Onions from the grocery store that are neglected in the cupboard often sprout tiny green shoots. These shoots are the beginning of the onions second stage in life -- producing seeds. Onions are biannual vegetables that grow from seeds to bulbs the first year and bolt, or sprout seed stalks the second year. The seed stalks are edible and will continue growing until the original onion bulb's nutrients have been exhausted. Planting these seed stalks will produce seeds, and seeds will produce new onions.
Things You'll Need
- Paper bags
- Potting Soil
- Raised garden beds
Purchase a few onions from your local market or grocery. You can use white, yellow or red.
Place the onions in a paper bag and leave them in a dark, dry place for two to four weeks, or until they begin to bolt.
The onions are then ready to plant into pots. Plant them so the bulb is just under the soil. Infrequent watering is all that is necessary, as the bolts are using the old onion bulb's energy to grow.
The bolts grow seedpods at the top in a few months and fall over. Cut these pods off and put them in a paper bag. They will dry in the bag and you can then extract the seeds.
Growing the Onion
Seeding times for onions differ by geographical area and climate, but seeding typically takes place in the spring just before the last freeze dates. Check with your local co-op, gardening club or garden center to find out the best time in your area.
Plant the seeds in rich soil, preferably in raised beds, about a foot apart and an inch deep. Water them consistently during the growing season.
By late summer or early fall, part of the onion that grows above the soil will begin to sag. At this point, you may harvest the bulbs by carefully pulling them out of the ground by hand or using a small trowel to dig around them.
Tips & Warnings
- Watering your onions during the growing season in a consistent fashion is key for their growth.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images Perfect onion with a green stalk isolated on white image by Andrejs Pidjass from Fotolia.com
How to Grow an Onion Plant From a White Onion
White onions are a common choice for backyard vegetable gardens due to their ease of growth and the fact that they thrive...
How to Grow Bunching Onions
Bunching onions, also known as scallions, are really nothing more than young onions planted from seeds. Although there is a variety that...
How to Grow Multiplying Onions
Multiplying onions grow from seed or from dry bulbs, depending on variety. The three major types available include Japanese bunching onions, shallots...
How to Grow Red Onions From Bulbs
Red onions can be eaten raw, boiled, broiled, baked, creamed, steamed, fried or pickled. These cool-season vegetables are grown by gardeners either...
How to Stop Onions From Sprouting
Like other root vegetables, onions store for a long time. Unfortunately, if they aren't stored correctly they sprout and begin growing roots,...
How to Plant Onion Bulbs
When planting onion bulbs, they will usually stay dormant during the fall before sprouting in the spring. Add onions to your garden...
How to Grow Big Onion Bulbs
Onions are a member of the allium family, as are garlic, leeks, shallots and chives, and are popular in all sorts of...
Can You Grow an Onion From a Sprouted Onion?
Onions are used in various recipes and are usually on hand as kitchen staples. Some onions even begin to sprout while kept...
How to Grow Shallots From the Grocery Store
Shallots, the mild-tasting onions favored by the French, can be expensive to buy at the grocery store but grow easily in a...