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Minogue onions from Seed

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  • #16
    They look very happy, could well be multipliers, I think I see one on the left as well.

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    • #17
      You might well be right it's very small, I'll go and get up close for a look tomorrow, exciting! They really are quite fat and chubby compared to when they arrive, a good effort I say.

      I think I uncovered some walking onions from you today, not sure from when the poor little things are much overgrown and very small and weedy but the label is there! I ran out of time and energy today but I will start a rescue mission tomorrow and report back

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      • jayb
        jayb commented
        Editing a comment
        Spot on Galina, there's one tiny Minmogue to the left as well!

    • #18
      Not from seed but a young plant acquired from Backyard Larder earlier this year. I was prompted by this thread to have a look at mine - hiding under netting as rabbits seem rather partial to young alliums.

      Very pleased to see it also shows healthy signs of dividing
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      • #19
        It seems like bit by bit the Minogues are in more general circulation again. With really nice specimens. I didn't know Backyard Larder stocks them. Never heard of them before HSL offered them in small clumps on one of the early potato days. A Mr Minogue had given HSL a very overcrowded tightly packed batch of 'Minogue Onions'. They were no bigger than chives, because they were so tightly packed. HSL separated them into small portions and distributed them to all who wanted some as a non seed item that could not go into their catalogue. I wonder whether that huge tightly packed clump is the origin of everybody's Minogue onions. I know Robert's were from mine, but he was the one that had them flowering first. Little did we know at first that they would also become a 'from seed' vegetable, if plants are well spaced and grown with tlc so they will flower more readily . An unknown and possibly nearly extinct vegetable enjoying a renaissance
        Last edited by Galina; 22-04-2020, 06:34.

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        • Jang
          Jang commented
          Editing a comment
          Interesting history. It sounds as though you had them very near the start of their renaissance and have probably had quite a part in that renaissance,

          Backyard Larder (https://backyardlarder.co.uk/shop/minogue-onion/) has a link to a Patrick White video in which he enthuses about Minogue onion (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nj5...ature=youtu.be) and says 'it was passed onto him by another gardener who got it from her Uncle Fred whose surname was Minogue'. Presumably Uncle Fred also gave it to HSL.

        • Galina
          Galina commented
          Editing a comment
          I was not aware of this further history. Was uncle Fred Minogue the only UK grower at one time? Thank you Jang. The video states that the only edible bit is the root and use a bit like onion.

          I certainly use the leaves too, like leeks, or more often when there are only a few, cut into strips and throw into a pan after the chops or other meats were removed, quick fry in the meat juices, then take off the heat and make an instant sauce with a dollop of cream or yoghurt and a quick stir around. They give a nice extra bit of flavour. The bulbs and leaves also go well in tomato dishes, like pasta sauce, together with a few cloves of garlic and a chili.
          Last edited by Galina; 22-04-2020, 10:12.

      • #20
        Thank you for the culinary suggestions. Vegetarian alternatives leap to mind!!

        I have another note - from the Unconventional Gardener, from 2010, referring to a Patrick Whitefield article in the Permaculture magazine. (https://theunconventionalgardener.co...nd-angel-dust/ )
        ‘He mentions an allium for which he doesn’t have a name – he calls it Minogue’s onion, for who he received it from. Apparently a student from New Zealand recognised it as “Miner’s Weed”, and it’s more like garlic or leeks than onions because it has the bladed leaf rather than a round one. Can be invasive in NZ, but isn’t here. Forms a big clump of strong salad onions in the winter; dies right down in summer to leave a clump of small bulbs that don’t need peeling. Propagated by replanting some of the bulbs. Posters on the Permaculture UK forum suggest it ma be Nothoscordum.’ (https://theunconventionalgardener.co...nd-angel-dust/)

        I haven’t looked into the New Zealand Miner’s Weed possible connection. Not sure either about Nothoscordum. I’ve seen Allium ampeloprasum var. sectivum or Allium porrum var. sectivum as possibilities.

        I wondered though when the HSL acquired and distributed them. Do you remember when that potato day was, Galina?

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        • Galina
          Galina commented
          Editing a comment
          Nothoscordum has different flowers and when it came to googling miner's weed I was led a merry dance around narcotics. I also think it is Perlzwiebel aka allium porrum var sectivum just like you said. Which is why when I had my first flower and also growing leek for seeds, I removed the flower to keep the leek pure. Chances are they would have crossed.

        • Galina
          Galina commented
          Editing a comment
          There is a great deal of confusion not just just with taxonomy of alliums, but also with the term Perlzwiebel as you say Triffid. The only reason they are grown from seed Jang, is that another onion altogether has also been given the name Perlzwiebel. This is the silverskin onion, which serves the same function but is the onion that is used in jars of cocktail onions or in gherkins. Silverskins are an annual, just a tiny bit larger, easier to harvest, as they harvest like onions, so they were used in the preserving industry instead of the perennial Perlzwiebel. https://justseed.com/products/unw717...MaAqtTEALw_wcB
          Last edited by Galina; 02-05-2020, 15:00.

        • triffid
          triffid commented
          Editing a comment
          Aha, I've only just seen the updated comments here. No notifications for some reason.
          But regarding Perlzwiebel, one shouldn't be seeking seeds, but rather bulbs? Know of any source?

      • #21
        A long overdue photo. Minogue with top bulbils. Found it today when I wanted to start off from seeds. Turns out those bulbils haven't dried out yet. Happy!

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        • Galina
          Galina commented
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          Yes. Now all crushed to release seeds and also bulbils planted.

        • Jang
          Jang commented
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          Great. Double reward and satisfaction.

        • jayb
          jayb commented
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          Brilliant!

      • #22
        My Minogue onion is looking rather sickly with only a little unhealthy looking top growth.
        When I investigated further though, there was quite a large healthy looking bulb just beneath the surface but with no leaves coming from its centre. It doesn't look as though anything has torn a leaf away though; in fact it looks more as though it might be ready to shoot again. But there are also just the four small leaves which I guess. might be coming from the base of the one biggish bulb but look as though they might be on their way out. Sorry it's not very easy to see in the photo, but the head of the bulb is leaning a bit to the left.

        Is this normal development at this time of year? And I'm not sure what the best thing to do is, either now or later in the year.


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        Last edited by Jang; 17-06-2020, 16:29.

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        • triffid
          triffid commented
          Editing a comment
          My Minogue is looking a bit like this right now, and the smaller specimens of Babington & perpetual leeks are the same, i.e. dried down to a little bulb. I believe summer dormancy is normal in these varieties.

        • Jang
          Jang commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks. Reassuring. My Babington is looking rather poor too. Perhaps I'll have a gentle exploratory poke around.

      • #23
        Very big ones get ready to flower, smaller ones do disappear. The top disappears, but the onion is still there. If you dig them up, you see silvery onions under the ground. These are the stage at which they are used for cocktail onions. Later in the year they reemerge. So you should be fine.

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        • Jang
          Jang commented
          Editing a comment
          Thank you. I have to say that my one onion would be a very big cocktail onion. Difficult to tell from my photo but it’s bigger than any pickled onion I’ve seen. 1.5-2 inches across I’d say.

          So the foliage tends to die down in high summer and re-emerge in autumn? Therefore OK to leave it where it is?
          That would be great. 🤞🤞

      • #24
        Interesting that yours would now be a very large cocktail onion. Not so here. But one batch now resembles leeks rather than the narrow leaved Minogue onions. Another is getting to be more bold and determined as a top bulbil setter. But most are still like the Minogues we have known from the original batch. So I wonder whether my big, almost leek types were just variation that came with growing from seed, ditto the ones that are growing ever better bulbils, or whether I had crosses with leeks and with walking onions, both of which were grown close enough. Here with bulbils. And one of the original flowering ones without bulbils. Fascinating that the larger bulbils are greener than the smaller ones. Last year I only had smaller whitish ones, but I pulled the flowers earlier.

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        Last edited by Galina; 20-08-2021, 12:53.

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        • jayb
          jayb commented
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          Very nice indeed, great to see them evolving

        • Galina
          Galina commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks Jayb, yes a fascinating journey and for once I managed a photo sharp enough to show it

        • jayb
          jayb commented
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          It's a lovely photo
          Such a good reference.

      • #25
        I picked 3 seed heads this afternoon, the seeds aren't quite ready yet, I just didn't want anything to happen to them or forget about them. After reading your post I checked for bulbils but only seeds. One thing the flower heads seem to have a slightly purple hint to them, yours don't seem to have that hint? Perhaps I'm mistaken and they are not minogues, but I'm not sure what else they might be.

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        • Galina
          Galina commented
          Editing a comment
          Might that colour variation be a new feature for you? Did you grow any purple alliums? We know nothing about how easy or difficult crosses with Minogue are. Or whether this is all down to hidden genes being awakened by growing from seed rather than vegetative multiplication. Good luck with your seeds.

        • jayb
          jayb commented
          Editing a comment
          Thank you, I hope the seeds mature ok, it's almost like being back to the beginning of the thread. If I'm right about them being Minogues, then they are the ones you kindly sent to me last year. This is their first year flowering for me. I've had a little poke about and can spot some white bulbs in the ground, but that might not narrow it down much.

      • #26
        A bit of a side issue here and perhaps I should have started a new thread - and perhaps it’s been discussed already - sorry if it has.

        Are there many definable differences between Monogue onions and Oerprei Perlzwiebel, or is OP quite variable? What I received as Oerprei Perlzwiebel flowered this season but the flower head didn’t get much more mature than in the photo. My Minogues haven’t produced flowers so far, so I can’t compare.

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        Last edited by Jang; 08-09-2021, 09:50.

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        • Galina
          Galina commented
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          Not familiar with Oerprei at all and thought it was a leek. Much to learn here.

        • jayb
          jayb commented
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          No idea, I don't think I've grown it, or at least not anytime recently.
          I think Goodlife or R. Brenchley at a4a used to grow it, might be worth having a search there for posts.

        • Jang
          Jang commented
          Editing a comment
          I thought Minogue is essentially a leek relative too.
          In Backyard Larder, describes Minogue, as do others, as possibly a variety of pearl onion/Oerprei, both having the flat leaves of a leek.

          Wondering whether Minogue has a purple flower? Assuming so from the purple undersides below?
          Last edited by Jang; 09-09-2021, 14:08.

      • #27
        Forgot to post pictures!

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        • jayb
          jayb commented
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          Lol, so I've not been growing minogue at all!
          Well, I still hope for ripe seed of these and to be able to sow some next year, I'll have to do a bit of a search to find out a bit more about them though. And the search for minogue will go on.

        • Galina
          Galina commented
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          I think you have been growing Minogue, the ones from me are definitely Minogue and different from Oerprei. I have never been growing Oerprei only ever Minogue. And the slight purple you mention could have many reasons. Oerprei crosses not being one of them unless you had Oerprei in the garden. I wish my Minogue flowers had been later and I could photograph the underside now and compare. Next year.
          Last edited by Galina; 09-09-2021, 12:49.

        • jayb
          jayb commented
          Editing a comment
          Ahh, my mistake Galina, I thought you meant my flower pictures looked like what to expect from multiplying leek grex or Oerprei. As far as I remember Oerprei is not something I've grown here.

          I'm pretty sure these are from the bulbs you sent me, it's just unfortunate that earlier on the dogs had a digging session in the area and the label went missing, it may turn up yet. I just feel lucky they didn't totally destroy them.
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