Most everyone loves onions, I know my 3 guys sure do! Saving onion seeds is really a simple and enjoyable task especially when it's bunching onions which overwinter in our area and produce year after year. Evergreen White Bunching onions are the variety we have growing here on the farmstead. Bunching onions in general grow as perennials and multiply by both division and seeds. They won't produce seeds the first year as they are actually biennial and produce the second year.
So the picture below is a seed umbel produced in the second year of this onion's life.
It sends forth a stalk with a small umbel that grows in size and eventually opens up into a beautiful array of small onion flowers as seen below.
Now onion umbels/flowers are cross pollinated by insects so you don't want to have other varieties growing within at least 1000ft or cross pollination can easily occur.
You'll know that the seeds are pollinated and mature once the umbels begins to die back and turn brown. They will also be quite dry. Once they are ready just remove all the mature umbels and put them into a container. Then just rub the old flower heads into both hands and the beautiful black seeds will begin to emerge. It's that simple! No fancy equipment. Now you can add the entire bucket of removed seeds and chaff to a bucket of water and this will allow you to remove the floating chaff much easier. Simply drain the water off and allow the seeds to dry well and store as normal.
It's fun, simple, and of course frugal!
Well I hope you have an abundant onion and onion seed harvest!
Thanks and God Bless Jennifer, Andy, Drew and Mason :)