Garden and Orchard

Our First Perennial Onions of the Season

Walking onions are the first greens in my garden each spring.

Perennial Onions

I planted Egyptian Walking Onions years ago and have been reaping the rewards of these easy-care perennials ever since. They are the earliest vegetable ready in my garden each spring, at a time when I treasure anything green coming up! These onions can be harvested at any stage and they multiply quickly.  You can plant any type of perennial onions in your garden if you’d like to have green onions first thing in the spring.

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Our homegrown green onions.

Green Onions

I almost picked up a bunch of green onions from the grocery store the other day. We ran out of storage onions a while ago and I like onions for our soups, stews, and omelets. So I’ve had to resort to buying them. Now that the weather is warming up, I noticed that our perennial onions are greening up and there are sprouts coming up, perfect for green onions. We had some on our potatoes with plain yogurt at dinner last night and I sauteed some with goat meat for lunch today (but that’s another post altogether). It feels great to have our own produce starting to come in again.

Our homegrown green onions.

As I raked the garden beds yesterday, I noticed that the sorrel I planted last year is coming up nicely too, and there are baby dandelions sprouting everywhere. So very soon we’ll have some nice salads from foraged and homegrown greens. I’m so looking forward to fresh greens picked and eaten all in the same day.

Are you eating homegrown greens yet? Do you have perennial onions in your garden? What is your favorite way to eat them?

14 Comments on “Our First Perennial Onions of the Season

  1. There’s nothing fresh spring onions from your own garden. I remember as a child after we got home from school in the springtime my Mom would send us out to the garden to get fresh spring onions for supper every night. We loved them. My Mom still grows them but I am now allergic to them. Thanks for sharing. Visiting from the Home Acre Blog Hop!

    1. Hi Marla,
      I love how gardening brings back such fond memories for so many people! I’m sorry that you can’t eat them anymore 🙁 Thanks for visiting!

  2. Hi Rachel,

    I love getting questions, lol! I bought the plants about 10 years ago or so from a small nursery. They were the top sets that had been planted and were about 5 or 6″ tall when I got them. Now I have so many that I probably don’t need to plant any other onions (but I will, of course!). Yes, the plants grow up and form a small set of bulbils on the end of the leaves. The weight of the bulbils pulls the tops down and plants the little onions. I pull the top sets off, break them into individual sets, and plant them out in rows for green onions a bit later in the spring. I now have more than two rows of these puppies in the garden and they are super easy to take care of.

    Any spot that gets full sun and has decent soil will make a good home for perennial onions. I dig mine up every so often and plant them out in a new row so that I can till the old spot and add compost for a new crop. I’ve given the top sets away to many friends over the years. Some have left them in the same spot and just harvest as they need them.

    You can use the bulbs before they start to divide (they will propagate under the soil too). Once they start to form new bulbs, the old bulb turns into a woody stalk. So you can pull the new bulbs off and use them. You can also use the top sets like pearl onions. They have a stronger flavor than many bulb onions so you don’t need as many in your cooking.

    Great job on the spinach and lettuce growing all through the winter! That’s awesome 🙂 I sometimes wish I lived farther south…but I don’t like hot summers. It gets plenty hot around here in July. 😉 Thanks for sharing your gardening experience!

  3. Wow, cool! Prepare to be bombarded with questions… Did you plant bulbs or seeds originally? Where did you get them? I am really wanting to plant some perennial onions. We are onion lovers here. Bulbs are the favorite, but green onions are good too and anything perennial deserves a try.

    How did you choose and prepare the site? Do you keep them in the same site, or do they move around? (I heard that the tops fall over and replant, thus moving around, thus the name walking onion…is that true?)

    In my little garden, I have had spinach and lettuce and other winter veggies going since last fall. We have such a long growing season, and the ice storms are easy to protect against with sheets of poly plastic stuff. (I’m with you on rednecking cold frames, lol.) Although a few times I didn’t get it covered up, and woke up in the morning to ice outside and temps in the teens, and the lettuce and spinach were just as happy as could be. I think I will plant more of those seeds again next fall…

    I didn’t have a lot planted, so we’ve been eating salads here and there, not every day, but hey, every meal from the garden is a meal from the garden, right? 🙂

  4. Hi Deborah,
    You must be farther south than me. I remember having wild ramps in the woods when I was a kid and they came up in late March or early April. On our current property, we don’t have any wild spaces really. And I don’t have access to the woods and fields around our property. Someday we hope to move back to the old farm land where I grew up and then I will be able to do a lot more foraging. 🙂

    It’s wonderful that you have so many wild things and that you let them grow instead of spraying them with poison! So many people do…blech! Thank you for letting nature do it’s thing on your property!

    1. We’re in North Florida, but I live in the city limits on 2/3 acre. I just don’t have a lawn, I have weeds! We also forage in the city parks–wild plums for jam in a month or two and mulberries right now. There is a pizza place with a huge bed of prickly pear cactus. Nobody messes with them, except me. When they are ripe, I show up early in the morning with kitchen tongs and a cardboard box, lol! We have made jelly, and when it didn’t firm up, we called it syrup. A lovely fuchsia syrup that my grandkids loved on their waffles and pancakes!

  5. I have wild onions all over my front yard. They have been up for at least a month, now. Just send my granddaughter out front when I need some green onions. (And often, when I don’t need them, she brings them anyway!) The sorrel (wild, also) springs up in my garden beds and around my fruit trees. She likes picking that, too, but tends to eat most of it, rather than bring it to me! She’s almost 6. I leave the wild stuff, since I use it. I have to watch out when someone else tries to weed. My daughter nearly wiped out the sorrel around the peach trees last fall. They had just started coming back for a nice fall crop when she got to them! I like having help, but sometimes…. My son’s girlfriend is the same way. To her, everything is a weed and needs to go. I personally love the weeds. (Well, most of them, anyway!) Something I can eat that I didn’t have to plant and take care of. I let the stinging nettle take over a large area. I went out two weeks ago with gloves and scissors and cut them off at ground level. I have a huge amount drying now, for later use. A bunch got chopped up and thrown in with soup. Always something coming up that is either edible or medicinal. The medicinal stuff seems to show up just when I need it, even if it had never been there before!

    1. How fun! Congrats on the new place with all the garden space, Amber! If you have the opportunity, you might like to plant some of the perennial onions. 🙂 Best wishes!

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