‘Rocambole’ Onions

French heirloom of Rocambole perennial onions.
Common name : ‘Rocambole’ Onions
Scientific name : Allium cepa 'Rocambole'
Family : Amaryllidaceae
Category : Veggies
Type of plant : Perennial
A wild - thus easy to grow - onion.

Sowing & planting

J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D

Flowering

J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D

Harvestint

J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D

Caracteristics

Exposition
Water needs
Granulométrie plants.granulometry_4
Frost-resistance High
Zone USDA 6a
Height 60 - 80
pH 6 - 7

Identify my ‘rocambole’ onions

An onion plant, with its whole leaves erect and ribboned, but with stems on top of which sit little onions? That's the perennial onion!

Harvesting my ‘rocambole’ onions

When the leaves begin to dry out, it's time to harvest your onions. Drying them is important, to prevent your onions from rotting. To harvest, pull at the base of the leaves to remove the bulb from the ground. Clean them roughly from the earth that covers them, then let them dry, either in the sun, or dry for several days in a shelter if rain is announced.

Sow my ‘rocambole’ onions

If you are motivated, you can sow the seeds, which will give you bulbs (little onions with a diameter of one or two centimeters). You must then transplant them in September, and they will spend winter outside. Sow in open soil, under shelter. Bury the seeds a little and water a bit to seal the soil after sowing. It seems that the storage of onions is better with seedlings and that the taste is beyond compare! For the lazy, wait until March and get bulbs directly that can be found in 500 gram sacks...

Thin out my ‘rocambole’ onions

You onions won't be able to grow if they are too close together! Two months before the sowing, thin out the young plants so that there is only one every 10 cm in the row.

Plant my ‘rocambole’ onions

Onions sowed in August are transplanted in September, but you can also directly plant onion bulbs bought in a store. In this case, plant them at the beginning of spring. Cultivate the onions in well drained light soft soil without fresh manure which makes preservation difficult. Plant them 10 cm apart in rows separated by 20 cm. Form a 5 to 10 cm high mound, which will protect the onion from excess moisture if it rains frequently. Plant each bulb by hand, roots towards the ground and the pointed side upward. The onion's top must be about 1 cm underground. The simplest is to put the onion between your fingers and sink your fingers into the soil; avoid digging a hole with a dibber or other tool: the onion won't necessarily be in the right direction, and its roots won't be in the soil! Water once to seal the soil.

Take care of my ‘rocambole’ onions

Lightly hoe to weed the plot. Water very little or not at all. It's rarely necessary.

Reap my ‘rocambole’ onions

Harvest from July to September, Don't pull the bulbs - which are rather strong - but rather the bulbils. Perennial onions are eaten mostly in salads like shallots.

Remove my ‘rocambole’ onions

After 5 years you have to renew your perennial onions. Rip them and plant new ones.

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