Let’s meet the Allium family.

🌿 Annual plant that begins, grows, is harvested and dies down every year.
🌿 Common vegetable alliums have edible bulbs and leaves.
🌿 Some reproduce from seed and some multiply at the base.
🌿 long stalkless leaves that grow from a swelling bulb at the base.

The alliums in our vegetable gardens are oniony, enjoy cool climates, are disliked by most pests, handy in the kitchen and mostly easy to grow.

Most alliums found in vegetable gardens are grown from seed – brown and salad onions, shallots, scallions (spring onions) and leeks (cheeky chives have a bet each way – more on them another time). They are lovely and worth experimenting with, but hardly ever grown in our garden here because we prefer super easy Level Zero vegies and have found our favourites already, GARLIC and WALKING ONIONS. Neither require pollination, nor seed collecting, and you can easily get a hold of starter bulbs at the super. Find out more, here. If we dabble in something though, we will share them with you.

TOP SNEAKY TIP: If you find an onion in a market that you really like, chances are it is grown from seed. Be sure it has roots, take a few home, plant them halfway up the bulb in any spare space you have, and let them keep growing until they go to seed. You’ll get a pretty white flower head, that dies off to brown. Bag the sead heads and when dry, little black seeds will be left to plant in winter or early Spring. Have a crack 🧅✨

Alliums are in the Amaryllidaceae family – distant relatives of the lily and asparagus families. They are monoecious, flowering herbaceous annual or biennial monocots, originating in Asia but long since traded and naturalised globally. The name Allium is the Latin word for garlic.

Look wide, grow well, folks. 🌿