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Old March 30, 2016   #16
bower
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Someone bought and shared a box of long shaped red skinned shallots last year. Really nice mild taste, and they kept great too just sitting on the counter.
Should've tried planting one... they were good.
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Old March 30, 2016   #17
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I thought shallots would be mild too. I bought one, sauteed it in butter, and was later seen running for the Tums. Lots of Tums.
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Old March 31, 2016   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilaGardener View Post
My Green Mountain Potato Onions are already up in my PA garden (along with my garlic). I tend to get nests of 3-4 bulbs per bulb planted. They aren't huge but do keep well - I'm still enjoying last year's crop.

I have no idea how they would do in a tropical climate, however.


Green Mountain Potato Onions are what I've been considering to plant this fall, appreciate hearing of your positive experience with them.
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Old March 31, 2016   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Worth1 View Post
I was waiting for more people to post and nothing.
I wish someone would chime in and say something.
Before that happens I guess I will put my two cents in.
Just about the time I thought I had onions figured out I find out there is a perennial onion family.
Shallots are subgroup of them.
I have yet to find any real good information on them.

Worth
Worth, while I guess I should begin by saying that there are no doubt many excellent sources of fine potato onions, and you should evaluate them all, I'd suggest that if you're looking for information on potato onions, it's sure worth looking into what an innovative home gardener named Kelly Winterton has done with them and written about them in recent years.

That link PNW_D posted is one link to some of Winterton's information. I posted a couple of others over at idig (idigmygarden.com for any who don't know), in the Trading Bazaar section -- early January of this year, responding to someone who was looking for potato onions.

I think that one link I posted there is a later version or continuation of what PNW posted -- I *think* it is a link to Winterton's 2013/2014/2015 online potato onion journal, while I think the one posted here ends in 2013. And I believe that one contains information about colors and flavors of what he considers the best of his current potato onion selections. Also has info about growth patterns -- ie one follows the large bulb produces nest of small bulbs -- small bulb produces one large bulb pattern mentioned in this thread. Others produce nests of about __ bulbs each generation.

Winterton sells his excess starter onions and seeds, but with the distribution policies he encourages, I'm sure his potato onions will become more available in coming years from those just sharing their excess without charge. I plan to share a few myself if I can get my stock a little better established. So even if you don't want to buy some from Winterton it's worth reading his online journals and watching for onion-children resulting from his efforts.

He doesn't produce commercially, but, beginning with his development of Green Mountain, he's worked on potato onions for some years in his own garden. In the fall he sells very small amounts to those interested, just enough to let gardeners get a start multiply these to meet their own needs -- limiting the quantity because he has limited growing area, so thinks it better to distribute starter stock as widely as he can.

He also sells seed for them, available year round, I think, if he doesn't run out, which might be a route for Canadians to explore. I'm not sure whether he can send seed to Canada or not, but perhaps.

I believe he'd consider it fair use to quote this little bit from one of the links I put at idig, about his potato onion seeds. As you can see from this extract, and from his other written material, his objective is not to hoard his potato onion improvements to himself, but to encourage as many as possible to join his efforts to help revive potato onions of old fashioned quality and variety.

"True seeds (these seeds have been collected from my “Mountain series” of bulbs) - Each seed is like an F2 generation, with no two seeds being exactly alike. (Kind of like a snowflake!) True seeds are the first step in growing and trialing a new selection. This is perhaps the only legal way for new selections of Potato Onions to get into other countries because of the restrictions and regulations prohibiting the shipping of live bulbs. If you grow a seed to select a new variety, you could name it after yourself because it will be different from my varieties that I have selected. This is really not that difficult to do, and you might find yourself a new hobby! You can then be a part of the “resurrection” of the popularity of Potato Onions. "

There is *much* more about this in his online journals and website links. While he does sell potato onion seed he's produced, he also encourages anyone who gets blooms from starter bulbs to save and grow the seed themselves, as well -- and to distribute any good seed or starter onions as widely as they wish. As I understand it, he believes that growing a potato onion generation from seed (rather than cloning) may produce healthier stock, and also let gardeners access genetic potential that was unexpressed through the many recent generations of potato onion reproduction by cloning.

I believe he's done considerable consultation with European growers and academics interested in shallot and potato onions -- possibly with experts from other regions, as well.

My impression is that he's about concluded that the same factors that make onions/shallots have a strong flavor make them good keepers, and that, in general, the milder tasting ones don't keep as well. But I believe he's working on that and may have some varieties he's working with that have milder flavor that also keep fairly well.

Having been so enthusiastic about his potato onions, perhaps I should make clear that I have no connection of any kind with Winterton at all, except that I think highly of his published records of his potato onion development efforts and have grown encouraging offspring of a few onions I bought from him for a few years now -- though I've not yet multiplied my stock enough to use many of them -- hope to reach that point this year -- voles permitting.

I'm mainly grown his Green Mountain potato onions, and am trying to get a start with his Dakota Red's, too -- though those haven't been through the selection process that his 'mountain' series potato onions have.

But the Green Mountains do fine here, in north central Wyoming . . . and we're certainly not anything close to tropical. [g]

Puzzled PostScript: I was trying to minimize link posting by referencing the post over at idig -- but the url there that I thought was a link to Winterton's 2013/2014/2015 online potato onion journal seems to be just a list of the selections he was offering last autumn. That's still interesting as it gives descriptions of those selections, for future reference, but there *was* a link with the journal for those years -- I have a saved copy of that journal info, and saved that URL with my saved copy. Perhaps he's editing his content and changing things around. If I have time to hunt for the proper link for his journal for those years I'll post again -- but I didn't want to leave this pointing people to a journal that, as best I can tell, isn't where I thought it was. :\

---

Possibly less Puzzled Postscript: If you search with google or another search engine for:

Potato Onion Gardening Journal 2013/2014/2015

you should get to Kelly Winterton's website page that deals with potato onions.
that currently has links to the journal up to 2013 (mentioned in PNW_D's post), to the 2013/2014/2015 journals (which I mentioned above), and to the newly started 2016 journal. Plus lots of other info.

Last edited by JLJ_; March 31, 2016 at 01:31 PM.
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Old March 31, 2016   #20
ChiliPeppa
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SkillCult is awesome and knowledgeable and he has several videos on YouTube a couple of which are about his potato onions. I purchased my Green Mountain and I'itoi from him and he has been very friendly and helpful.
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Old April 1, 2016   #21
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JLJ_ I too have read Kelly's journals Ned found them to be very good reads. I have not grown his onions. I did get some seed form someone who got seed from him. His work is great and it's really cool too because he is not a breeder or at least wasn't when he got seed. He is just a backyard gardener. Highly recommended reading his journal as well.


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Old April 1, 2016   #22
Kazedwards
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Default Yellow Potato Onions?

Here is the link for his booklet on google docs
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1jnqst7-9YfWFovhqjARtcZZVJC0TPzKsow_5mdAwnyA/mobilebasic?hl=en_US&pli=1

At the bottom of the above link is a link to his 13/14/15 journals
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Old April 1, 2016   #23
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I grow two small but very hardy multiplier onions. One is yellow, given to me by Hmong gardeners about 10 years ago. It forms clusters of 3-8 bulbs. I don't have much stock for those yet, since they were nearly lost when my garden flooded in 2014, and I am still rebuilding their numbers.

The other onion showed up as a sport in my hardy yellow multipliers about 6-7 years ago, and has slightly smaller bulbs (about 1") with pinkish skins & light purple flesh. I named it Hmong Pink, after the source for the yellow multipliers. They have proven to be more tolerant of wet soil, and had much better survival in 2014 than the yellow multipliers. They may have originated from a Catawissa seedling, which would explain the hardiness, and the flesh color. They form nests of 4-10 small onions depending upon: the size planted; when planted (spring or fall); and the weather. The foliage is very delicate, 6-8" tall & about twice the width of chives... they are wonderful grown in pots for winter green onions.

This onion is both very winter hardy & long storing, so it can be Spring or Fall planted in my Northern Zone 5 climate. I still have a bag which I keep as a backup to the Fall planting, and the bulbs (harvested last August) show no sign of shrinkage. I could send out a few samples, PM me if interested.

Incidentally, when I plant multipliers in the Fall, I get more & larger bulbs than I do if Spring planted. If planted in Summer (during long days) the clusters will divide heavily, but produce only tiny bulbs, or none at all. Only Fall planted bulbs will flower, and even then not every year.

I have been reading of Kelly Winterton's potato onion program for several years now, and will probably order seeds next year... perhaps to cross with mine.

Last edited by Zeedman; April 1, 2016 at 05:46 PM.
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Old April 2, 2016   #24
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Tormato:My climate here in the Philippines was something that did concern me,so I was glad to read the post by ilex stating that they (or certain varieties at least) might do well in my environment.Especially short day length or day neutral I would think.

Worth!:Thanks for the link.I would probably head to the produce section if I had one available.I would send my Sis,but she wouldn't know what to look for.

ChiliPeppa:I am going to be very interested to hear how your onions do for you.Interested to hear how you came upon I'itoi as well.

PNW D: That is quite an interesting link.I sooo wish I had found it sooner.A day late and a dollar short needs to b my new motto. Ha ha.

JLJ: I sure hope you are right about more potato onions becoming available.I am having a terrible time finding anything.Many seed sites only ship in the fall.That doesn't help me at all..

Zeedman: Those onions given to you by the Hmong gardeners may well be a real treasure.Guard them with your life.



Before I head over to look for some on Ebay..is there anywhere in particular that has bulbs (or seeds even) available for sale that anyone might recommend?I tried the link provided,but even the seed is sold out.I am in a bit of a pinch time wise after having been down with a health issue for a while,because the Sis is sending us some staples in just a week or so.

I very much appreciate the informative responses from everyone.
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Old April 2, 2016   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tormato View Post
They keep well, 6 months or more. I don't know how they'd do in your climate.

Here, they're planted about October 1st, have about 6" of green growth, get frozen and covered with snow in the winter, grow again in the spring and are harvested in July. A small bulb planted will generally produce one large bulb the next year, and a large bulb planted generally produces many small bulbs the next year.
My dad grows potato onions each year. Just plants the largest bulbs from the previous harvest each fall. Some years he just leaves them in the ground by mistake and in the summer ends up with more onions in the wrong spot. I think he plants earlier than you Tormato. More like September.
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Old April 2, 2016   #26
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Tropicalgrower, I found I'toi onions by searching around on the net reading about perennial onions. They grow well in my southwest environment, are extremely prolific, very tasty, and I'll always have onions Among the several different onions I'm trying out, I'm also growing a topsetting onion that looks beautiful and supposedly tastes lovely (haven't tried one yet).
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Old April 2, 2016   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiliPeppa View Post
Tropicalgrower, I found I'toi onions by searching around on the net reading about perennial onions. They grow well in my southwest environment, are extremely prolific, very tasty, and I'll always have onions Among the several different onions I'm trying out, I'm also growing a topsetting onion that looks beautiful and supposedly tastes lovely (haven't tried one yet).
I found a retailer for the I'toi,but of course they are sold out. Maybe if my memory doesn't completely fail me,I can order when they are available again.

Oh..forgot to list the retailer as Native Seed Search.Is this where you got yours ChiliPeppa?

http://shop.nativeseeds.org/collecti.../products/b001

All you other folks,don't go and buy them all ahead of me..ok?
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Old April 2, 2016   #28
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Originally Posted by Tropicalgrower View Post
I found a retailer for the I'toi,but of course they are sold out. Maybe if my memory doesn't completely fail me,I can order when they are available again.

Oh..forgot to list the retailer as Native Seed Search.Is this where you got yours ChiliPeppa?

http://shop.nativeseeds.org/collecti.../products/b001

All you other folks,don't go and buy them all ahead of me..ok?
I have looked for stuff like this before, you have to get up before the chickens to buy it or it will be sold out.
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Old April 2, 2016   #29
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Tropicalgrower, I replied to your PM. I got my I'itoi from SkillCult, but I think you need to wait until harvest. I have A LOT, and when I harvest and cure them I will have enough to share. Just one tiny bulb will make about 20-30 so...not to worry.
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Old April 2, 2016   #30
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Originally Posted by ChiliPeppa View Post
Tropicalgrower, I replied to your PM. I got my I'itoi from SkillCult, but I think you need to wait until harvest. I have A LOT, and when I harvest and cure them I will have enough to share. Just one tiny bulb will make about 20-30 so...not to worry.

Trop wipes the sweat from his forehead and exclaims:


Awe

Some.

Muy appreciado.

I pm'd you to see if you got yours from Native Seeds..glad I did now. the I'toi sounds like that might be a good one for me here.
Also zeedman was kind enough to offer me a few to try as well...I feel sooo much better now.

Thanks to you both for the generosity.
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