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Source for multiplier onions (potato onions)

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Source for multiplier onions (potato onions)

Post  ander217 on 3/29/2010, 3:33 pm

Southern Exposure Seed Exchange offers several varieties of multiplier onions. I've purchased potato onions, shallots, and Egyptian Tree onions (Grandma called them Winter Onions) and all have grown extremely well for me.

Potato onions are a tradition in my family. We kept the same strain going for generations until it came down to only me growing them, and I somehow lost them in the move to our new house in 1981. I looked for years for replacements but never had luck until I found Southern Exposure. They are not cheap - $11.50 for about ten onions, but once they are established you don't have to buy onions ever again unless you want a different variety. (Or the neighboring farmer wipes them out.) Our neighbor sprayed his wheat for garlic and spray drifted into my onion patch and killed all my potato onions last year so I've just made a new order of them. And I had just gotten a good enough start of them to start keeping some to eat. Now I have to start all over again and it will be another two or three years before I can have enough stock built up to eat.

Every year you plant small sets which grow into single, large bulbs. You also plant some large bulbs, which divide into multiple small sets, sort of like a garlic bulb. One large onion will divide into anywhere from two or three to as many as a dozen small sets, with the average usually around seven or eight. You separate the small ones and keep all of them for replanting, and you decide how many large ones you need for making small sets, and then you can eat the rest of the large bulbs. They are high on flavor, but not too hot.

Here in southeast Missouri we plant our potato onions about November, and harvest them in early July. I dry them as I would any other onion, then put the planting stock away in a sack until fall planting.

I encourage everyone to try potato onions, but order soon, because SESE always sells out quickly.
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onions

Post  dixie on 3/29/2010, 3:38 pm

I was going to post yesterday asking if anyone knew of a source for these! thanks.
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Re: Source for multiplier onions (potato onions)

Post  Retired Member 1 on 3/29/2010, 6:24 pm

I've never heard of these -- thanks for the info. I do have Egyptian walking onions, and they are about to take over one of my lasagna beds. How large is the bulb on the potato onion?

Edited to add: Apparently SESE only sells these between Sept and Nov. Now to try and remember to order in six months!

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Potato Onions

Post  ander217 on 3/29/2010, 7:12 pm

Potato onions are regular, large-size cooking onions. This variety is yellow, and more flat than globe-shaped.

Although SESE only ships these onions in the fall, they can be ordered any time from now until they sell out, and they will sell out quickly, probably by early summer at the latest. I ordered mine this morning.

I also raise the Egyptian walking onions. I now have them in their own special bed near the fence where we can keep them contained, but my husband and I are planning to build a special 1' x 4' SFG box for them inside the garden fence for their new permanent home.
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potato onions

Post  dixie on 3/31/2010, 6:53 pm

I had tried last year to order some from Roniger's potatoes, but they were sold out. I placed my order with SESE yesterday, got an email today that my order had shipped, while in the same email it said onions & garlic are only shipped in the Fall. We'll see.
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potato onions

Post  ander217 on 4/1/2010, 9:21 am

I got the same message, Dixie. I suspect the message means they will be charging my credit card now, but won't ship the onions until fall.
As you say, we'll see.
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