When we harvested our onions last fall, we found a number of ones that were very small. Here's an example:
In previous years when we got small ones, we tried different ways to deal with them. Nobody wanted to do the job of peeling, so they would usually lay in the bottom of the refrigerator door until they went bad.
We did try pickling them, but since we'll never have a Tom Collins, they were not well received.
This particular batch was from some free sets we were given late in the season, that additionally were stressed by an extreme weed outbreak.
So there really was nothing to lose; they were free, they would otherwise go to waste.
When the garlic went in the garden last fall, a dozen or so small onions went in too.
Let me just mention here that we don't normally plant onions in the fall here in Zone 5/6, we usually wait until spring.
I just wasn't sure the little onions would live that long.
Now I must say many of my gardening friends told me "You'll only get greens, you know. An onion won't actually grow another bulb."
Okay, so I knew they were probably right, but I couldn't help but wonder "Then what about onion sets? Aren't they little onions?"
So here are the results:
You can see that they all did grow greens, and some even grew bigger bulbs. I think had they been planted in the spring, they would have done better.
So you see it is possible.
And we do still have some in the fridge that survived all winter. Hmmm...
Hopefully, all of this year's onions will grow big.
If they don't, they are going into the fridge to wait for next spring.
Because never take 'you can't do that' for an answer. Find out for yourself.