I’ve seen a bit of info online on these, but not a lot. They used to be common, and fell out of favor as seed onion were easier to ship and made larger bulbs, I guess.
Anyone growing them? are they worth pursuing? Would love to have a perennial (well, semi-perennial, but bulb-propagated) bed of red and white onions for anytime pico de gallo, etc…
@SkillCult has several videos about these on YouTube.
I’ve been growing potato onions for years. They’re easy to grow and mine mature early giving me bulb onions when my stored onions are giving out and before the new crop is ready. Mine are small to medium size with a storage onion flavor. They keep well.
I’ve grown them in the past. I agree with Sue that they are easy to grow and yield small to medium sized onions. I never managed to grow them out enough to meet the family’s onion needs. My wife decided she liked cooking with the larger store bought onions, so that nixed the idea of saving seed stock to continue the multiplier onion garden experiment.
I grew them for a few years. They were easy to grow and trouble free, but mine always turned out very small. I even got a few good sized new varieties from @SkillCult via ebay, but the onions they made were still really small. They are ok for making stock, etc., but if you want to peel them and get enough volume for typical uses of cooking onions, it is annoying compared to bigger onions. Totally possible I’m just a poor gardener and others have definitely had better results. Worth a try anyway, but don’t get your expectations up too high.
I grow them. They are similar in ease/planting/harvesting to garlic. If you plant the big bulbs you will get a small army of little ones which you save for the next planting, BECAUSE, when you plant the small ones you get big ones…and so the cycle continues in the biennial fashion of onions.
Kinda sunny and lots of shadows, sorry. The one at the top results from a small onion - there’s a big bulb under there, and the one at the bottom, from a larger one. The latter is saved up for seed, but I can also pull any of these and use them in cooking or slicing. I used the scapes as scallions and they work well in stir fries - that is, the tops and bulbs.
JustAnne4–Thank you for explaining the size difference. I didn’t know that. I grow these too and always planted the larger bulbs thinking I would get large bulbs back. Now I will plant small ones too. I make pickled cauliflower with carrots, celery, etc. and use the small onions with it. I also like them because they keep for a long, long time.
interesting…I guess I will probably try to source some white and red ones and give them a whirl…kinda like the idea of having semi-permanent onions for pico and grilled knob onions and stuff without having to re-seed and all…I prefer perennial gardening when possible
I didn’t mean to leave the impression that they are perennial in the sense of asparagus or berries. When the leaves die back you pull them and cure them and then plant them in the fall, similar to garlic. So in a sense you do ‘reseed’ them. I guess you could leave them in the ground and see what happens.
I’ve grown them for a long time. The Yellow potato onions are extremely cold hardy, which is handy for some locations. They also keep very well once they are cured. They are small for sure. I like to use them whole stewed in stuff or roasted whole on a grill and you just squish them out of the skin to eat them. Processing a lot for dicing etc. can take quite a while. They’re neat though. Kelly Winterton’s Green Mountain Multiplier is definitely larger, but like Holly says, it’s not as large as large bulbing storage onions or anything. I stopped growing that one because I had so much trouble curing it, but I haven’t heard that from anyone else I don’t think. It’s probably very hard to find now. I’ve been selling potato onion bulbs on ebay for a few years. There is a seller on there from Canada that has a scam going selling what look like red white and yellow onion sets as potato onions. I’ve talked to several people that ordered them and they didn’t even germinate, and mine didn’t either, so watch out.
skill, is your name the same on ebay? I saw the Canadian guy already, would prefer to make sure I am working w/ you if I bought…