Bunching onion “Ishikura” is a outstanding variety of that does not bulb but forms long white stalks. It is a perennial variety that is cold hardy, very adaptable to various climates and resistant to pink root and botrytis leaf blight. It is suitable for later crops and for overwintering.
Ishikura is vigorous and quick to mature, sown March to July, it can be harvested from May right through to October. Because it has such a long harvesting period, there is rarely any waste and unlike normal types there is not the need to be sowing every three weeks for a continuous crop.
At maturity, this single stalked variety has white stems up to 50cm (20in) long with 15cm (6in) green leaves. The stems can grow to 2.5cm (1in) in diameter.
This extremely versatile crop and can be harvested at any point of growth. The leaves can be snipped for use in salads or the whole plant can be pulled up. Pencil-thin stems can be used as spring onions or left to grow as thick as a carrot without losing their flavour and long white tender stems can be obtained by applying the earthing-up method during growth.
In Japan this traditional Japanese type bunching onion is a very popular cultivated vegetable and an important ingredient in Asian cuisine. It is used in stir-fry’s, miso soup and in takoyaki dumpling dish, among others.
It has a mild, sweet flavour and is strongly reminiscent to the scallion or welsh onion, once grown it is similar to the leek in appearance. It is a useful addition to a vegetable plot or herb garden and once established they tend to look after themselves.
The flowers are attractive to bees, while the whole plant is an effective insect repellent. They are very easy to grow from seed, extremely hardy and pest resistant and will grow from cold, wet regions right through to hot, tropical areas.
This is one vegetable that you would never regret growing – no matter where you are in the world.
- Awarded the RHS Award of Garden Merit
In 1996 Onion, Bunching 'Ishikura' was awarded the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit (AGM).
A key indicator that this variety is worth growing in your garden.
Seeds can be sown into pots, or directly in the garden or vegetable bed. Onions prefers a neutral to slightly alkaline soil so lime if the soil is acid. An ideal position would be an open, sunny site with good drainage which has been dug and manured in the previous autumn. Do not plant or sow on freshly manured bed. Avoid planting in an area where the previous crop was of the onion family.
Apply a general fertiliser if needed and rake the surface when the soil is reasonably dry. Tread over the area and then rake again to produce a fine, even tilth.
Sowing: Sow in Autumn or Late Winter to Spring
Sow in September to October or in February under cloches or in a coldframe, or sow directly outdoors in March to April. Direct sown seeds should be sown in drills 12mm (½in) deep and 30cm (1ft) apart. The seed germinates over a wide range of temperatures, anything from 10 to 35°C (50 to 95°F) and is faster at higher temperatures.
Thin the seedlings to 6 to 9in (15 to 23cm) spacings and remove leaves as required. Thinnings may be eaten on salads. Seedlings raised under glass should be transplanted from April. The roots must fall vertically in the planting hole and the base should be about 12mm (½ in) below the surface. Plant firmly.
Hoe carefully or weed by hand – dense weed growth will seriously affect yield. Water if the weather is dry and feed occasionally. Feed an autumn-sown crop in March. Mulching is useful for cutting down the need for water and for suppressing weeds.
Avoid following onions, shallots, garlic or chives.
Beet, carrot, celery, parsley and tomato.
Alfalfa, beans, peas (Onions inhibit the growth of legumes)
Harvest: Approx 40 to 50 days
The entire plant may be pulled and eaten like a green onion, when 7 to 10cm (3 to 4 in) high, or leaf portions may be snipped off as needed for flavouring. If pulled as a green onion, 4 to 5 months are required from seeding to harvesting.
Pest Repellent: As a member of the allium family, they will help to deter most insects, including aphids, mosquitoes, carrot flies and tomato pests. They are also a useful in the fight against, moles, mice slugs and weevils.
Allium fistulosum species originated in Asia, possibly Siberia or China. It is a perennial widely cultivated throughout the world, from Siberia to tropical Asia. It produces long cylindrical plants. There are dividing and non-dividing types. They are generally non-bulbing; however, some types may develop a slight swelling at the base of the plant. Large varieties resemble the leek whilst smaller varieties resemble chives
The species is very similar in taste and odour to the related bulb onion, Allium cepa, and hybrids between the two exist. The bunching onion, however, does not develop bulbs, and possesses hollow leaves (The species name fistulosum means hollow) and scapes.
One can identify the species by looking carefully at the bottom of the green leaves near where they turn white. If the leaf cross section is "D" shaped (or has a flat side), it is A. cepa. If "O" or round, it is A. fistulosum.
This variety of onion is known by many different names, Japanese Leek, Japanese Bunching Onion, Negi or Nebuka.
Other names that may be applied to this plant include: green onion, spring onion, scallion, and salad onion. These names are ambiguous, as they may also be used to refer to any young green onion stalk, whether grown from common bulb onions, or other similar members of the genus Allium.
The Japanese eat two kinds of Negi or onion, Naga Negi or 'Long Onion' known in Europe and the US as Japanese Leeks and Tama Negi or 'Round Onion', known in most markets as Yellow or Globe Onions.
Aonegi is what the negi tops are called when they're chopped fine - ao means 'blue/green'.
- Awarded the RHS Award of Garden Merit
- Additional Information
Packet Size 2 gram Average Seed Count 700 Seeds Seed Form Natural Seeds per gram 350 seeds / gram Common Name Japanese Bunching Onion, Naga Negi Other Common Names Japanese Leek Family Alliaceae Genus Allium Species fistulosum Cultivar Ishikura Hardiness Hardy Perennial Height 45 to 60cm (18 to 24in) Position Full Sun Soil Well drained, neutral to slightly alkaline soil