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These roots are made for walkin’

By Penny Stine

Sorry for the bad pun, I just can’t help myself. But seriously, these oddly cool onions are called Walking Onions. They’re perennial onions, which I planted (and didn’t harvest at all) last year.

They didn’t do much last year, but since there seemed to be more bulbs underground at the end of the summer than what I originally planted, I dug up one and transplanted it a foot away from the original.



Robert Smith, who used to work as a sales rep here at the Sentinel, told me about these onions. When I saw them in the Park Seed catalog, I had to try them.





I’ve been cutting some of the green tops to use as green onions, and I believe they’ll get an oniony ball on top (maybe slightly bigger than a golf ball) that can be harvested and eaten like an onion by mid-summer. I thought those little white things on the top were the oniony ball, but it turns out they just hold more green onion-type growths. Eventurally, the onion falls over and establishes more walking onions nearby.

I read that I can also dig up the bulb and eat it, but of course, if I dig up the bulb, it won’t keep growing and doing the cool walking onion thing on top.


However, since multiple bulbs seem to form at ground, I’m thinking I’ll be able to dig up a few of them while still keeping enough to have them continue self-perpetuating.




You’re supposed to plant them in a fairly empty bed, since they like to walk all over the bed and plant other onions, but I couldn’t resist planting red onions and garlic in the walking onion bed. I figured they’d all get along.




I’m not sure where the lettuce came from. I don’t remember planting it, but maybe I can make a tasty salad out of leaf lettuce, garlic scape, red and walking onions and the strawberries on the other side of the fence. That, or I'll knock the socks off anyone who gets near me with onion/garlic breath. Don't worry, Sentinelonians, I'd only have it for dinner, never when I'm home on my lunch hour. 


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