grow.

 
Trish Dallas
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I haven't tried posting photos here...  here goes.  Most of my small collection is still in pots, but I hope to plant them out in the next month. I'm disabled, and it takes me a while to do things.  The I'itoi are actually flowering, and 2 separate scapes from two separate plants have come up. They both come from plants that have divided nicely, so if they produce seed I'm hoping for good things. To be continued…
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I'itoi with scapes
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I'itoi
 
Trish Dallas
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food preservation forest garden urban
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More photos
IMG_20170327_1657383_rewind.jpg
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Red Dutch potato onions, younger than the rest
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Perennial leeks
 
Trish Dallas
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And still more-
IMG_20170327_1656271_rewind.jpg
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Copper Shallots
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Green Mountain
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Seed Blum, the ones with better splits
 
Karl Trepka
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looks great!....those I'itoi's look exciting ......if you get seeds that could be the start of something HUGE!

Keep me posted
 
Linda Secker
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Wow Karl  - the onions look great bigger than my normal ones grown from sets!! Totally gonna try this next time
 
2017 Permaculture Design Course at Wheaton Labs
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