Scallions

Health Power

These young onions have beneficial phytonutrients like flavonoids and sulfur compounds that work together to lower cholesterol, promote heart health, and suppress inflammation. The flavonoid quercetin may bring a number of benefits, including the antioxidant effect in protecting colon cells. Quercetin, along with vitamin C, strengthens the immune system and works against harmful bacteria and viruses that cause common colds or worse. Vitamin C also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that help deal with arthritis and protect the cardiovascular system from cellular damage and plaque buildup. Vitamin K supports healthy bone development by helping support bone laying components and reducing bone break down by osteoclasts. Also lowers blood pressure. Scallions are a good source of dietary fiber, helping promote healthy digestion and preventing diarrhea. Folate promotes heart health and is critical for healthy fetal nervous system development. Scallions also encourage sweating and urination. In combination with those and the fact that scallions are low in saturated fat, sodium and cholesterol, they are an ideal food to include in a weight loss diet.

Vitamin and Mineral Content

Vitamins – K, C, A and B9 (Folate)
Minerals – Potassium, Iron, Manganese, Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Copper

Disease Prevention

Eating vegetables in the Allium family, like garlic, onions, and scallions, may reduce the risk of esophageal, stomach, colon, prostate and possibly breast cancer. Regularly eating reduces pain associated with arthritis and symptoms of asthma.

How to Grow

Scallions (also known as green, spring or salad onions) are a type of onion pulled before they have the chance to develop a full root bulb. The most popular and widely used varieties are perennial versions, Allium fistulosum and Allium cepa. They produce high quality scallions in large quantity. They can be grown from seeds or transplants. Plant seeds thickly about one-half inch deep in well-amended fertile soil. If you want to start during cold winter conditions, sow the seeds indoors until nighttime temperatures rise above freezing. You then need to gradually wean them outdoors when the weather warms up a little. Otherwise, plant the seeds or seedlings outdoors a few weeks before the last frost. Keep rows more than 2 feet apart and slowly thin seedlings out to 6 inches. Once the soil warms up, mulch around and between the plants to deter weeds, retain moisture and buffer the soil so it changes temperatures more slowly. Weed as needed. Be careful not to damage the bulbs. Dry conditions cause bulbs to split. Monitor the moisture level in the soil. Harvest when the shoots are a deep green color and before base begins to swell, usually around mid-summer to fall. The tips should be crisp yet forgiving. You can store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for about a week. They hold on to their flavor surprisingly well when frozen.

Insect Control

Scallions are generally disease and insect free. They help deter pests like Japanese beetles, carrot flies and aphids from other garden plants. Interplanting is a great way to keep them disease and pest free while helping others. As a preventative, work a good amount of humus into the soil to create good drainage and prevent any potential bacterial or fungal infections. Removing weeds also prevents pests like thrips from persisting over winters. If you have a large, uncontrollable infestation, an insecticidal soap works well in small quantities.

Tips

Mix in radish plants among the onions to deflect root maggots away from the onions.

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