Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Tending to Last Years Onions

It is that time of year again where the onions I've stored are needing attended to. Some have started to sprout, a few are rotten, a few more are still good, and some are just about to go to the bad side.

 There is nothing I can do about the few rotten ones but I can put the onions that are just beginning to soften in the dehydrator before they are lost and make dried onions. They are great on beef roast and in chicken noodle soup. They add an intensity that fresh onions don't.

I tried a new kind of onion in my garden last year and I have to say they kept longer than any other I've ever grown. Good thing I kept the receipt from last years order because I would not have remembered which kind they were, Big Daddy. I of course ordered some more.

They are transplants as they seem to do best for me. Upon arrival, they are the baby onion with a shoot of green on top in case some of you are wondering.  Not all seed catalogues offer them.  The little onion ball that you normally see at the grocery store and in most catalogues just isn't my friend. Some do develop into full sized onions but some go straight to seed and skip making a full sized onion.
But right now I have to deal with last years and though I try to not be wasteful, for I equate that to being ungrateful, I'm not going to use the onion skins to dye wool with. I just don't particularly like the shade of yellow that onion skins create. Call me picky but I like a more intense yellow color. Yes, as you can guess I have dyed with onions, once. But just as I say that I'm off to the Internet and see that others do get some pretty colors. Knowledge is everything and apparently I didn't know what I was doing, Imagine that.

You've probably guessed that I have another experiment in the works. This weekend I'm planting in a pot this nice large yellow Big Daddy onion with the green sprouts. There were others to choose from but this was the only one of large size that the bulb was still firm with a large sprout. I'm guessing that is good. I don't really know.

This little purple onion on the right will also go into a pot. It wasn't the largest purple onion I grew last year but it is the largest one left. It was a grab at a grocery store thing so I don't have the foggiest idea what kind it is. I do know it was an excellent storing onion so I'll just give it a try. The little bulbs did just as I told you they would for me last summer and some grew to full size, some didn't really do a thing, and some attempted to go to seed but they didn't quite do that well either.

If all works then growing them in the house will allow me to control their environment and hopefully learn to pollinate them myself. Controlling the type of offspring, ones true to the parent plant. That is the problem with growing them outside. They will cross pollinate.

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