Survival Gardening–Multiply Your Onions

            One of the easiest vegetables to grow in your survival garden is onions, but not just any onions.  There are perennial onions that will multiply, and I’m most familiar with two of them.


            Yellow potato multiplier onions have a mild flavor and used to be an old time favorite.  The sets are best planted in the fall, but may need some covering in harsh winters.  Even if the tops freeze somewhat, they usually do well in the spring.  They produce several bulbs in a cluster that can be harvested when the plants die back in mid summer.  Mine have produced medium sized bulbs.  Save the largest ones for replanting around September.


            Egyptian walking onions get their name from top setting bulbs that plant themselves late in the season as the stalks die and bend over.  The brown edible bulb can be a little strong in flavor.  It grows below ground and is often small to medium.  To avoid the spreading of these onions, harvest the bulblets from the top and plant them where you want them in the fall.  If you miss any, you’ll see these onions come up in places you’d never expect.  I’ll bet they’d even do well if a few were accidentally dropped near some out of the way woods.


            Egyptian onions are incredibly hardy.  Mine have survived harsh conditions, and I’ve never failed to have any since growing my first ones several years ago.  I understand they’re hardy to USDA Zone 3.


            Unless you know a neighbor or friend who will give or sell you these onions, both are somewhat difficult to find through seed companies.  Both the yellow potato multiplier and Egyptian onions are available from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange.  Though I get nothing by referring you to them, they could truly be a significant crop to have in your survival garden, and I want to give you the opportunity to get some.  If you order, be advised that they won’t be shipped until September.


            If you have a comment about these or any other perennial onions, please share your experiences.



Author: John Wesley Smith

John Wesley Smith writes and podcasts from his home in Central Missouri. His goal is to help preppers as he continues along his own preparedness journey.