Friday, October 21, 2011

Aussie Brown Onion Life-Cycle

The first time we attempted to grow onion from seeds is Aussie brown onion variety in the middle of last year. Aussie brown onion is a late-variety onion. Although onion takes a long time to grow, fresh home-grown brown onion tasted sweet. Aussie brown onion seeds sowed mid-winter will be ready to harvest some time in February. Since it took so long to wait for it to ready to harvest, I forgot about them and some of them had to be used quickly when I realised it was past the correct time to harvest them.
Aussie brown onion seedlings.
Unfortunately the first time we tried growing onion from seeds, we did not have any space to grow them (wrong planning on my side). So we had to try growing them in shallow containers. Because onion took it own sweet time to grow, we inter-planted onion with Asian leafy greens for productivity.
Our first time growing brown onion in container was not that much of a success but can't say that it failed as well. Harvested onions size were in the range of medium~small. There are still improvement I need to make towards my attitude towards onion. I usually leave all allium in neglect after I transplanted them. I think it would be better that if I sowed onion seeds earlier and transplant them as soon as possible. This year is revenge, hopefully we have much better onion harvest early next year.  
I did not intend to collect Aussie brown onion seeds. But I always forget the existence of 2 Aussie brown onion left growing in the container over winter. This spring season, these plants started to flower and hungry bees were happy that I been forgetting what grows in the garden. I found it was interesting to watch the stages of Aussie brown onion flower development from bud to full bloom , click to link. 
Aussie brown onion seeds. It takes more than a year from sowing to seeds.
Planning to collect any seeds this month?


Mr. H. said...

The bees sure do love onion flowers don't they. We will be saving some echinacea seed today...if it doesn't rain.

Mark Willis said...

We use so many onions that even if I used the whole of my garden for growing them we wouldn't be self-sufficient! Maybe I'll try some Spring Onions next year - they take up less space!

tina said...

They look like happy seedlings!

Jody said...

How great that you were surprised by such a beautiful flower and seeds for sewing. We haven't saved seeds yet, but we'll begin next year by saving garlic bulbs. Little by little we hope to get better at this aspect of gardening.

cooking varieties (wan) said...

reading your post on this brown aussie onions reminds me of some of my over aged onions,where i put them in the fridge to prolong their lives. Then the shoots will grow, after which i planted them in the soil and harvest spring onions.. not much, but its handy.
i am sure and i can feel the fun you go through, when you have plenty of harvests..

cathy@home said...

Something I would love to grow have to start planting

Cat-from-Sydney said...

MKG dear,
Do you know that onion is poisonous to cats? That's why Mama doesn't feed us table scraps. purrr...meow!

Patricia said...

Lovely photos, as always. I love to watch onions flower and go to seed. I had very good luck with leek seeds once.

Hazel said...

I planted a lot of onions...I think at the wrong time, but the red ones are forming bulbs nicely now. What do sort of mix do you put in your containers? I have been collecting polystyrene boxes and want to have a go at container have inspired me!

Gardener on Sherlock Street said...

I tried onions from seed for the first time this year. They didn't get very big for me but I learned a few things. Once autumn came, some seeds sprouted that hadn't in the spring. I'm not sure if I should leave them as our winters get very cold or what. Next year, I need to start earlier!

Liz said...

Its good to see they do eventually form bulbs - I still have a few in, in between the tomato plants, perhaps I'll leave them to see what happens - I have been eating most of them as Spring onions but perhaps I'll stop - I would be quite excited to have grown an onion! Regarding seeds heaps in my garden is going to seed, I'm hoping the chervil and parsley will self seed saving me some work and I really need watercress & coriander seed so that I will save.

littlekarstar said...

The flowers are beautiful aren't they!

I have to start collecting the same containers they are working fabulously for you!

Wendy said...

a great picture of the whole life cycle! Your veggies always looks so great.

Sue Garrett said...

Must admit we always grow onions from sets but have thought about trying seeds - maybe!

rainfield61 said...

There is another one who likes Aussie brown onion very much.

It bangs its head onto the flowers.

lena said...

i didnt know it takes so long for these brown onions to seeding stage..

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Mr. H~ I have not tried growing echinacea yet. It is a pretty plant and useful too. Hope the weather permits at your place for harvesting seeds.

Mark~I agree it will be not enough for onion if we use all the space at our place too.

Tina~ It looks like each of the seedlings have different characters like siblings.

Jody~Good Luck with garlic cloves saving. A good start to save seeds as with garlic it is much easier.

Wan~That is a good way to have fresh spring onion for your cooking!

Cathy~Good Luck with onion growing!

Cat-from-Sydney~ But Tom like to trample on our onions;-).

Patricia~Yes I remember your leek saving post.

Hazel~I just use normal potting mix. But to save gardening cost, the bottom of the container, we fill 2/3 of the container with green waste and top it with potting mix later. Have to make sure to really compact them though. because after the waste turn into compost the soil will sink into half of the previous soil height. I observed that our plants are much healthier growing in this mix rather than just using potting mix. We get lots of free worm as well and retain more moisture which is much really needed for our dry summer here.

Gardener on Sherlock Street~I find that growing onion a bit tricky with having early,mid and late season variety. I guess sowing time is one of the factors to be aware with growing onions.

Liz~It will be fun to watch your onion bulb. Same here I am hoping some of our herbs to self-seed as well. It certainly save some work.

Mrs Bok~Containers can be move around. It will be easy to move which place is suitable to grow during summer.

Wendy~I am still a novice at growing onion;-).

Sue~I think growing onion from sets are much easier. Growing onion from seeds is challenging for me. Sets are much hardy than seeds.

Rainfield61~ That mate must be drunk with to much won't be allowed to drive;-).