Green onions are a really fun item for your garden. If done right, you won’t need to buy them from the store ever again.
What is a Green Onion?
Probably don’t need to explain this, but green onions are those stalky onions that you primarily eat just the green part of. They’re also known as scallions and chives.
Saving Your Green Onions
Since you’re only using the green part anyway, don’t throw away the white part. Instead, either plant it or stick it in a glass of water. In water, they actually grow insanely fast.
The best approach is to put them in a glass of water in a window sill. This will give them more energy to grow even faster.
Water versus Dirt
Personally, I have had more success putting the onions in dirt. They only require a couple inches of soil to grow. Additionally, they don’t require water that often, and they’re frost tolerant.
I’ve found that my green onions in water have a limited lifespan of a couple months. In water, I’ll get 1-2 extra chive stalks from the regrowth.
However, this limitation for the green onions might also be for a couple reasons that aren’t the onions’ fault. For example, I don’t fertilize anything that is in water glasses on my window sill. I had a bad experience with fertilizer and decided not not do that anymore with plants in water until I know more.
Additionally, I probably don’t have the best regiment for refreshing the water glasses, so the plants may run out of nutrients or be prone to disease from stale water.
On the flip side, I have basically ignored the green onions I planted outdoors in a covered planter. They have given me 4-5 extra harvests since the Fall with minimal effort.
Indoors Versus Outdoors
The other consideration is whether you plant your green onions indoors or outdoors. I have both and I haven’t noticed a difference in outcome. Since my outdoor ones have been there since September, I can verify that they are cold tolerant plants. However, I do keep them covered so they don’t get the full frost.
On the other hand, they don’t love the heat of summer as much as some plants do. If it gets too hot, they could flower early and you won’t get anymore growth out of them. To fight that, keep them shaded in the summer, and keep some sort of mulch on top of the soil to prevent too much moisture loss.
The bad parts of growing indoors are space and pests. Anything planted in dirt will, at some point, give you gnats. You can take a lot of steps to reduce the likelihood of them, but they have a way of always showing up.
Next time you buy a bunch of green onions from the store, don’t throw away the scraps. Instead, put them in a pot of soil or a glass of water so you can get free chives in a week or two. Then, get another set of free green onions a couple weeks after that, and so on.
Hopefully I’ve helped you never again buy scallions from the store. And, yes, it is as easy as this article makes it out to be. I initially did this with no research or knowledge, and it worked.