Onion Cultivation Question

I had a few onions that I left in the pantry a little too long. They sprouted so I decided to stick them in the ground to see what would happen. All three of them sent shoots up that have now bloomed into tight white flowers.

So what do I do now? Is there someway to turn these plants back into edible onions? Will it happen automatically in the fall, or do I have to harvest the seeds and plant them get onions?

Unlike the closely related garlic, onions seem to only be grown from seeds, at least judging from Wikipedia and my common sense interpretation of the form of bulbs they make.

Garlic has a bulb consisting of several cloves, and each clove can grow into a new garlic plant and form a new bulb.

An onion is a single bulb, so you couldn’t both get a harvest and replant for a new year.

Onions are really biennials; in the first year, they go from seeds to a bulb. In year two, they flower and produce seeds.

You can grow sets, but then you’re basically starting in year 2, I believe.

My guess is that ADM or somebody like that had their hands in the original onions you bought at the store, and as a result, the only way you are ever going to get any more onions is to buy new seeds from ADM. The ones produced by your plant will be sterile.

bump is the closest. Onions are biennial and will flower and seed the second year. ‘Sets’ aren’t second-year onions though, more like interrupted first-year. Onions require a certain number of hours of sunlight to direct energy into producing a bulb, so sets are onions that were planted late the previous year, harvested small, then replanted the next spring.

Probably not sterile, but possibly unwelcome. It has nothing to do with ADM, though. If the onion is a hybrid, it’s seeds will probably not produce the exact same kind of onion. It will, however, likely produce onions of some kind.

Even though they behave like biennials (storing food one year, then flowering the next), they’re often actually perennials - after (or in the same year as) flowering, they split into multiple smaller bulbs, or the original bulb decomposes as it produces offsets or bulbils - eventually forming a clump of bulbs.

Some cultivated varieties probably can’t do this because they have been bred to be very large and fleshy.

Most hybrids don’t breed true, that’s for sure. When volunteer tomato seeds sprout in our garden, they’re always some kind of cherry/grape tomato plant that isn’t half as productive as the hybrids. And we’ve never planted cherry tomatoes since we’ve lived in this house- mostly stuff like Celebrity and Roma.

My opinion on onions is that they’re not worth growing- even if you do it right, they taste exactly like an onion from the store, and you took up all that valuable garden space reproducing the same thing you could have bought for 10 cents at the store.

Better to save your garden space to grow things that don’t store or travel well, or that are picked considerably unripe (tomatoes) before being sent to the store.

Ahh, now you are venturing into my true love - tomatoes! I actually enjoy planting seed from hybrids because I like to discover the lines that went into making them. It combines two of my loves, gardening and science! I’ve grown the ‘Big Boy’ hybrid variety out to F4 and I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a cherry tomato out of it, but many hybrids do have cherries in order to get a “fruitier” flavor.

I’ve discovered a very good large pink tomato from the Big Boy line that I’m planning to continue to plant until I can get it to breed true, hoping that will happen around F6 or F7.

Help me out here…ADM?

ADM = Archer Daniels Midland, but he probably meant Monsanto. ADM doesn’t really deal with seeds that much.

I know a lot of people conflate the two because they are both evil big agriculture.

I “inherited” an onion plant a couple years ago. I planted it just to see what happens. Yeah, it sprouted a flower stalk, etc. But “it” is still alive in some sense. It produced a new bulb and is going again.

Note that the main types of onions form bulbs under different light cycles. Some need shortening days, others need lengthening day. This can affect when stalks are produced

You can cut off the stem of a blooming (!) onion and eat it. It just won’t keep.

I’d be happy if someone would breed an Early Blight resistant variety of any kind of tomato. That’s what kills our garden every year, without fail.

Its spores must blow on the wind- I’ve grown it in new containers and new potting soil, and still had my plants get it.