The never ending spring onion...

27 June, 2013

A few weeks back Gavin blogged about getting a second crop from spring onions.

Now while I think this is an awesome idea (and incidentally I also do with those little potted basil herbs you can buy from supermarkets - so much better than the chopped herbs in that you chop the top then plant the rest. Bonus!) there is another way that takes it to the next level.

I can't for the life of me recall who I learned this from - so to the blogger who's idea this is (or was also cheekily scrounged from someone else) I apologise that I cannot give you due credit.

Instead of a dual cropping spring onion, this method gives a never ending spring onion crop!

Somewhere about 6-7 months ago I, like Gavin, bought a bunch of spring onions. I chopped the tips off for cooking, but the bottoms with the roots got planted into a pot with regular potting mix. I give them the occasional feed with duck pond water for some extra nutrients. I also had some red spring onions that I had grown elsewhere in the garden that also got the chop and went into the pot, so you can do this with homegrown ones too.

I've been cropping the same lot ever since. This is how they look now.


Unfortunately many of the red ones died young. But the rest have prospered. I would say I've had about 8-10 bunches of spring onions from this pot so easily a crop each fortnight, without replanting once.

"How?" I hear you ask.

By base cropping. Instead of pulling the spring onions out, I just chop them off at ground level whenever I want them.


The bases of the spring onions stay in the ground and aren't disturbed at all.


Not long after the spring onions regrow.

Here's one I prepared earlier:


I will say that now in winter they are (not surprisingly) taking a lot longer to regrow. I think I may need to plant a few more in the pot for a steady supply.

But that said, this is such an easy way to have an endless crop of spring onions, which I often do prefer for cooking when I need less than a whole onion amount.


Now I'm sure for many people out there this will not be rocket science. I'm sure plenty will have heard of this before, or been doing it for many years. 

But for me coming across this idea was a moment of blinding clarity, and the actual doing has lived up to the idea fabulously. I highly recommend the technique. It takes no effort; no ground preparation, recurrent sowing of seed, weeding etc for this endless supply. Too easy.

Do you have any genius garden ideas that you couldn't imagine not doing?

12 comments:

  1. While I am sure they are not the source, my mother and brother employ this strategy! I should too. Thanks for reminding me of this. Happy perenialising.

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    1. No problem. It's such a great idea and I was so amazed, and yet it's so simple.

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  2. Brilliant! Will be buying spring onions and planting this week. Ain't the internet grand?

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  3. Great idea! I'm terrible about watering and harvesting potted plants though. Must try harder.

    I've done this with the bottoms of purchased bok choy in the spring but a cold snap made them go to seed once it warmed up again. It does take awhile for their roots to form.

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    1. I've found they haven't needed a massive amount of watering, but that may be because they're in a big pot. Hmmm, bok choy you say. I think some experimenting will be in order...

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  4. I've been using the same bunch of spring onions for about a year now - I love it! Also because they're already rooted, they don't need much attention or care at all.

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    1. I know, so easy! It's great!!

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  5. I think I've seen this idea before, too, but never with such explicit photos that make me think it might really be easy. I often need just one green onion, and the rest of the bunch goes to waste. I'd love to change that. Thank you!

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    1. My pleasure. Spread the word, I say...

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  6. That is a brilliant idea. I have planted brought spring onions in the ground as it acts as a refrigerator. My problem is I forget to use them with regularity and either buy another bunch or they remain in there until they get to the size of a leek (which I expect when I return home after 6 weeks). Oh well i might be in time for lots of leek and potato soup?

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    1. Spring onion as leek - I think it would work!

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