[Market-farming] Multiplier onions

Richard Moyer ramoyer at gmail.com
Thu Mar 10 16:14:18 EST 2011

We grow a couple of types of multiplier onions, so need more info from
you to be sure we are talking about the same one.
In my neck of the woods (Appalachian Highlands, mid-Atlantic),
'multiplier onions' usually means one of these two:  'potato onion' or
'Egyptian/Walking Onions'.  According to Southern Exposure Seed
Exchange (Central VA), shallots are also included in this group.  A
large potato onion, when fall planted, can split into 15 or more bulbs
of various sizes during the growing season.  Plant the smallest of
these and get large (2+ inch) bulbs the next season.  Plant the medium
and  large ones and these split and grow into small and medium sized

These onions keep extremely well (smaller and med better than large
ones), so we tend to fall plant the largest ones for next years crop,
eat the leftover large ones first during summer and fall, then the med
and small ones during winter and spring.  Through cultural methods,
primarily spacing, one can influence the size of bulbs harvested the
next season.

Please specify if this 'potato' onion' is the type of multiplier onion
you are talking about, or another.  Do yours bloom and set seed at the
top of the stalk?  Set small bulbs at the top of the stalk?  Or merely
multiply in the ground?

You mention 'seeds' and 'sets' in your question.  Are these one in the
same for your type of onion, or two different products?

Richard Moyer
Been harvesting salad mix in the rain, more snow on the way, so glad
to sit by the fire now!

> From: John Ehrlich <johnkaty at shaw.ca>
> To: Market Farming <market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Subject: [Market-farming] multiplier onions
> Message-ID: <1450AB4D-0285-41E6-A0EC-3868DD8C79A7 at shaw.ca>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
> I have been growing multiplier onions for a few years now and find they are
> a great crop for the CSA. I saved seed from last years crop, though the sets
> are not as large as the one's I have to buy each year.
> Does anyone else have experience with this crop?
> Thanks, John

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