Harvesting onions should be done when the tops start to turn brown and fall over. Don’t try harvesting onions by pulling them up by the tops or you can damage them, making them susceptible to fungus when in storage.
Rather, fork them up gently, brush the dirt off the roots (don’t damage or remove the skin), and lay them on the surface of the ground for two or three days to “cure”. Lay them out in rows like shingles, with the tops of one row covering the bulb of the next. This will prevent the hot sun from causing sunscald damage to the bulbs.
If your onions are ready to harvest but it looks like it’s going to rain in the next few
days, you’ll need to bring them indoors to cure. Lay them out on newspapers in
a warm dry place. It takes longer to cure onions indoors (up to two weeks), because
the sun isn’t helping you out. 65-70% humidity and 75-80 degrees F. is ideal for curing onions.
Onions are cured when the skins are loose and dry. Leave as much of the skins on as you can, as the skins help protect the onion during storage.
Whatever you do, don’t let harvested onions get wet (!), either by washing them off or by inadvertently leaving them out in the rain. Also, don’t forget to turn the irrigation off if they’re curing in the field, too.
When the tops are fully dried and your onions are ready for storage, you can
For more on braiding or stringing onions, visit the Storing Onions page below.
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