Very interesting to see all your experiments and experiences.
I live in the UK. I acquired some seeds from Steven Edholm (Skillcult) a few years ago. They were a mix of his potato onions - Kelly Winterton's included - which flowered and crossed with other onion types, including 'normal' biennial bulb onions of different colours.
Yr 1 I got a mix of colours and sizes, all single-bulb onions. I replanted these earlier this year and have interesting results. Some divided only, producing more bulbs. Some divided and flowered, setting viable seed. One divided and produced bulbils at the top. Where they flowered, the flowering stem still kept a firm storable bulb at the base.
Not sure what is going on with them but I'm keen to explore the potential!
Ya know, some days it's hazardous to my schedule for the day to open my newsletter from Permies... It's past 1:00, I have gotten very little done today except learn about potato onions. :D
Definitely going to be breeding them, I have several odd microclimates on my property in MO, should be some interesting variants that make it or not from seed. Getting some of Kelly Winterton's landrace mixes to start with. I'm in a very different climate than him, I look forward to seeing what happens!
Permies, more to learn, all the time. I love it!!
I found this thread about a year ago and was inspired to purchase some yellow potato onions from Southern Exposure. They grew ok but were badly effected by a rot that is probably fusarium root rot. By the Winter Solstice I did not have anything to plant. After reading the rest of this thread I realized I need to work toward a selection of potato onion that is adapted to my climate in East Tennessee. I ordered about 100 true seeds of each: Green Mountian Landrace and Southern Exposure Seed Exchange Landrace from Kelly W. Now I'm trying to figure out when I should sow them. My thought is to sow half of each variety now to plant out early spring and sow the other half in June or July to sow in the fall. Any advice on this is appreciated.
One of my goals is to grow all of my onions as some type of perennial onion. I am currently growing 7 varieties of garlic(4 different types), tree onions(aka Egyptian walking onions), Japanese bunching onions(aka welsh onions) and perennial leeks(the type that produces baby offsets). I have had difficulty growing shallots and am trying french grey shallots this year. Potato onions seem like a natural addition to this work.
Hi Amy, this past year almost all my perennial onions were badly affected by onion maggots, which might possibly have been what got yours, maybe- they do happen in Tennessee The only one with any resistance were my I'itoi onions, though my walking onions that have been growing several years don't appear to be affected. Just some data for your own experiments- good luck!
Location: East Tennessee, 47"precip, 193 frost-free days
I have had problems with onion maggots in the past. I applied beneficial nematodes and now seem to have a population of them able to keep the maggots under control. I see a few small ones every year but no significant damage.
The rot I’m talking about makes the onion bulbs turn into mush inside the dry outer skin and it stinks really bad. Not quite as bad as late blight on potatoes but close.
Hi all, here's an update on an experiment I tried last summer- onion maggots were going after my crop, so I pulled and dried the whole lot. I took one of five different kinds, put them in small pots in the shade, to see whether or not they would sprout into plants and divide. Four stayed put, but one, the Red Dutch shallot, did grow and produced five small bulbs.
I split out and replanted those in pots themselves, then transplanted them out to the garden in early winter. End result is that I septupled (? increased by 5 times) my onion production over the course of a year. Pic attached- several have already divided. So if I pull all of these plants Midsummer, then split apart the bulbs and replant, for a second mini growing, I'll have multiples of multiples of bulbs… I hope this makes sense!
For the other four varieties, in mid-summer I'll take a bulb from each and put them in the fridge for a few weeks, hopefully tricking them into thinking a season has passed.
On a sidenote, the E Toi onions have four scapes! Maybe I'll get seeds this year!
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