Bunching Onions – Key Growing Information
SCIENTIFIC NAME:Allium fistulosum
CULTURE:Seed can be sown in early spring for summer use, and in July or August for fall and spring use. Bunching onions prefer a soil with a pH of 6.2–6.8. Extra-hardy varieties will normally survive the winter if the soil is well drained.
DIRECT SEEDING:Sow ¼” apart in rows of 2–3″ wide bands,¼–½” deep. Thin to about an inch apart only if large diameter is needed. Keep well cultivated so that plants receive maximum light.
TRANSPLANTING:Sow 6–8 seeds per cell in 72-cell trays at the same time you would seed bulbing onions for transplant. Transplant seedling clusters 6–8″ apart in rows 18″ apart. For negi-style scallions with a thicker blanched portion, start in flats. Then, beginning in late spring, when 8–18″ tall and pencil-thick, transplant outdoors 6″ apart, rows 24″ apart in holes dibbled about 6″ deep. Only 1–2″ of leaves need extend above the soil surface. Do not firm soil — allow irrigation or rain to fill in the dibble hole.
BLANCHING:During the growing period hill the plants with soil 2 or 3 times, higher with each hoeing. This forces the leaves higher up the plant resulting in extra-long blanched stalks and a much greater edible portion. When using the “dibble method”, hilling is reduced or eliminated.
HARVEST:Loosen with fork or underminer and gather. Wash, hydrocool, and hold at near freezing until shipped or displayed.