Allium seed

Tue, 12 Jun 2018 11:00:09 PDT
We plant edible alliums in the autumn in the Pacific Northwest so they grow
slowly all winter and are ready the next summer, out of the ground and dried in
the sun before they bloom, with the soil composted again and ready for the
autumn and over-winter veggie crops (crucifers, chard, mustard greens, etc.) You
can plant edible alliums in early spring as well to harvest later in the year
... advantage of their preference for cool mild climate. 
You really see the shorter response time in old variety leeks, grown from seed
and planted very early in the spring ... they can respond like annuals if you
get a sudden warm spell in March. They go to flower before they really develop
that plump stem we rely on for eating... which is why veggie gardeners feed
leeks with a nitrogen rich fertilizer in early spring: it suppresses the
annualizing response of flowering and encourages more green growth. Yet we rely
on that flowering response in garlic bulbs... the scapes are an early "2nd
harvest" so valued in European cuisine. I've found growing edible onions and
leeks from seed can be frustrating as many varieties have very low fertility due
to the long practice of cloning rather than planting from seed ... so more that
than short storage life. Don't know about fertility rates in ornamentals.
Elephant garlic is actually a type of leek.
Jo Canning
Vancouver Island

-----Original Message-----
From: pbs <> On Behalf Of Jack and Val
Sent: Tuesday, June 12, 2018 6:22 AM
To: Pacific Bulb Society <>
Subject: Re: [pbs] Allium seed

The onions that we eat are biennials, I believe, and should flower the second
year.  Over wintering often results in making the period to flowering shorter.
I've also been told that these seeds are only viable for about 1 year.  The
North American Rock Garden Society lists many ornamental alliums in its seed
By the way, one of the gardens at UC Davis uses elephant garlic as a flowering

California in the Sierra Foothills.  Zone 8 On Jun 12, 2018, at 3:59 AM, David
Pilling <> wrote:

> Hi,
> On 12/06/2018 04:38, Linda M Foulis wrote:
>> I'm looking for seed of the more common alliums.  Allium obliquum is 
>> first on my list of wants.  My seed was too old and nothing germinated sadly.
>> I'm also looking for A. flavum, A. karataviense, A. oreophilum, A.
>> paniculatum, and A. sphaerocephalon.
> It is possible to grow onions from seed and get a crop inside six months - I
wonder if any Alliums can be flowered that quickly.
> I grew Allium cristophii from seed and it took of the order of five years.
> --
> David Pilling
> _______________________________________________
> pbs mailing list

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