Scallions are called in many names, but one thing is sure, they are among the most sought after spice for raw and cooked food alike.
You can have one near you by starting a scallion garden or by planting one in a pot. You can plant them from seed, replant, set or root cuttings.
Scallions come in variety of names in different places around the world. It is sometimes called bunching onions, spring onions, green onions and salad onions. Aside from being called by many names, it is also confused with different varieties of onions. And to top it all, true scallions come in various varieties too. But one thing is for sure, scallions are valued for its use in garnishing and flavouring salads, sandwiches and many other cooked and raw food. It is sought for its mild sharp odor (it also contains important vitamins and minerals). The younger the scallion is, the less odorous it is.
For those who love cooking, eating and using scallions in food preparations, the good news is scallions can be grown conveniently in the backyard or in small containers that can even be used as ornamental plant. For instance, you can plant scallions in pots and put them outside your kitchen window. Once it is grown, you can just easily pick some stalks fresh from the ground and use it on your cooking pronto.
Planting and Growing Scallions
If you want to grow scallions outdoors, on the other hand, you can plant them on raised beds in rows that are evenly spaced. Proper spacing of each plant is necessary for optimum growth. You can plant them (a) directly from seeds, (b) from seeds and transplanted, (c) from sets, or (d) from root cuttings of scallions bought from the grocery. It is sensitive to temperature and is thus usually planted in early spring so as to escape the harsh cold of winter. It likes well-drained moist soil. The root system of scallions does not grow deep that is why it needs constant moisture. But too much water is not also advisable as this could make the stem too soft and weak or could result to oversize bulbs. It also likes soil that is rich in nutrients and neither too acidic or too basic (neutral). Watch out for weeds that can overwhelm and compete with nutrients in the soil. Despite this, scallions may also be intercropped with vegetables such as beet, tomato and cabbage.
Saving Scallions for Next Spring
Scallions mature at about two months and are harvested when they have grown at least six inches. If you have a perennial variety, it is best to divide bunching onions for replanting or you can save sets. Or you can allow them to flower so that you could collect seeds to save for the next spring.