Tips for Harvesting Onions?

derbykaApril 19, 2012

This is my first time growing onions and the tops are starting to die back on some of them. I was wondering if anyone had tips for harvesting here in FL. I know that short day onions don't typically store very long, but what can I do to maximize the length of time they might hold up? I am concerned about how to long to leave in the ground and how cure in the humid climate. I am growing in a community garden and it looks like some of the other gardeners have onions planted much earlier than mine that just kept going through the season to bloom etc. Is there something I should do if they don't die back properly?

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Sylivia pulls them up after the tops die back and she stores them in a spare room under a desk in sawdust?? I tried so hard to find that post and now regret that I didn't know to clip posts back then. darn it.

My onions are still green on top and haven't bulbed. I think it didn't ever get cool enough and they are still waiting for fall!

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 7:52AM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Hi Derbika and Tina

My onions every year are different depending on where I got them or the weather...
This year the ones that I got in Lowes turn out really good, Tina did you see the onions by the fence? I harvested those because they are not going to grow any bigger and I put them in the porch in a shady spot on top of 2 crates, the bottom is empty and the other full, you can line them with newspapers but is not necessary. They will dry there, do not cut any tops. Some I started to use them in cooking, others will be left to dry...
The other set of onions that I got in another place still look like scallions so I let them stay in the ground till I can use them as such...
And I also grew red onions from seed and they still look like scallions.:)
I only put onions inside the house once they are completely dry and brush the dirt out with my hand and only wash them before I use them in the kitchen.

The onions that were harvested


    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 8:39AM
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OMG thanks Sylvia - maybe I should pull mine up too then Let me go yank one out and have a look. I bought the ones from Lowes too.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 9:07AM
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Derbyka,I had some Granex onions keep for about 5-6 months after harvest last year.Like Sylvia said,you just want to make sure they are completely dried before placing in onion bags or boxes etc.Best of luck on your harvest

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 9:44AM
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Thanks so much for the advice guys. Silvia - do you cut the tops off (leaving a little neck) after they are completely dry? Is the warm weather outdoors better for drying than inside? I live in a one-room apartment and am not sure if I there is a spot that is shady 24/7 in my yard right now. I planted 4 types from dixondale farms but put them in very late (end of Jan) so most of them are fairly small. The Bermuda and reds (Southern belle hybrid) seem to be bulbing up the best. What is the best way to permanently store them? I put my potatoes in a dark closet. Westhamutd - that is great to hear you were able to keep yours so long! I love onions and would eat them almost everyday if I could get them to last.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 12:06PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Derbika, you can dry them indoors, the closet is probably good just keep them inspected so there is no bugs coming inside the apartment. I don't cut the tops after they are dry, they get thin like threads. If you have a lot of onions, you can also cut them up and freeze them in small freezer bags.


    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 12:31PM
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If you have any splits, use them first. They tend to rot. I keep most of mine in the fridge, but maybe that is not necessary.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 4:45PM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

Here in Zone 10 I don't pull mine until the end of the dry season, usually mid-May to the end of May. What you don't want to have happen is the rainy season to start early because they will start to rot if still in the ground when it's consistently moist. When I do pull them I bring them inside in the AC and out of the outside humidity for a week, then they go into the spare frig veggie crisper where they last for at least six months :-)


    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 6:27PM
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