This old Italian heirloom is commonly used in Italy for pinzimonio, a colorful mixture of raw vegetables served with a separate bowl of olive oil, vinegar, and salt. Use this colorful, torpedo-type, young red onion in almost any dish requiring onions. Hard to find in grocery stores, so grow it at home!
• Botanical Name: Allium cepa
• Days to Maturity: 60 days
• Family: Alliaceae
• Native: Exists only in cultivation
• Hardiness: Biennial grown as an annual
• Variety Information: Italian 'Red of Florence' is a torpedo-type, dark-red bulbing onion with mild, sweet flavor; a rare Italian heirloom. Elongated shape as a bunching onion, but given space and time will eventually form a bulb.
• Type: Bunching/Scallion
• Attributes: Good for Containers
• When to Sow Outside: 4 to 6 weeks before your average last frost date or as soon as the soil temperature reaches 45°F, ideally 60°–85°F, and every 2 to 4 weeks recommended for continuous production. In Mild Climates, sow in fall for spring harvest.
• When to Start Inside: 8 to 10 weeks before your average last frost date; transplant 4 to 6 weeks before your average last frost date.
• Days to Emerge: 10 –15 days
• Seed Depth: ¼"
• Seed Spacing: ½"
• Row Spacing: 12"
• Thinning: Not necessary unless thicker bulbs are desired
• Harvesting: For repeated harvests of bunching onion greens, clip plants about an inch above the soil surface, and they will regrow. After cutting, apply fertilizer that is higher in nitrogen than phosphorus and potassium to encourage rapid regrowth. Bunching onions of the species Allium cepa can also form a bulb if given the time and space. To grow bulbs, harvest entire plants, leaving 3"-4" of space between the plants you want to remain and produce bulbs.