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The Benefits of Planting Egyptian Walking Onion Companion Plants

egyptian walking onion companion plants

Egyptian Walking Onion Companion Plants:

If you're looking for a low-maintenance and versatile plant to add to your garden, consider planting Egyptian walking onions. These unique plants are also known as tree onions or topsetting onions and produce edible bulbs, leaves, and stalks. But did you know that planting them with certain companion plants can increase their yield and health? In this article, we'll explore the benefits of Egyptian walking onion companion plants and how to grow them successfully.

What are Egyptian Walking Onions?

Egyptian walking onions (Allium cepa var. proliferum) are perennial plants that belong to the onion family. They're called "walking" onions because they produce small bulblets at the top of their stems instead of flowers. When these bulblets become heavy enough, they cause the stem to bend downwards, allowing them to touch the soil and root themselves. This process repeats, causing the plant to "walk" across your garden. Egyptian walking onions have a unique flavor that's milder and sweeter than regular onions.

Benefits of Companion Planting with Egyptian Walking Onions

Companion planting is the practice of growing different plants together to create a mutually beneficial environment. When you plant Egyptian walking onions with certain companion plants, you can increase their productivity, reduce pest problems, and improve soil health. Here are some benefits of companion planting with Egyptian walking onions:

1. Attract Beneficial Insects

Egyptian walking onions are pollinated by bees and other beneficial insects. By planting them with flowers such as marigolds, calendula, or borage, you can attract these insects to your garden, which will help pollinate your onions and other plants.

2. Repel Pests

Egyptian walking onions contain sulfur compounds that repel many common insect pests such as aphids, spider mites, and onion maggots. Planting them with herbs such as thyme, sage, or mint can further deter pests from your garden.

3. Increase Soil Health

Egyptian walking onions are excellent at absorbing nutrients from the soil, but they also release them back into the soil when they decompose. This makes them ideal for planting with nitrogen-fixing plants such as beans, peas, or clover. These plants take nitrogen from the air and convert it into a form that other plants can use, which improves soil health and fertility.

4. Provide Shade

Egyptian walking onions can grow up to 4 feet tall and have long, strappy leaves. By planting them with taller plants such as tomatoes or corn, you can provide shade and reduce water evaporation from the soil. This can help conserve moisture and keep your garden cooler during hot summer months.

5. Increase Yield

Companion planting with Egyptian walking onions can increase their yield by providing them with the right environment. For example, planting them with carrots, beets, or radishes can help break up compacted soil and improve drainage, which can lead to larger bulbs.

How to Grow Egyptian Walking Onions

Now that you know the benefits of companion planting with Egyptian walking onions, let's look at how to grow them successfully. Here are some tips:

1. Choose a Sunny Location

Egyptian walking onions require full sun to grow well. Choose a location in your garden that receives at least 6-8 hours of sunlight per day.

2. Plant Bulblets in the Spring

Bulblets from Egyptian walking onions can be planted in the spring as soon as the soil can be worked. Plant them 1-2 inches deep and 4-6 inches apart, with the bottom of the bulblet facing downwards.

3. Water Regularly

Egyptian walking onions prefer well-drained soil but require regular watering to grow well. Water deeply once a week, especially during dry spells.

4. Mulch to Conserve Moisture

Mulching around your Egyptian walking onions can help conserve moisture and suppress weeds. Use organic materials such as straw or leaves and apply a layer 2-3 inches thick.

5. Harvest at the Right Time

Egyptian walking onions can be harvested throughout the growing season, but the best time is when the stalks begin to fall over and the bulblets are mature. This usually happens in late summer or early fall. You can also harvest the leaves and stalks for cooking throughout the season.

FAQs

1. Can I plant Egyptian walking onions with other types of onions?

Yes, you can plant Egyptian walking onions with other types of onions, but they may compete for nutrients and space. It's best to give them plenty of room and avoid planting them too close together.

2. Do Egyptian walking onions need fertilizer?

Egyptian walking onions don't require fertilizer, but they benefit from organic matter such as compost or aged manure. Apply a thin layer around the plants in the spring and fall.

3. Can I divide Egyptian walking onions?

Yes, you can divide Egyptian walking onions by separating the bulblets from the mother plant and replanting them. This is best in the fall or early spring.

4. How do I store Egyptian walking onions?

Egyptian walking onions can be stored like regular onions. After harvesting, dry them in a warm, well-ventilated area for several weeks until the tops are completely dry. Then store them in a cool, dark place with good air circulation.

5. Can I eat the bulblets of Egyptian walking onions?

Yes, you can eat the bulblets of Egyptian walking onions. They have a mild onion flavor and can be used in many recipes that call for onions. You can also use the leaves and stalks in cooking.

Egyptian walking onions are a versatile and low-maintenance plant that can benefit from companion planting with other plants. By attracting beneficial insects, repelling pests, improving soil health, providing shade, and increasing yield, you can create a thriving garden environment. Follow the tips above to grow Egyptian walking onions successfully and enjoy their unique flavor in your favorite recipes.

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