Sunday, February 10, 2013

Growing Garlic and Green Onions

Growing Garlic

I never realized how easy it was to grow garlic.  If you have a small space in your backyard, you can also grow your own garlic.  Growing your own food is a big part of being a renaissance man.  Growing garlic is not essential to being able to feed yourself, but it can be a useful ingredient in many dishes.  And since it is so easy to grow, I ask why not add it to your garden.  

The first step in growing garlic, is to buy some garlic. Simple I know.  Split the garlic into cloves, and put in a jar with some baking soda.  Let the garlic soak overnight.  Now dig a row in the backyard, and plant the garlic with the little end up, about 6 inches apart.  It's best to do this in December, but it's better late than never.  

Growing Green Onions

Green onions are great little plants that are good in a variety of dishes.  We use them in enchiladas, quesadillas, mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, and other dishes that need a little kick.  Once you buy a set of green onions, why not use them to grow some more.  

There are several ways to grow green onions.  The two ways I like both use the bulb from onions that you have already purchased at the grocery store.  When you use the onions, cut off the green parts, but leave the white bulbs alone.  The easiest way to grow these onions is to take the bulbs and place in a jar of water on a window seal.  That's it, after a few weeks, you'll have brand new onions like these.  
Green onions grown from cuttings

I'm not sure how many times you cold regrow onions like this.  I think that if you kept the water clean, and added some liquid fertilizer, you could have fresh green onions all summer and winter.  I'm going to try and keep these alive as long as possible.

Second Growth
Probably the better way to keep the plantings alive as long as possible is to grow them in the garden.  I've done this unintentionally all fall and all winter long.  I would take the bulbs whenever we used them and throw them out in the garden.  One day I looked and noticed that I had "wild" green onions growing in my garden.  I would plant them much like I suggested with the garlic.  Dig a row in your garden, plant them about 6 inches apart.  Again, I imagine that if you only cut off the green parts, you could keep the plantings alive all summer long and probably through the fall.  I've got a couple in my garden that have survived snow, frost, freezing rain, and other winter related catastrophes.  If you like green onions and want a fresh supply all year long.  I would keep some on the windowsill, and some in the garden. I have managed to get a second growth from my the green onions I bought a few weeks.

Edit:  The second weeks growth didn't go so well.  I'm not sure if I should have changed the water more often,  or tried some liquid fertilizer.  The bases started to rot, so I planted them in my garden for the spring.

Edit: The second growth green onions I planted in my garden did extremely well.  I used some with some catfish we caught this weekend, and they were pretty tasty.

So in conclusion, you can grow and regrow green onions from the white bases using both a jar full of water, and by planting them directly in the ground.  I suggest the ground option as this seems to require less work on my part.  

Another Edit:  Since I haven't blogged had a chance to write a quality post in a while, I haven't.  I can tell you one thing, green onion bases planted in the garden will not die ever.  I have now harvest almost every week from the ones I planted earlier this year.  Not only do I have plenty of fresh green onions, I also harvested and froze 2 quarts worth of them for meals later on this year.