What is the trick to picking onions at the right time, ripening them to keep them through the winter, and storing them to prevent mold or germination? Since the first onion seeds were sown a full season ago, they have gradually grown into a bed of plump brown (or red or white) balls protruding from the ground. In fact, I have some secrets for you to help you pick your onions when they're ripe and ready, maximize their shelf life in storage, and ensure they stay as fresh as the day you picked them. Although growing bunching onions can be harvested and consumed at any time, picking a fresh onion from the pantry months after harvesting it from the ground is the most rewarding aspect of growing onions, especially storage onions.
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Growing bunching onions typically take 100–125 days from seed to harvest. Onion sets can be planted and harvested in 60–80 days. Transplantable small onions are known as "fixing onions". These have a higher chance of success in the spring because they can withstand light frosts, making them a better option in general for climates with short growing seasons. As leaves fall in summer The best way to choose when to harvest onions is to wait until at least half of the plants have dropped, as variety, climate, and timing can all affect a plant's ripening date. When ready for storage, they can be harvested and salted
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Growing bunching onions will dry out during the month-long curing process, preparing them for storage. Once dried properly, onions have a very long shelf life that can last well into the fall and winter and occasionally even into the spring. But not all onions are equal.
Generally speaking, hot onions have a longer shelf life than sweet onions and long-day varieties have a longer shelf life than short-day varieties (the "long" in long-day refers to the onion's requirement for 14–16 hours of sunlight to grow properly). Sweet onions typically have thick rings, a papery skin that is easy to peel, and are large and juicy in nature. Although they are sweet enough to eat raw, onion rings and blooming onions are where they really shine. Even when dried and kept in ideal storage conditions, most bland onions only last for two to three months. Eat the bland onions first if your harvest contains any. Onions that are spicy, however, can persist for up to six months or even a year.
We simply have to accept that long-lasting onions cannot be grown in the South when it comes to onions. However, there are many different long-term storage bulbs that are chosen for winter storage in northern climates. White, yellow, and red onion bulbs with low to moderate heat are among them. Sweet onions, which typically have a shelf life of one to three months, make up the majority of the short and intermediate-day varieties. Red Creole, a red short-day globe with a particularly long shelf life, and Texas Legend, a yellow short-day globe with a sometimes four-month shelf life, are exceptions. In fact, because I knew I could depend on Red Creole to last until Christmas, it was my favorite onion to grow at the time I lived in Southern California.
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The stems of your growing bunching onions are lush, joyful, and green when they are growing vigorously during the longer days of spring and summer. Onion flowers may even be present at the top of those stems. The lower leaves start to yellow and wilt as the bulbs complete their development in mid-to-late summer. Start with one or two plants, then add more until it appears that the entire crop is perishable. Do not be afraid. Wait until half to three-quarters of your crop has dropped, then lean over the stems of the remaining upright plants to begin harvesting. You can easily fold them over the lamp with your hands, which signifies that the plants are ready to go dormant.
Read Also: Tips For Growing Watermelons 2023
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Stop watering when you see the first plants' leaves starting to fall, and leave the bulbs in the ground for 7–14 days (depending on how dry or humid your climate is) so they can mature. The onions won't go bad if water is kept around at this point. Similar advice applies to rain: Once the majority of your onions are fully grown, harvest them all before a significant downpour is predicted because moisture can damage ripe onions.
On a dry, sunny day, carefully remove each onion from its bulb by pulling it out of the ground or dig around the plant to free the bulb. It might come off entirely if you grab the frayed stem. In order to reduce the size of the bulb, make sure to preserve the stem. the potential for rotting. To allow the roots of the onions to dry, place them in the ground or another sunny, open area for one or two days..