By Nikki Phipps
(Author of The Bulb-o-licious Garden)
Scallion plants are easy to grow and can be eaten as is, used as flavoring when cooking, or as an attractive garnish. Keep reading to learn how to plant scallions.
What are Scallions?
Scallions are produced from specific cultivars of the bulbing onion and have a mild flavor. Are scallions the same as green onions? Yes, they are commonly called green onions; however, these plants are actually a cross of the shallot.
Although sometimes marketed as such, the scallion is not the same as the leafy green top of the bulbing onion. It is the long, white shank that is used while the green part is often prepared as garnish. Regular onions do not produce this white shank. Furthermore, onion leaves are usually tougher and stronger-tasting. Scallions are tender and mild.
So what’s the difference between shallots and scallions? While the two are often confused with one another, scallions (green onions) and shallots are quite different. The most distinguishing feature is found in the bulb. Shallots are made up of cloves, similar to garlic. Scallions have a bulb like that of a regular onion, only much smaller.
How to Grow Scallions
Growing scallions is actually easier than growing onions since they have a much shorter growth period. Varieties sown in spring can be harvested just 60-80 days (8-10 weeks) after planting or when transplants reach about a foot tall.
Scallions need rich, well-draining soil. In addition, their shallow root systems require constant moisture and weed protection. Tightly packed plantings and mulch can not only help retain moisture but will keep weeds down too. Shallow watering throughout the short growing season is also recommended.
How to Plant Scallions
Scallion plants can be sown 4-8 weeks before transplanting outdoors or direct seeded in the garden 4 weeks before the last frost date in spring. Plant seeds about ¼ inch deep, ½ inch apart, and with 12- to 18-inch row spacing.
Transplants or sets can be planted about an inch deep with 2- to 3-inch spacing.
Blanch scallions as they grow by hilling up the soil.