Ideal Season: Cool and Warm
Sun: Full Sun/Partial Shade
Ideal Soil Type: Sandy Loam Soil
Ideal Temperature: 55-60°F (13-15°C)
Maturation Period: 45-60 Days
This was my first year growing onions. This beautiful onion is a hybrid, meaning it was cross pollinated between two different onion varieties.
What is Red Bunching Onion?
Red bunching onion is a beautiful hybrid plant that has a mild and slightly sweet flavor contrary to the less sweet and intense flavor and smell of a red onion.
This variety matures within 68 days, and can be grown from seed during the early spring for a summer harvest, or during the late summer for a fall or spring harvest (Harris Seeds, 2022). Personally, I started them in the late summer, and harvested them during the spring.
This plant is very hardy, managing well regardless of the weather. Even if your environment becomes too hot or too cold, the plant will lay dormant until the temperatures are satisfactory enough to continue growing. This plant thrives best between 55-60°F (13-15°C) (Harris Seeds 2022).
Planting and Transplanting Red Bunching Onion
When planting bunching onions, it is typically advised to plant them 12-inches apart when the temperature is within 55-60°F (13-15°C). Because I have a very small garden, I planted mine 6-inches apart. Even with a little crowding, I ended up with beautiful, healthy onions. You can also transplant them within this range of space.
I planted the onions in two areas: in my raised bed and in the ground. I treated my soil with Bumper Crop Soil Builder. Then, I watered the onions with my favorite Neptune’s Harvest Organic Fertilizer every two to three weeks.
Harvesting Red Bunching Onion
When harvesting red bunching onions, you will know when they are ready when the green stalks are at least 12-inches tall from the ground, or taller. The flavor and texture is best before they begin to flower, but flowering will not change the taste too much. I collected the onions by hand, carefully pulling them from the ground at the bulb and not by the stalk.
Pests and Diseases
Fortunately, I have not had any issues with pests or diseases this year, but some of the most common pests are worms, which may borrow into the bulbs, producing holes. The most common disease is rink root rot, which causes the onion stalks to dehydrate and turn yellow. Infected plants have to be removed and destroyed.
Boy, is this plant hardy! Just when I thought they would all die earlier in the winter, I ended up with extremely healthy onions that flooded my eye like an ocean after I began chopping them up.
Notice the beautiful reddish purple color, and the healthy stems! I got several uses out of them, throwing them raw into salads or cooked up in stews, salmon teriyaki, and sautéed vegetables.
I managed to grow healthy onions both in my raised harden bed and in the ground. I will sometimes pull all of the bunches from the ground, but you can also pull an onion one bulb at a time.
Eating Red Bunching Onion
The flavor is more robust and complex than a typical red onion or bunching onion (scallion) that you would purchase at an American grocery store. The taste is sharp, yet not overpowering. The younger plants are milder in taste, while the older plants are full-bodied with a hint of bitterness.
I found that the younger plants taste better when used to make Asian inspired dishes such as stir fry and teriyaki, while the older plants are better suited for sautéed vegetables, sauces, roasts, and stews.
Harris Seeds, (2022). Red Bunching Onion. Retrieved from https://www.harrisseeds.com/products/12197-onion-red-bunching-f1?variant=35441573265480
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