Red Onions - Knowledgebase Question

Roxbury, Ma
Question by lcoleman5360
June 27, 2010
How can I tell when the red onions are ready to be picked? Thank you.

Answer from NGA
June 27, 2010


Your onions will be ready to harvest after the tops have turned brown. This is usually in late July or early August, when most of the tops have fallen over. Allow the plants to mature and the tops to fall over naturally. Breaking over the tops early interrupts growth, causing smaller bulbs that do not keep as well in storage.

Pull the mature onions in the morning and allow the bulbs to air dry in the garden until late afternoon. On especially hot, bright, sunny days, the bulb may sunburn. On days when this is likely, remove onions to a shaded location and allow them to dry thoroughly. Then, before evening dew falls, place them under dry shelter on elevated slats or screens or hang them in small bunches. Tops may be braided or tied with string before hanging. Full air circulation for 2 to 3 weeks is necessary for complete drying and curing. Keep the dry wrapper scales as intact as possible on the bulbs, as they enhance the keeping ability.

After the bulbs dry, cut the tops 1 _ to 2 inches long (at or above the narrow spot where the stem bent over), and place the bulb in dry storage with good air circulation. Do not try to store bulbs that are bruised, cut or diseased, or those with green tops or thick necks. Store under cool, dry conditions. Dry onions may keep until late winter, but check them regularly and use or discard those that begin to soften or rot.

You must be signed in before you can post questions or answers. Click here to join!

« Return to the Garden Knowledgebase Homepage

Member Login:



[ Join now ]

Today's site banner is by sunnyvalley and is called "Rose"