Tuesday, June 8, 2021

"Spooning" Onions

newly planted onions

This was the first year that I grew onions in earnest.
There's always a learning curve when trying new ventures,
and I'm just beginning to find out what's entailed with growing this crop.
It doesn't require much, but it's satisfying knowing that should I master this crop,
I'll never need to buy onions again.

These are the Walla-Walla variety,
which were acquired from Sow True seeds. 
They are a sweet Spanish variety that can be planted
either in the late summer for a June harvest,
or in the early spring for a late summer harvest.
I enjoy growing year-round, so this variety fit right in
with my plans to overwinter a few crops like garlic and leek. 
These seeds were planted in early fall and pretty much
left to their own devices.
I mulched over them with our own leaf mulch
and just checked on them once in a while to see how they were doing.
I didn't know about spooning
which helps the onions grow better.

 I've been watching a vlog called,
That 1870's Homestead,
where Rachel talked about
(Click on the link above to watch her video).
It's a new concept to me, but she swears by it.
Instead of allowing the mulch and soil to envelope the bulb,
the soil around the base of the bulb is moved aside,
so that only the roots are buried.
(It has been said that a spoon was used to do this.)
This is supposed to promote a larger bulb.

Although I'm a little late to the party this year,
(what else is new?),
I went ahead and spooned the onions ,
and will keep this in mind for next season when I start anew.
It will be interesting to see if it makes a difference
compared to this year.
Many of the onions look just fine already,
and I'll harvest the larger ones for processing,
but it will be fun to see if the spooning
will make any difference by the end of the month,
when I will need to harvest them all.
This onion is supposed to be good for storing
for just a few months,
so I may need to research another variety that can be stored long term.

Do you have any experience with onions for long term storage?
Have you heard of spooning?


  1. Onions are such an important staple. Good for you for experimenting and working out how to grow your own supply.

    I've never heard of spooning. The variety I grow, however (multipliers) seems to often grow partially above ground anyway. I'll have to watch the video.

    1. Yes, we use them all the time.

      Thanks for your input.

  2. Funny you discovered this recently because last year I came across this information. So I tried it last year on half of my crop. For me, I didn't see a difference between those that were spooned and those that weren't. I'm going to try it again this year too. We shall see. I have been cutting and freezing a lot of ours for winter storage because I have not yet discovered another good long-term storage option to work in our home. My husband built a huge food storage armoire for our basement so I'm hoping I'll be able to keep them in there. We have a few challenges with our dirt floor basement but I believe we can make it work!

    1. Good to know.

      A basement is such a blessing.

  3. I've never heard of spooning. I'll be interested in hearing about the results. Last year, my husband said we grew Red Candy onions, which stored well in our basement until April. I just used any that were starting to sprout first, but they did very well. Looking at the description, though, I don't think that's right, as our onions had some heat, weren't sweet, and Red Candy is only supposed to store 2 months. So, I guess I'm no help. :o)

    1. Maybe I’ll just take my chances with the walla walla variety and do more research over the winter.

      There’s always more to learn!


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