Plant Talk

Exploring the science of plants, from the field to the lab

Mighty Onions: Part II

Posted in Gardening Tips on April 8 2014, by Sonia Uyterhoeven

Sonia Uyterhoeven is the NYBG’s Gardener for Public Education.


onions Allium GreenmarketLast week we discussed different onion varieties and explored several ways to prevent the tears from flowing once these spicy bulbs go under the knife. This week, we’re switching gears to discuss planting techniques and focus on successfully growing our onions this season.

This is the time of year that I start heading down to the farmer’s market in search of onion transplants, which are generally sold in a small, 2-inch pot—all crammed in together. They need to be thinned as well as planted. Once I get into the garden, I take the mass out of the pot and drop it to the ground, letting the root ball shatter and the minuscule transplants separate from each other. With a trowel held like a dagger in one hand and the transplants in the other, I stab the ground and place them 1 – 2 inches deep and an inch apart. In less than a month you will be pulling them up and tossing them into your salad.

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Follow Your Nose: One Last Weekend of Sweet and Stinky!

Posted in Around the Garden, Programs and Events, Video on July 19 2012, by Matt Newman

Skip your morning affair with the everything bagel and get to the root of summer’s freshest garlic and onions! As Assistant Manager of the Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden, Annie Novak’s got a direct line to the most basic of foodie cravings–a knack for not only raising all things allium, but putting them through their paces in the kitchen. So if you happen to catch a whiff of this pungent pair as you wander the NYBG between now and the end of the month, simply “follow your nose” to our Sweet and Stinky events.

That’s just what we were doing when we found Annie hard at work in the Family Garden yesterday, tending to the herbs and alliums that star in this flavorful summertime activity. But she can explain the fun of Sweet and Stinky far better than I can, as you’ll see below. Just think of it as a double whammy: you’ll have something to engage your kids while they’re out of school, and they’ll be trying new things in our one-acre vegetable garden to boot.

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