Cut a piece of pantyhose leg about 6 inches long . Tie one end in a
knot , pull it over the seed pod and use a twist tie to hold it snugly
against the stem of the seed pod . This will allow the seeds to mature
naturally and the pantyhose will catch them for you .
let them flower and set seeds. the bees love those
flowers and you can find out a lot about your local
bee population by observing who visits. the flower
head doesn't need to be covered to catch the seeds -
just keep an eye on them for when the pods start to
open. at that point you can trim the stalks with the
pods off and then let them finish drying in a box top
to catch any seeds that want to fall out. after they
are fully dried you can knock the seeds out that you
want (likely there will be more than you can use).
What do you mean by start to open? The paper covers are
starting to break. Is that what you mean? Or do some
kind of flower come out of the paper cover?
What do they look like when they are about to seed?
How much of the stalk to I cut off when I do? The
stalks are 1-1/2 foot long.
After they flower, will the plant die or will they
bolt and come back next year?
most onion flowers look like big fuzzballs of
different colors. these are chives (the light
purple flowers in the foreground):
the bunching onions i have will have yellow fuzzballs
instead but otherwise look much the same.
the difference is that the chives will not make as
large of capsules to form seeds as will the bunching
onions or regular onions. i'm not sure what you have
there, but just leave them alone for a while and keep
them watered. :)
what should happen is you seem some kind of flowering
and some kind of pods form where seeds will develop after
the bees get at them to pollenate them.
notice there is a variety of forms being shown there
and different colors of flowers. i don't know exactly
what you have, but i'm sure if you google looking for
onion seed pods with that name you should see some
images available that will show you what to expect for
what type of plant you have.
8-12 inches is plenty, but don't cut it until the pods
start to crack open and you see some black seeds. this
way you know you have most of the energy that has already
gone towards ripening the seeds. you just want to finish
them ripening inside in a controlled box top instead of
having seeds falling around the garden or in the pathways.
depends upon the onion type. some will just keep on
going and others are more strictly biannual and will not
regrow. i've had some clumps of regular onions continue
growing and flowering after i've removed some of them as
some small bulbs or bits of root can regrow, but other
times i've had them only come back from a bulb the
previous year and that was it. some i've replanted seeds
and then gotten tiny bulbs which i then lift in the early
summer and store until later in the season and replant them
so they will flower the next spring.
i am right now growing some bunching onions to see if
we like how these work out. if they do i'll have tons
of seeds (i already have tons of seeds from last year's
flowers). they have yellow flowers and the bees are all
over them (like any other onion we grow). i like growing
onions for the flowers alone, it's nice that some of them
are edible. :)