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Harvesting Onions

Harvesting Onions

During a busy fall, I decided to plant onion sets instead of growing my scallions from seed as I usually do. My favorite and reliable choice is Heirloom Italian Scallions from Renee’s Garden. I especially like the burgundy-colored outer wrapper leaves set against the white interior flesh.

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I plant seeds about 1-2 inches apart and harvest as I need them.

EG Spring onions Sm.JPG

As winter days lengthen I have spring onions for use in the kitchen.

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This spring I was traveling for most of six weeks and though my garden tender kept everything going, the onions continued to grow, bulbs enlarging. The zucchini and delicata squash will soon expand into onion territory so it is time to harvest.

Since it has been a number of years since I grew onions to bulb size, I decided to review the best ways to harvest, cure and store. My go to source is always Barbara Pleasant, writing at GrowVeg. You can read her short piece here.

The Art of Harvesting Onions

With any bulb-forming onion, the general rule of thumb is to wait for half of the plants to fall over, and then harvest the entire planting. This is fine if you have dry weather, but under moist conditions it's better to feel the necks of your plants for a soft spot a few inches above the onion bulb. This soft spot is a sign that the bulb has finished growing, and you can feel it a day or two before the top of the plant falls over. Read more

The Harvest to Table blog, written by a Master Gardener in Northern California has a helpful post Onion Growing Tips which includes harvest and storage instructions.

About half of my onions have that soft spot above the onion bulb and the tops are mostly bent over. The time has come. I’ll be lifting them this week and expect to have red onions for the next few months.

Breakfast Fruit from the Kitchen Garden

Breakfast Fruit from the Kitchen Garden

In My San Diego Garden and Kitchen

In My San Diego Garden and Kitchen