Tuesday, July 20, 2010

And, I Know When It's Done...


These are the pot onions.  No, not onions you smoke, onions I'm growing in a pot.  For Christ's sake, pay attention!

The largest one in the top picture is about two inches across.  However, from reading other blogs, I'm finding out size doesn't matter.  Although, my wife....anyway, back to the onions.

How in the name of all that is good and holy do I know when they're done?  I looked for one of those little plastic pop-ups like you get in a turkey, but no luck.  Apparently, these are the "gardener" variety, where you're suppose to know what you're doing, as opposed to the "greenhorn" variety, where you're utterly clueless.  I think the greenery is suppose to die back, but then I read about bolting, which I still have no idea what in the hell that is.  It has something to do with tastes great, less filling tastes crappy.  I'm pretty sure lightning might be involved.

Then there is a whole drying process, which is another post, I'm sure.

P.S.  My previous post on my trip to see Spurs play in San Jose is by far my most popular.  Thanks to the newsgroups that posted the link.  But never fear, faithful few, we're all about the plants here.  With a little Spurs thrown in for comfort.


  1. I've never grown pot onions, onions in a pot, you know.
    This was my first year growing onions too and everything I read said when the tops start to fall over, they're almost done. As in, you still need to wait a week of two after the tops fall over for them to dry a bit. I followed that with mine and am very happy with the crop. Size doesn't matter. They're done when they're done. Your onions look very healthy by the way.

  2. Once you know, people everywhere will say 'he knows his onions'. Not too shabby a thing to have in store.

  3. Dear Turling, I am impressed. Pot onions - now that is a first for me! At some point, but please do not ask me when, the leaves should be bent over [but away from the onion itself] to prevent 'bolting' [i.e. the onion forming a flower and setting seed]. If they were mine, which of course they are not, I should do this now. Most likely others will advise you differently!

  4. Dear Turling, I'm happy that you follow my blog gardening-in-high-heels, thank you. With onions I let them dry - when the green is almost yellow I pull them out - and braid them, so you can always get the amount you need out of the plait. That I hang up in the pantry, looks nice. Britta

  5. Sherlock, thank you for the advice and compliments.

    vir beatum, one can never have too many skills nor be known as knowledgeable in too many things.

    Ms. Hope, thank you for the advice and the definition of bolting. I'm happy that's now cleared up in my head.

    Britta, good to know about the color. And, I enjoy your blog very much. I don't do much gardening in high heels, but if it helps the plants I would at least consider it...under the cover of darkness, of course.

  6. I'm not an expert as such but from past experience the tops fall over and the onion just generally looks like its given up and wants a lie down. You then pull them up and leave them in the sun to dry before cleaning off any dirt and lose skin and putting to store.

  7. Oy, Shayla, the number of times I've had that look. When the onions get to harvesting point, it will be like looking in a mirror.

  8. I'd trim the tops to stop bolting; I did that with my leeks and they didn't seem to mind too much.

    To see if they're done, I have a special technique only known by Idiots and Greenhorns. They tell you it when you join the IGS (Idiots and Greenhorns Society). Apparently, you pull one up and eat it. Works for me, every time!

  9. Ah, IG, my IGS manual hasn't arrived in the mail, yet. Good to know it's packed with useful information. Apparently, my grasp of the obvious is severely lacking.

  10. I live in a town full of Marines looking for alternative, undetectable things to smoke, I bet your could make a fortune dealing pot onions in Jacksonville.

  11. Kyna, there will be a plane brown package on your doorstep tomorrow morning. 50/50 is the deal.

  12. Your pot onions look a heckuva lot better than our (or rather my hubby's, as I don't want to take the blame) in-ground onions. Last spring he bought a six-pack of Maui onions and planted them in our vege bed. Months & months later, the onions looked really lush and then all of a sudden put forth these beautiful magenta-hued blooms. Well once they hit their bloomin' onion phase, it was all downhill from there. Upon harvesting the onions (and we had the same problem as you in having nary a clue as to when we were actually supposed to harvest these guys) we discovered that they were all stalk and no bulb. Like a scallion on a leek's body, but tasting worse than either. Blech. I think we'll try your pot methodology next time around.

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