Our Winter Onions have put on sets that should be ready for the markets this week! Their scientific name is Allium ×proliferum. They are also known as Egyptian Walking Onions, Tree Onions, Top Onions or Top Setting Onions.
These onions aren't like regular onions. They don't form a big bulb at the bottom. You can dig and eat them like a green onion, but if you leave them in the soil, they will grow back year after year.
I was first introduced to these little marvels many years ago by my husband's uncle. He gave me a few sets and told me the onion bulb would grow on the top and not on the bottom. The first year, they grew nice onion like leaves that I could cut off to use in recipes, but that is about all they did. The second year, they put bulbs on the top, but they were really small and hard to peel. I wasn't very impressed. Since then I've learned the sets on the top are actually seeds. They can be eaten, but I'm more inclined to sell them or use them to make my bug spray.
The real value of these prolific plants is in their extreme hardiness. In the late fall, through most of the winter and very early in the spring when nothing else is growing, I can still eat out of my garden by going out and cutting the tender leaves that valiantly keep on growing. The only thing that stops them is a week or two of below 20 degree weather, but as soon as it warms back up again, they are up and growing again :)
To plant the sets, just poke them into them into the soil and let grow. You really don't have to even put them in the soil. If you lay them on top, they will root, but poking them in gives you a little more control. They spread easily by bending over and dropping their little sets on the ground. The crazy way they grow allows them to deposit them up to 3 feet away, but you can keep them from doing that just by removing the sets as they come on.
God Bless You All!