You know your onions are ready for harvest when the plant falls over! That’s a pretty clear sign to get out in the garden and get picking. Once most of your plants have toppled, go out to the garden and tip over the rest of them (gently!).
Carefully pull or dig your onions out of the ground and gently brush or shake the extra soil off the bulbs. But wait! They’re not ready to store yet. Onions need some time to dry out before they’re ready to be stored. Trim and store them too early, and you’re opening your harvest to the hazards of infection.
Cure your onions by first spreading them out on a clean, dry surface in a well ventilated space, like a gardening shed, or an unheated garage or basement. Let them rest and dry out for at least two to three weeks. The top of the necks should be completely dry and the outer skin should be dry and slightly crackly. Once they’re dried, cut the tops of the onions off, leaving just 1 inch of neck.
Store your onions in a ventilated container—a wire basket, a mesh bag, or some other breathable bag. The temperature should be between 32 to 40 degrees F, with a humidity level between 65% and 70%. Most onions will store like this for up to three months—if you cure and store them properly.
Please tell us how you use your onion harvest. Do you make big batches of onion soup? Do you freeze them in batches to use in cooking later? Or do you put them into storage so you always have a supply on hand?