One edible plant that is easy to grow in containers is Green Onions. Even if you just have a patio garden, this is a plant for you. For many years I just grew Garlic Chives. ( See my post about growing them in July 2011.) One day I was visiting a local gentleman who had a big container of Green Onions in his garden and I asked myself why I was not growing them too. Duh! I have no idea why I was so slow to get around to this as they are such useful plants and some foods just seem right with Green Onions rather than using Garlic Chives as a substitute. I mean, Garlic Chives work well with eggs and salads etc. but a bowl of Saimin noodle soup really needs that bit of Green Onion on top and stir fried rice only seems right with Green Onions too. Usually when I go pick the Green Onions I just use a pair of scissors to cut the plant off about one inch from the soil and leave the roots to grow leaves again. On a recent trip to New Zealand I noticed Green Onion being added a lot to coleslaw and that added a nice dash of bright green to the slaw. Being part of the Allium family, the Green Onions also provide an extra nutritional punch to the meal.
To start off your Green Onions you could buy seeds but the easiest thing is just to buy a fresh bunch of Green Onions at the supermarket produce section. Use the upper green part, keeping about one inch of the bottom root end. Place the bottom roots in water for a day or so to perk them up and then plant them in your garden or a container. In a container you could use potting mix, but really, you need some real soil in there too for the plants to grow well and also give them the occasional hand full of fertilizer.
PS August, 2017
Since writing that article I transferred the green onions to a bigger container....an old galvanized wash tub. They have been growing there about a year or so now and the onion bulbs have been reproducing into quite a bunch with less green leaf growth. It is time to pull up the bunch and start off with new singles again but I will only do half of the tub at a time so that I have my green onion supply for the kitchen still going.
I seem to be having a problem with tiny round snails in the green onions. I do not notice them when I am out hunting slugs and African snails at night time. I found the best way to catch them is right after a shower of rain in the day time. The tiny snails climb up the stalks of onion to get away from the moisture and are easy to see then to pick off the stalks and squash. Otherwise they are hiding down in the soil in the day time where they do not show.
|Ready to be divided|
|The onion bulbs having a few days in water before planting.|
Another problem that occurred in the winter time was the onion stalks getting thin and floppy because they were not getting enough sun. Partly this is because they get partial shade from the Curry Leaf Tree (August, 2015). The leaves tended to flop over, especially when I shot them with the hose, and lie on the soil and that made them get even less sun. I fixed it by laying three sticks of bamboo over the tub to give a frame to hold the Green Onion stalks so they were up and off the soil. Only a few days later there was a remarkable difference in the plants. They looked so much healthier now they were getting lots of sun again
|Bamboo sticks to keep leaves from flopping over on to soil.|
|Green onions with flower heads for sale in market in Bangkok, Thailand|