How to Harvest Onions: 10 Steps
Step 1: Determine the Right Time for Harvesting
To ensure onions are ready for harvest, wait until their tops have begun to yellow and fall over. This indicates that they have reached maturity.
Step 2: Check the Weather
Choose a dry day with no rain in the forecast for at least two days in order to prevent rot or spoilage. Ideal conditions include sunny weather and low humidity.
Step 3: Loosen the Soil
Using a garden fork or spade, gently loosen the soil around the onion bulbs. Be sure not to damage the bulb itself while working on this process.
Step 4: Pull the Onions
Grasp the onion tops firmly and gently pull them out of the ground. Be careful not to bruise or damage the bulbs as you’re extracting them.
Step 5: Trim Excess Foliage and Roots
Use gardening shears or a sharp knife to trim excess foliage, leaving an inch or two of stem above the onion bulb. Also remove any excess dirt and trim roots close to the bulb.
Step 6: Allow Onions to Cure
Lay the harvested onions out in a single layer on a clean surface, such as a tray or wire rack, allowing ample space for air circulation. Keep them in a shaded area with good airflow for up to two weeks, flipping them occasionally.
Step 7: Check Onion Quality During Curing Process
Regularly inspect onions during curing for any signs of rot or spoilage. Remove damaged onions immediately to avoid spreading disease or decay among other healthy bulbs.
Step 8: Prepare Storage Location
Ensure that your designated storage location is well-ventilated, dry, cool, and dark. Possible storage options include mesh bags, crates, or shelves lined with newspaper.
Step 9: Store Onions Properly
Once thoroughly dried and cured, place onions into the chosen storage container, taking care to avoid bruising bulbs. Store them separately from other fruits and vegetables, as onions emit gases that can speed up the ripening process of other produce.
Step 10: Monitor Onion Condition During Storage
Regularly check stored onions for any signs of rot, disease, or moisture. Remove and use affected onions immediately to keep remaining onions fresh.
And there you have it! By following these ten steps, you can successfully harvest and store your onions for use in a variety of delicious recipes. Happy gardening!