How to Grow Egyptian Walking Onions

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Egyptian Walking Onions don't really walk, of course, but if left to naturalize on their own, the tops will gently bend until they touch the ground and the bulbs will take root; walking their way across your garden or yard in successive years. The joy of these unique onions is that they produce tiny onion bulbs right on the top of the plants where you can easily grab a quick onion for your favorite recipe. Left to grow, these little onions provide you with a wonderful supply of onion sets to begin new plants in the spring after you have harvested and eaten the larger onions growing underground.

Things You'll Need

  • Egyptian onion sets
  • Garden tools
  • Fertilizer
  • Compost
  • Prepare an area that receives at least 6 hours of direct sunlight everyday. Till to a depth of 8 to 10 inches and remove any rocks or other debris that surfaces. Rake smooth with a garden rake.

  • Mark the row for your onions with the edge of a garden hoe. You don't need a deep furrow for onions. A depth on 1 inch is all that is needed.

  • Add plenty of compost and work it in well with the existing soil. If you choose to use commercial fertilizer, add it now. Be sure you work the fertilizer into the soil well to prevent burning the young onion roots. You may choose to forgo adding fertilizer at this time and side dress once the onions are established and show signs of new growth. Which you choose it a matter of personal preference, but side dressing does eliminate the risk of damaging the roots.

  • Plant the bulbs at a depth of 1 inch spaced 4 to 6 inches apart. Water thoroughly and keep moist until you see signs of new growth. Once they are established, water whenever the soil dries out.

  • Pick small bulbs that form on the top of the plant when they are young for your cooking needs. They will be sweet and tender early in the year. As they mature these tiny bulbs develop a strong flavor and become tough as they prepare for the work of reproducing.

  • Allow the plants to mature naturally. The stems will gradually bend until the tiny top bulbs touch ground and take root. Allow these new plants to take root as they will produce next years onions. Once the bulbs have taken root, clip any remaining stems attached to the bulb.

  • Pull the original onions, once tops have died back and the onion has reached maturity, and shake off any soil that remains. Do not wash them at this point as it may encourage rot.

  • Place the onions in a cool dry place to dry. Outside in a shaded area is ideal, provided the weather is warm and dry. Allow them to set for several days.

  • Remove roots and stalks leaving 1 inch stem at the top of the onion. If you wish to braid your onions you may wish to leave a longer stem.

  • Store in a cool dry place for winter use. Barely above freezing is ideal. Warm conditions may cause your onions to rot or to begin to sprout. Check onions often for signs of rot or sprouting. Remove any onions that show damage or disease as this will affect surrounding onions in storage.

  • Watch for new shoots from your Egyptian walking Onions in the spring as they begin to walk across your gardening area.

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