Organic Emily

Harvesting Onion Seeds

Green Onion in Bloom

This week in the garden I am harvesting my scallion seeds planted from last fall.  All onions among other vegetables like carrots, parsley, Swiss chard, kale and beets to name a few, produce seed their second year.  They are considered biannual.  If these plants produce seed in their first year discard them, for they are not viable.  In order to save seeds every year, try planting a fall crop of these varieties and allow to grow and go to seed in the early summer the following year.  Replant again in the beginning of August and start again!  The seed saving process is very simple.  As you can see from the picture above, my sweet little honey bee is collecting pollen from the blossom.  I had bees all over my onion blossoms this year!  They loved them!  Once the flower starts to dry it will produce seeds within the head.

Onion Seeds

In the picture above you can see the flower head dry and starting to open to release little black seeds.  When you can see the seeds clearly it is time to harvest.

Onion Seeds 2

On a glass plate gently tap the picked dry flower head to loosen the seeds.  They will come out easily.  Allow the flower head to sit on the counter overnight.  In the morning you will notice more pods opening up to release more seeds.  Grow more scallions from seed again in the fall or share with friends.  Store in parchment envelopes or wax paper for later use.  Keep the seeds in a dry, dark cool place.

Emily Saddler

Emily is a Master Gardener, wife of a professional landscape contractor, homeschool mom of 7 awesome kids, yoga/pilates instructor, a clinical and master herbalist, licensed massage therapist and soon to be traditional naturopath. She is a very passionate advocate of organic home-grown food! Emily maintains a blog called “The Organic Suburban Farm Girl” where she shares gardening advice, delicious recipes made with fresh, organic ingredients, herbal and natural home care product recipes and loves teaching classes on gardening, plant identification and herbal remedy workshops. Check out the events and classes page for more info.


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