I usually harvest my “keeper” onions in mid-August. Of course, before the bulbs go into winter storage, I first let them “cure” outdoors in warmth and air. Well-cured onions retain their good eating quality for months. Read on, and I’ll show you how to cure and store this valuable crop:
Onions are ready for harvest when their green tops fall over. After lifting the bulbs, brush or shake off loose soil. Then lay them out in a single layer in sun or shade, on some kind of surface that permits ventilation from below. I sometimes spread my onions out on old window screens propped up between chairs. A mesh-type patio table works as well. Allow the bulbs to cure for 3-4 weeks, until their outer skins turn papery, and their green stalks wither and brown. Curing is vital to winter-storage success.
It is imperative that bulbs remain dry throughout the curing period. At the first threat of rain, either transfer the onions to a sheltered location until fair skies return, or cover the bunch with a tarp. Alternatively, the bulbs can be cured indoors, in a warm, well-ventilated shed or garage.
After curing, cut off all but one inch of stem. Then store the bulbs in a dim, dry, cool place, such as a cellar or barely-heated shed or garage. Give the onions as much air circulation as possible. The perfect storage container is pantyhose, as pictured above. Otherwise, store the onions in nylon mesh bags, wicker baskets, milk crates, or burlap sacks.
I should probably mention that “sweet” onions do not store well. Sweet varieties include ‘Walla Walla’ and ‘Vidalia.’
Good yellow storage onions include ‘Bridger,’ Copra,’ ‘Patterson,’ and ‘Yellow Globe.’ Among the excellent reds are ‘Brunswick,’ ‘Red Bull,’ and ‘Red Wind.’
Thank you for reading this little food-storage tutorial. I hope it was helpful to you. xKevin
WAIT!!! To see the onions (and the weeds) in my garden, please watch the video above.