What is happening to my beautiful onions?

LynnMarie_(5 SW Kansas)June 29, 2012

Hi all,

I guess introductions are in order. My name is Lynn LaMastres. I found this wonderful site this spring and have been digging through it and reading when I have time.

Now, though, I am hoping someone can help me with my onions. They are big beautiful onions- my babies, you know? The last couple of weeks the weather has been very hot and dry. 105F and up. The bulbs look good. Big and round :)just like they should, but the leaves are drying out starting on the tips and running down toward the ground. I pulled one a couple days ago and it was juicy and delicious :):) I don't want to lose them now if there is something I can do.

Do I need to worry? Should I water more? Or are they just nearing the end of the growing season and need to be harvested soon?

I don't know the variety name, but I bought a white storage onion. I planted them on March 15th. They have a light layer of straw mulch around them. They get full sun all day. I water 20 to 30 minutes every couple of days with this heat.

I really would appreciate any input you may have. Thank you in advance.


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Sounds like they are mature and just about ready to harvest.


    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 12:11PM
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LynnMarie_(5 SW Kansas)


Thank you for the reply. I will look at it as a plus. I will soon be harvesting ;)


    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 4:59PM
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STOP WATERING if the leaves are starting to fall over. You want those babies to be dry when you pull them and then let them sit in the shade and cure until you can't feel moisture around the neck of the onion.

Sounds like you've got a nice crop. You can start eating them anytime. Only the ones for storage need to cure.


    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 8:42PM
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LynnMarie_(5 SW Kansas)


Oh, no more water? Okay, but that is hard, Lol! I will give it my best, but it isn't going to come naturally. ;)

I appreciate the information. I will avoid watering them anymore. How am I going to know when they are ready to pull? When the leaves are completely dried out? With the conditions here, how long will it take? A week? A month?


    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 4:25PM
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As your onions mature the leaves will start drying out, and the tops will start falling over. Once about half the tops have fallen, you can use a rake to knock over the rest, that will help prepare them for storage.
Once the tops are mostly dried, they can be dug or pulled from the ground, and then left to cure for approximately 2 weeks. Since I have sunburned onions before, I cure them in a well ventilated, shaded area for a couple of weeks. Then you can clean the roots off and prepare them for storage.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 10:43PM
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