Potato Onions are a variety of bunching onions that produce nests of medium-sized bulbs from a single bulb planted the previous season, rather than from seed like common onions. Since the resources available for the young plant are much greater from a bulb than from a seed, the plants get away quickly, with little competition from weeds.
Until now there have been few varieties available in Australia, mostly producing small bulbs. Potato onions rarely set seed, so there has not been much potential for developing superior lines. The Potato Onion seeds offered here are genetically diverse, and descended from an outstanding line of potato onions developed by Kelly Winterton. The plants produced from this seed lot range from small bunching onions, medium sized potato onions to whoppers, in a range of colours from white to brown, and shapes ranging from long to short and wide. Some have a short shelf life and should be eaten quickly, while others will store for a year or more.
Growers are advised to grow out the seedlings for a year, select the most suitable individuals, and then replant the bulbs of the selections in the following season to compare yield, storage, and bulb size, shape and colour. Voila, in 18 months or two years you have your own variety of potato onions, that you can name.
An added advantage of this Potato Onion seed is that the process of regrowing from seed enables the plants to shed viral load which affects yield and bulb size and can build up over generations of vegetative propagation.
In Bendigo I plant potato onions in spring and autumn.