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Easy to Grow Perennial Walking Onion and How to Cook with Them

 
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My project this summer is growing perennial Egyptian Walking Onions.  I have 8 that I planted.



How to cook with them:





 
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Thanks for the vids Anne.  

Planted these for the first time last year.   I was hoping to get some of the top bulbets so I could plant them in other areas but  I planted them too late and the bulbets never formed.  I just ate the yummy greens and left the onion bulbs in the ground.  

The greens are definitely better when they are young and tender but I still stir-fried the mature ones.  Tough but tasty.  If you want them to walk quicker plant them in some friable soil in a bed type area.  
 
Anne Miller
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Thanks for the tip!  I had to look it up as that term is new to me.

I feel my soil is fairly "friable" soil.  DH made it from clay, decomposed leaf matter and other amendments.  I have been adding coffee ground for the last year.  I planted some where I have blue sage planted and the top of the soil is a think mat from the blooms and leaves.

Would the onions make a good border to keep out grass?
 
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Anne, I imagine once established the Egyptians would keep out grass but I don't know from personal experience.  
 
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Where I've had a bed of walking onions, it was my job to keep the grass out. The onions refused to take on that role for me.
 
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I have walking onions in my back yard. They are easy to grow, and I really like them. I started out with only a single one, gotten at a college farmer's market, and let it reproduce for a few years before using them. They're kind of hot--spicy, but good!
 
Anne Miller
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I am very excited that my Egyptian Walking Onions have bulbils!  


Here is an article by permies member, Joseph Lofthouse:

https://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/egyptian-walking-onions



Highlights from the article:

They grow under the snow during the winter and are ready for harvest about 3 weeks after our winter snow cover melts. My father calls them forever onions because they continue to produce food for my family until covered with snow in the fall.  ...

Walking onions are a hardy perennial. In my climate they can be planted or harvested any time of year except when the ground is frozen. If pulled, the roots and a small piece of bulb may be replanted. They'll grow a new plant. They may be propagated by planting the bulbils that form on top of the flower stalk, or by digging and dividing the mother clump. There are a few weeks after the flower stalk forms in which the stem becomes hard and undesirable. New bulbs form beside the flower stalk producing tender bulbs later in the season.

I typically keep a perennial mother clump to generate bulbils that I harvest and store in a dry area. I then replant the bulbils every few weeks as an annual to grow successive crops of green onions for market and to feed my family.   ...

Conclusion

Egyptian walking onions are a wonderful plant in the home garden because they can provide great onion taste any time of year that the ground isn't frozen. Even though they are grown as clones, I suspect that the creation of new clones may be within the skill set of the average landrace gardener. This is part of the reason why I believe that landrace gardening is a path towards food security through common sense and traditional methods.


Here are some other tips from this thread:

https://permies.com/t/68920/Walking-onions

Eric Grenier says:  The bulbuls are meant to stay attached to the mother plant to ensure reseeding. The mother (large onion) plant will fight and win against any weed/ grass. Im going to try this next year as I will be on my third year on some of my plants

Let the bulbils get as big as they can and let them reseed or separate them and and turn 11 plants into 110 aprox next year.

let those walking onions grow up and lean down into your new bed. Work that bed with a pitch fork or broad fork and add mulch after putting a little soil on the bent over plant and keep it attached to its mother. Nature will do the rest.




Dylan Mulder says:  Here's a tip for walking onions,

If you cut the flowering stalk, or rather, the 'bulbil bearing' stalk before it can make bulbils it will sink its energy into making larger bulbs instead. Doing this, I've gotten them to the size of a large shallot.

 
Anne Miller
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I accidentally broke off one of the bulbils.  What would the best thing to do?  Plant the whole bulbils or break off the little buds then plant separately?



Here is a nice chart:

 
Anne Miller
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I just wanted to report that the bulbils that I broke off and planted is still green so I am hoping that it is growing.

I don't know anything about the guy in the video though I think he did a great job of explaining how to grow them.

The person who made the cooking video also did an excellent jog of demonstrating how to cook them and use all parts of the plant including the roots.
 
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Just plant it - it will be fine!  These are really hardy plants and very easy to propagate!
 
Anne Miller
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I thought I would post an update since it has been a year since I planted them.  From the eight that I started I have 13 plants and three babies that came from the bulbils.

My husband bought some rose bushes and we needed a place to put them which meant they would need to be planted where I put the walking onions.

I took a big chance and transplanted about half of them into the vegetable garden.  It has only been a few days though they are still doing ok.
 
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