Spring onions

Family: Amaryllidaceae

Countries: Asia, China

Spring onions are easy to grow vegetables that can be sown outdoors, over a long growing season.  In the UK, seeds can be sown from March to September.  Choose a sunny or partially shaded site and sow your seeds directly in the soil, where you want your spring onion plants to grow.  There’s no need to sow spring onion seeds in seed trays or pots – unless your soil suffers with Onion White Rot – in which case growing onions in containers or on another site are your best options.

Gardeners can grow regular spring onions with white bases or bulbs and green leaves, but there are also spring onion varieties that produce red, pink, or purple bulbs and green leaves.  Sow a small amount of spring onion seeds every two weeks to achieve a regular harvest through the growing season.  When you’re preparing your spring onions, don’t forget that the spring onion’s green leaves (as well as the white, pink, purple, or red bulbs) are edible.

Look out for seeds of hardy spring onion varieties (like ‘White Lisbon Winter Hardy’) that can be sown in August to produce spring onion plants that grow happily outside over the autumn and winter months before being harvested in March and April when other vegetables are only just getting going.  I’ve grown spring onions over winter in Scotland successfully without giving my plants any protection – so don’t be daunted – you can do it!

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