It's my first season for onions and am wondering how to best store them. I
planted a pound of yellow onion sets. From the wind and rain, almost all the
green is on the ground, but still green.
Should I wait for the tops to wilt? How about braiding onions? Are they
braided while the tops are still green?
Ideally I think you should wait for the tops to wilt, then loosen them
up from the ground and let them bake themselves dry in the sun.
But here (UK, South East) we have had such a bad wet summer, that I have
already lifted them before they completely wilted cos I was fearful that
they would rot in the ground. I now have them laying on wire trays in
the cold frame to dry out. I have removed all the soil and any powdery
looking white stuff from each one and am leaving them on the wire trays
upside down so that they do not touch each other. Kinda like you would
dry off dahlia bulbs.
I don't think I will braid em either cos if one gets infected then I
think that will rapidly extend to the rest on the rope. So, after they
fully and totally and absolutely dry, I will just shift then into the
garage on the wire frames, keeping them separate all the time.
You got hot sunny weather?
Not enough to spare. lol. Mostly fog, drizzle and such with occasional rain.
Today makes 2 days in a row with sun and we had one good week in the middle
of July. Otherwise, night time lows haven't stayed above 61F yet. Hope this
bit of sun makes a run for it.
I grow in 6 3'x10x9.5" beds, so I have a little control over moisture -
probably drier than if I was in the ground proper.
Onions ideally need long warm dry conditions for best storing. When they
are getting towards the end of the season, the best way to get them ready
for storing is to bend the tops over (without breaking them) and they then
sort of dry out and the bulb plumps up. That's not a great description, but
you might get the idea. Depending on your conditions (ie if it's wet and
you're not getting long sunny days) you might need to harvest then on the
greenish side and just use them up quickly and hope for a better growing
season next year. I don't plait, just rough them up with my hands to get
the loosest bits of skins off and then chuck them all together in a plastic
I'm going to use some right off at the end of the season to make salsa
depending on how many tomatillos I get, but I can see with our weather that
I'll need to harvest them and dry them on a rack until I can trim the tops
back. Braiding sounded like fun, but I'll probably just put them back into
This is my first year growing onions too. I bought a "unit" of plants
and wound with 100 a month earlier than expected. From the googling
I did -
Let the stems/tops turn brown
Pull them up and harden them off for several days - this just means
putting them in some basket or container that will let the air
circulate and keep the out of direct sun. This causes the outer
layers to dry out and form the skin that protects the rest of the
Brush off the dirt, trim the tops and roots.
Put in mesh bags and store in a cool dark place.
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