Alliums

The Allium family of plant includes onions, garlic, shallots, leeks, and scallions

The latin word allium literally means ‘garlic’. Alliums are herbaceous perennials with flowers produced on scapes, a flower stem.

Hardiness: Alliums can be grown in Zones 3 to 9, depending upon the species and the cultivar.

Alliums aren’t terribly picky: Most alliums grow in average garden soil and need full sun and good drainage. The drainage is critical because so many of the bulbs are large and will they will rot with too much moisture, especially when it won’t drain.

Otherwise, they are easy to grow and come back year after year with almost no maintenance. Occasionally, they need dividing after a few years, but that will only pertain to the alliums you do not harvest the roots of. (usually this would mean garlic and onion chives). One of the best things about alliums is that most animals, especially deer, find the taste unappealing and will not even nibble on their leaves.

Charles Dudley Warner said,

“In the onion is the hope of universal brotherhood; if everyone will eat onions at all times, they will come into a universal sympathy.”

And while all of us eating a diet heavy on the onion will not create world peace, it is possible to eat these strong tasting bulbs all year round as they do have a long shelf life. Some will keep longer than others. Short Day Onions or Long Day Onions? I hope the articles on growing garlic, onions, and the rest of the allium family make your choices easy to understand and help your grow these delicious, nutrient packed plants in your organic homestead garden!

While you’re ordering and planting garlic this fall, why not try some of the other fall-planted onion family members, including shallots, potato onions, walking onions, and elephant garlic (which is really a leek). Easy to grow, they will add even more flavors to your food.

  • Grow Garlic
    If you enjoy garlic but rely on your local grocer to supply your cloves you are missing out on true garlic flavor, quality, and the variety that comes with growing your own. Once you experience the taste treat of homegrown gourmet garlic, ordinary cloves just won’t do.

Want more information on how to grow garlic??

Growing Great Garlic: The Definitive Guide for Organic Gardeners and Small Farmers
Ron L. Engeland has made his living as an organic garlic grower in Washington State for nearly two decades. He has cultivated more than 450 strains from all over the world. If you want to grow incredible garlic for yourself, he’s the man to listen to. For those who thought that garlic was, well, just garlic, there are descriptions of the various kinds as well as fascinating history. Read More

Garlic Kisses : Human Struggles with Garlic Connections
Part memoir, part philosophy, part cookbook, all delight: Garlic Kisses offers
this gift: memories of a life of laughter and tears, seasoned with garlic and
tempered with hope. Read More
alliums

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