Oriental Onion is a vegetable that serves many purposes for a homeowner. With its green leaf and blanched white stalks, it makes an attractive addition to the garden. It is edible and has a nice flavor, making it a key ingredient in Japanese dishes including stir-fry and tempura. However, perhaps best of all, it is a deer deterrent, so while looking pretty and feeding the family, this little vegetable keeps deer away from the garden.
The Oriental onion, also referred to as Japanese bunching onion or scallion, does not form a real bulb. The upper green section of the stalk is hollow and is often chopped up to use in many Asian dishes. All parts of the onion are edible, but when making Eastern sauces, the lower quarter inch of the stalk is usually removed.
This vegetable can be incorporated directly into the garden or grown in pots within the area. It can be grown as an annual, but if left alone, offshoots will develop and can be divided the following year. They tend to grow in bunches, so allow enough room in the designated area of the garden. Each cluster grows about 18-24 inches long and groups should be planted six to nine inches from each other in the soil.
Optimum growing conditions are full sun or sunny to partially shady areas of the yard. These vegetables grow in mid-summer and give off a slight aroma that is not enticing to deer. They grow quickly and can usually be harvested within a few weeks because even when they are small, they are just as tasty.
Oriental onion makes a great ingredient in many Asian dishes and it can generally be used to replace green onion in any recipe. These vegetables are very inexpensive to purchase and have a delicate appearance. The odor they emit will keep deer away from the area where they are planted.