My Mother-in-law gave us a bag of a dozen small onion bulbs. She called them winter onions. We did not have any luck with our onions this past year, but that is another story. We had never heard of winter onions before, so we set out researching these things on the internet. What I read about these little gems make them seem to be rather amazing little plants.
As it turns out, the little bulbs she gave us are called bulbets. They grow out from the top of the little green onion stalks that grow up out of the ground from the onion bulb. From the looks of the ones we were given, you get one to four bulbets in little bunches.
If left alone in the wild, winter onions will grow the bulbets on the top of the stalks. As the bulbets get larger and heavier the stalks bend until the bulbets reach the ground. The next year, these bulbets become the bulbs for a new plant. It is for this reason, winter onions are also called walking onions, or Egyptian onions (they walk like Egyptians).
This makes these onions perfect for survivalists. Every year you get new bulbs to plant onions for the next year.
More From the Winter Onion Series:
Our First Winter Onions
Winter Onions – 4 Month Update
Winter Onions – 5 Month Update (Comparison to Annual Onion Sets)
Winter Onions – 6 Month Update
Harvesting and Curing Onions
Winter Onions – One Year Update