You know that stage of budding friendships when people stop discussing their successes and start revealing their insecurities, their BO, their failings, their lapsed credit? (In my youth (a word which in my mind is now always pronounced as Danny DeVito does it in My Cousin Vinny, viz, ‘yoot’) I knew we’d reached that stage when the other person said something like, "So—just how tall are you?") Well, folks, I feel we’ve reached that stage. I hope we have, because otherwise your system may undergo a shock.
Yes, I am about to reveal information which will permanently dislodge me from that gardening pedestal upon which I have hitherto resided. The aura of perfection will be shredded; the mantle of infallibility will fall, and I will stand before you as a (very short) human being.
The question itself is simple: how good are leeks and onions which didn’t get picked in the fall and resprout the following spring? The ones I have in mind—or at least in my garden—never reached maturity, and seem perfectly healthy. Some are budding. Is it important to pull them before they flower or go to seed? Are onions that winter over of lower quality?
I’ve found that overlooked carrots, for instance, are woody and often pocked. What about onions?
So now you know. I don’t even harvest everything in my garden, I don’t clean out the beds in the fall, and I plant so late that some things don’t have a chance to fulfill their potential. I know it comes as a shock, but there it is. If you can’t live with that, maybe we should rethink this whole relationship..