Some time ago, I was given a walking onion (also known as an Egyptian onion) and a perpetual spring onion. I grew them for a couple of years although they never seemed to do much, I thought perhaps the pot I had them in was too small.
My walking onion had died and I was left with the spring onion, so in my desire to grow vegetables in containers, I repotted the the ‘spring onions’ in a storage box. They grew and grew and when I noticed little bulblets forming, I realised it was the perpetual spring onion I lost and what I had in the container was in fact the walking onions. It also seems the bulblets, known as ‘topsets’ only form in the second year of planting.
Perpetual spring onions grow in a cluster and you can take as many as you like as long as you leave one so that it can start all over again. The walking onion grows little topsets on the top of some stems and the weight of them brings the stem down to ground level where they root, so they could gradually ‘walk’ around the garden if you let them. The leaves can be cut and new leaves will grow as long as you don’t cut the stem the topsets are on and take no more than two leaves at a time.
According to one website, it describes the onion as “a bit like the size of a shallot…tastes like a regular onion but with a bit more pizzazz”. Apparently, you can eat every part of the onion, including the topsets which you can cook, pickle or just pop them in your mouth like popcorn.
Today I decided that I should split the cluster of onions up to give them a bit more room. I tried a hand fork, a trowel but none of them would budge. They are digging their little roots in and don’t want to leave home.
More information on walking onions can be found at:
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