Allium fistulosum | 150 days from transplanting (longer in overwintering)
Succulent, fresh and fragrant – Negi is a staple of Washoku, cultivated in Japan since antiquity. It is found in many traditional Japanese dishes. This allium (related to onions and leeks) is distinguished by its long, sleek white stalks and hollow green tops. Like an onion, Negi has a core covered with layers that are succulent and flavorful when cooked.
Cooking with Negi
Boasting a garlic-like aroma and sweet, earthy flavor profile, Negi is used to bring out the savory notes in meat, fish and vegetable dishes without overpowering them. Traditionally served as part of the Negima Yakitori, grilled negi pairs well with meats such as seared steak, pork chops and poultry. Negi can be substituted for leeks in pot roasts, onion tarts, potato gratins and casseroles for a hearty, slightly sweet flavor.
Negi is used as an aromatic – perfect for sprinkling over udon, ramen and soba and garnishing. Use negi as you would scallions or green onions in omelets, sauces and sautés, and as a topping for pizzas, soups and salads.
Sowing, Planting and Harvesting
Here is a quick look at the growing cycle of our two varieties, W5 and S8.
Learn more about growing Negi below.
- Sow seeds as early as two months before estimated last heavy frost. (Check your growing zone to find out last frost dates for your region.)
- Temperature: Ensure that the temperature does not go above 86˚F / 30˚C while plants are in the trays.
- Transplanting recommended. Sow 3-4 seeds per cell into a 128- or 200-cell tray.
- Fill cells evenly and fully with soil, gently shake to settle.
- Press shallow holes into the tray. Do not press too hard on the soil; heavy compaction may prevent germination.
- Sow seeds 1/4" deep and cover gently by sprinkling soil on top. Gently remove any excess soil.
- Water in well (approx. 1L per tray). Until pruning, water twice per day to maintain moisture in the trays, making sure to moisten the edges. (The small cells can dry up easily.)
Maintenance, Pruning & Preparation
- Prune seedlings at 5" in length — cut to remove top 1" to stimulate more growth (should be 4" tall).
- After pruning, allow cells to dry between watering. Water in the morning, and if you notice cells are dry in the afternoon, water again. Do not water in the evening to prevent mold and fungal disease.
- If multiple seedlings per cell, gently separate prior to transplanting.
- Prior to transplanting, trim new leaves leaving one extra inch (should be about 5").
- Water in heavily prior to transplanting.
- Transplant to 2" spacing.
- Plant deep: dig a trench and transplant 4–6" deep into soil, so only the green part of the stalk is showing.
- Water generously once plants are established (3 times per week).
- Hilling: to establish the characteristic long white shank, the base of the plant cannot be exposed to sunlight. Bury plants repeatedly when the shank is 3” above the soil.
- Harvest at 10–18" in length (depending on hilling) when fistulous layers form together and tighten.
- Mature stalks will feel dense, not spongy, when squeezed.
- Negi can hold in the soil for weeks after maturity, and can store for up to 8 weeks.
Grow your ownShop Negi seeds
Seeds are available for purchase from packets to bulk. S8 is for summer harvest, while W5 is for winter.
Growing detailsRead more
For more growing details, vist the blog posts on germination, growing and harvesting Negi.
Cook with NegiFind a recipe
For cooking information including recipes from the Culinary Institute of America, visit the blog.