You don’t necessarily have to have a large yard or prepared garden bed to grow fruits and veggies at home. A spectacular vegetable that doesn’t take up a lot of space is the green onion. Learning how to grow green onions from bulbs makes it so that you always have something fresh and bright an arm’s length away.
People plant green onion bulbs for their subtle yet similar flavor to traditional onions like yellow onions, red onions, and white onions.
Instead of growing those types of onions from onion seeds, there are much easier ways to get that unforgettable onion flavor you love without having to put in as much hard labor.
Planting green onion bulbs is one of the simplest and most rewarding things you’ll do for your cooking and yourself. Green onion plants grow quickly and are extremely easy to harvest.
Instead of going to garden centers and buying transplants, pick some up when you stop at the grocery store. If growing green onions from bulbs is something you’re interested in, this is the article for you.
Benefits of Green Onions
Allium cepa, also referred to as green onions, scallions, bunching onions, and spring onions, are immature onions picked before their bulbs grew. The small bulbs are removed from the ground while their onion tops are still green.
The only difference between scallions and green onions is a slight age difference, but most people consider them the same vegetable. Green onions are milder and sometimes sweeter than other common onion relatives. There is also a modest difference in chives or green onions, but both are easy to grow.
Green onions are safe to eat raw and cooked, and most people enjoy them as a garnish for pasta, soups, and salads. Even though it’s possible, you don’t have to grow green onions from the seed.
Planting green onion bulbs is beneficial because it helps you save money and time, reduce food waste, and show off your impressive green-thumb skills to your friends and family.
There are a lot of cultivars to choose from between leeks, shallots, and pearl onions. The three ways to grow any onion are to buy onion sets, seeds or growing them from an existing plant.
All onions also fit into three categories – short-day, long-day, and day-neutral onions, based on the day length required to grow bulbs. Because green onions don’t fully form bulbs, they can grow in almost all growing zones.
How to Grow Green Onions from Bulbs
You may be surprised to find out how simple it is to plant green onion bulbs and always having a steady supply stocked in your house.
Because they have shallow root systems, they don’t require a lot of soil, if any at all, to start growing new green shoots from their mini white bulb.
How to Plant Green Onion Bulbs
Start planting green onion bulbs by looking for scallion seeds to buy. Once you’ve obtained your seeds, prepare your garden bed to meet the needs of the onions.
Choose a nice spot that gets full sun and has soil rich with organic matter and a soil pH level of 6.0 to 7.0. Raised beds with potting soil are also a great spot to plant them.
Clear out any rocks, sticks, or weeds before you work with the soil. Till it using a garden rake to loosen up the dirt. Once the ground is workable, and about four weeks before the last frost of spring, the seeds are ready for planting.
Sow the seeds root side down a half-inch below the top of the soil. Keep row spaces about one foot apart. Shower the bed with an inch of water once or twice per week, so they always have moist soil.
The onion seeds germinate when the ground is between 65°F and 86°F. You may wait up to a month for germination to take place. When the new leaves poke through the dirt, decide if you want to trim them.
How far apart to plant onion bulbs? Remember, green onions do well when bunched together. When the green tops are a few inches high, add mulch to the ground to maintain moisture and protect their root system.
Planting Green Onion Bulbs Indoors
DIY container gardening is even more convenient because green onions thrive in your windowsill or right off your back patio. Remove the bulb from some green onions and fill a container with fresh potting soil until there are only a few inches left at the top.
Water the soil so that it is ready for planting. Plant the onion root one-inch deep in the soil with the roots facing down. Place them in the sunniest spot in one of your windows. This way, regrowing green onions is possible throughout the entire year.
Harvest the greens once the shoots reach about six to eight inches tall. They appear after only a few weeks. If you’d like, pull the entire plant and use them again.
You can leave the onions in the container or take care of transplanting onions outdoors in the garden. They do well in both locations.
Growing Green Onions in Water
If we told you onions didn’t need soil to grow, would you believe us? This trick doesn’t work for all onions, but it is wonderful for scallions.
Save the white parts of your onions the next time you use them in a recipe and keep the roots attached. Fill a glass jar with clean water and set the entire onion in the water so the top is sticking out.
Place the glass jar in a sunny windowsill and watch the new shoots emerge within days. Change the water every other day and trim the greens whenever they get too long.
Green Onion Pests
Onion root maggots and thrips are the two most common types of pests people deal with when they plant green onion bulbs.
Onion flies lay eggs at the onion base, and their larvae tunnel into the roots, making your plants wilt. Pull an onion from your garden and try to look for signs of them. If you spot the maggots, try using row covers to keep the flies away.
Thrips are tiny insects that feed on plants and leave them covered in white patches. They also carry viruses that could damage your other plants. Use sticky traps to monitor the problem and avoid over-fertilizing your plants.
Whether growing in a container or in a garden bed, grow onion companion plants to reduce the chances of bugs invading your veggies.
Cooking with Green Onions
The great thing about learning how to grow green onions from bulbs is that you get to use other veggies from your garden as well. Add green onions to a stir-fry for a quick, delicious, and easy lunch.
Grab a large skillet and warm it over medium heat. Add the olive oil and stir in the sliced onions for two minutes.
Drop in the garlic, green onions, and mushrooms and cook for another five minutes. Once everything is tender, stir in the sesame oil, soy sauce, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to taste.
These grow-green-onions strategies are some of the quickest ways to garden. They don’t require a lot of work and give you fresh greens within days.
If learning how to grow green onions from bulbs has brought out your green thumb, share these tips for planting green onion bulbs on Facebook and Pinterest.