Spring Onion (Welsh Onion, Scallion)Allium fistulosum and A. cepa
Spring Onion comes from Mongolia and the interior of Siberia, and is equally common in all of Asia as the yellow onion is with us. It forms finger-thick, white onions with a long neck without a round, swollen bulb at the root. The leaves, which are also eaten, are dark green, tubular, and between 15 - 75 cm long, usually 30-40 cm. The flavour of these easy to grow onions is delicious and reminiscent of a cross between leeks and the yellow onion. In Wales it is known as the 'poor man's asparagus' and is so mild in the spring that everyone can eat it raw. Later in summer the flavour is stronger.
Spring Onion wants the same conditions as leek and is very cold resistant. Some varieties are perennial and divide themselves and give new bulbs each year. Perennial scallion is propagated as chives, by division of the root ball, but to keep it healthy, one should seed-propagate it after a few years.
Spring Onion is healthy and seldom attacked by insects. It grows well near carrots, cabbage-type plants, beetroots and lettuces, but does not like beans and peas. Read under onion and leek for more advice.
SOWING: Sow the seeds one inch deep, indoors or in a hotbed, singly or in groups, in March-April if you want large and early seedlings. Cut the leaves to about 6 cm during the early cultivation. The plants will be more stable then. Plant them out when all risk of frost is over.
For direct sowing in the open ground, which is predominant, sow the seeds in batches, once the frost has left the soil and it has dried up a bit, onwards until mid-July. It is also possible to sow in the autumn, in September, to allow the seedlings to overwinter for an early crop the following year. Moisture is the greatest threat.
DISTANCE: Keep about 2 cm between the plants in rows and 20-40 cm between the rows. If sown in groups, there should be 15-20 cm between them. Be sure to remove weeds; onions do not like competition. Burning with a gas flame just before the onion sprouts is an easy way to get rid of early weeds.
HARVEST: Scallions, which are quite resistant to frost, can be harvested well into late autumn and are among the first to be harvested in spring. To harvest, the whole scallop is gently pulled up as soon as it reaches edible size.
The earliest sown and planted Spring Onions can almost get as thick as leeks and can be stored in the same way, but they actually keep best if they are allowed to remain in the soil and it is really only in the winter when they freeze to the ground, that you can not enjoy these delicacies.
SEEDS: 1 g contains 300-500 seeds. One portion is enough to sow a few metres in the open. Calculate 20-30 g to a 100 meter stretch.