Onion, Celery & Carrot

I think this group is spectacular with the spikes of onion foliage, the leafy green of celery and the ferny tops of carrot. Add some summer savory and chamomile, simply gorgeous.

 Anything onion is a beautiful plant. The family includes scallions or bunching onions, shallots, garlic, bulb onions, leeks and chives. We have decided to grow chives in their own container. We have planted bunching onions with our lettuce. Leeks are so beautiful when they flower I can never bring myself to harvest them and they will come up year after year.

 Bulb onions take some planning based on day length. Long-day onions are planted in early spring for summer harvest in the north. Short-day onions are planted in the fall for spring harvest in southern climates. Mid-day day onions can be grown either north or south. Bulb onions can be started from seed 8 weeks before your last frost date. Considering that they are ready to harvest in 90-100 days there is an opportunity here for more than one crop. Bulb onion sets can also be purchased. These are small dry onions that make up quicker than seed. Onion sets are however more costly and often don’t offer the variety available as seed. Garlic and shallots are always purchased as little bulbs. All should be planted 3-4 inches apart in a container with a depth of 12 inches. Harvest onions once the green tops have turned brown and flattened to the ground. Once dug up it is recommended that they be allowed to dry on top of the soil for a few days before they are cleaned and stored inside.

 Bunching onions can be sown direct but as we have discussed earlier starting small batches every two weeks under lights creates many successive sowings throughout the entire growing season.

Leeks are a little tricky. They often need advanced into a larger container before setting them out in their permanent position. They should be planted in a six-inch deep hole and the hole gradually filled in as the plant grows.

 Leafy celery rather than stalk celery should simply be grown as an herb. It produces all summer, is perennial in most climates and is quite beautiful. And you definitely want to include summer savory and chamomile in this collection. They are essential companions.

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