Row Of Scallions In The Garden
(Image credit: ma-no)

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 to 80 days (8-10 weeks) after planting or when transplants reach about a foot (31 cm.) 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 four to eight weeks before transplanting outdoors or direct seeded in the garden four weeks before the last frost date in spring. Plant seeds about ¼ inch (6 mm.) deep, ½ inch (1 cm.) apart, and with 12 to 18 inches (31-46 cm.) of row spacing. Transplants or sets can be planted about an inch (2.5 cm.) deep with 2 to 3 inch (5-8 cm.) spacing. Blanch scallions as they grow by hilling up the soil.

Nikki Tilley
Senior Editor

Nikki Tilley has been gardening for nearly three decades. The former Senior Editor and Archivist of Gardening Know How, Nikki has also authored six gardening books.