Plant pots are a fantastic way of growing spring onions. Here’s an excellent method of creating great abundance for minimal effort. Let’s sort out some names – these are all members of the alliums family and are either the same or similar: spring onions, scallions, bunching onions, shallots, salad onions, Welsh Onions and the intriguingly named Egyptian walking onions. Some varieties have a more rounded bulb than others.
Plant pots Growing Conditions for spring onions
Plant pots of spring onions can be planted nearly all round in most parts of New Zealand. Best results are achieved when the soil is 10-20 deg C. The best times to grow are in spring and autumn.If planting seeds, then first fill the GreenSmart plant pots with potting mix and then cover the top layer with a 1 cm layer of very fine soil or seed raising mix. Sprinkle the seeds over the soil with about 1 cm between seeds and then sprinkle a thin layer of soil over the seeds to cover the seeds to about three times their diameter. Stretch the elasticised stretch cover over the GreenSmart plant pots and leave in place until the plants emerge. After about five weeks the plants will be big enough to thin out or transplant.
Thin them out to being about 4 cm apart. If planting seedlings take care when separating the roots to not damage them. Gently tease them apart. I normally plant spring onions as seedlings and plant more every month to give continuity.
Spring onions don’t like dry conditions so the self watering, wicking GreenSmart plant pots are an ideal way to be sure that the spring onions get continuous moisture. In wet conditions the plants won’t become flooded as the excess water will drop out of the overflow holes. How simple is that?
In colder parts of the country, spring onions will continue growing through winter in a pot in a hothouse.
They need good soil fertility. Don’t rely on the potting mix to provide sufficient nutrients. I suggest adding additional fertiliser (eg well rotted animal manure). Add diluted seaweed fertiliser or worm wee directly into the water reservoir or spray onto the plants.
Pests and Diseases
Generally you won’t have to worry about spring onion pests and diseases.
Lettuces love growing around spring onions in plant pots. So do beetroot, carrots and silverbeet. However peas and beans are not good neighbours for spring onions.
They are ready to harvest when they reach about 15 cm in height. Gently tug them out of the ground or snip off the outer leaves near ground level and leave the plant to regrow.
Try regrowing your spring onions this spring.
In the Kitchen
Try this spring onion curry side dish recipe
Seed saving. It is worth letting one of your best spring onions go to seed. Check out how simple it is on this you tube clip.
What are Egyptian walking onions?
Aka top onions, Egyptian tree onions, perennial onions. Apparently they don’t walk around your garden but do spread by an unusual method. The bulbs bloom on the top of the plant stalk, grow and become top heavy. The stalk can’t support the weight, it bends over to the ground, the small bulbs take root and a new plant is formed! Here is what my Uncle Wiki says about them http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tree_onion
How about Welsh onions?
These are perennial onions (grow for more than one year) and spread by forming more bulbs.