Large Onion Necks - Pictures

mtam0707May 23, 2011

I harvested several of my garlic & onion(s) over the weekend and although I am happy with the results (especially the garlic!), I am wondering if the onion can be saved.

Almost all of the onions did not form a circular 'onion' shape but instead stayed the same size as the stalk, or the neck of the plant. Now that I am curing the onions I was wondering if the onion necks will shrivel (they are large), or if they will stay the same size and the onions are ruined. I did not cut the green leaves off of the onions.

As for my garlic, they look great but some of my larger pieces have thick necks as well & I was wondering if there is a way those will shrink up as well so I can cleanly cut them down after the leaves die back.

I will attempt to post pictures now & any and all advice is appreciated. Thank you!

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Oh, and I also wanted to add that I did wait until the onion/garlic leaves had flopped over or showed signs of browning/flopping. Some of the onions were so large they were poking out of the ground when we picked them.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 9:45AM
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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

They looked healthy, why did you pull them? They were just starting to bulb up. The ground was starting to crack and they were pushing out of the ground, that means they were bulbing up. Onions are day length sensitive.

They don't look like they flopped over. the necks still look very strong.


    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 11:07AM
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Sorry you don't think they flopped over, Jay, but all I know is they did. In fact, they had been flopped by over 50% of the leaves for about a full week before we pulled them.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 11:19AM
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shebear(z8 NCentralTex)

I'm sorry I'm with Jay. When we say flopped over we mean the stem(really leaves) bends over close to the ground. It has nothing to do with the leaves bending up in the air. All onions surface if they are planted correctly--that means no more than 1" deep. You mound dirt around potatoes, radishes, turnips,corn and beets as they grow. You don't mound around onions.

An onions size has to do with how many green leaves it has. Each layer is a leaf. The plant grows the leaves and then the leaves start to expand at the base. That's why you first feed them nitrogen and then back off and let them convert top growth to bottom growth. If you want to eat them, you can pull them at any time. If you want to store them, you wait until the stem(really leaves) buckles close to the ground.

Garlic is a different story. You pull it when most of the leaves are brown.

I really doubt that the onions will keep for very long but you could always chop them and freeze them for cooking purposes.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 11:56AM
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sunnibel7 Md 7(7)

I've got to go with Jay here, those onions look like they haven't had a chance to bulb yet. My understanding of onions is that they bulb based on day length, and even if you are using short-day types (hopefully you are if you're further south than me), they should not be ready yet. When I grew short-day onions, they weren't ready until July. Anyhow, I think "flopping" can be confusing because sometimes the onions just sort of tip over, though they aren't yet ready. When they are flopped due to readiness the neck will have started shrinking, even looking like someone has broken it, and the lowest leaves will have died off leaving a few layers of skin around the bulb. Sorry but I really suspect you pulled them too soon.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 12:03PM
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Oookay. Well, thank you all for your opinions. Back to Google I go. :)

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 12:10PM
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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

Here is where I order all my onions. This year we put out over 7,000 onions plants. All are on raised beds with drip. Four rows to a bed. Some are in high tunnels, some outside. The high tunnel onions look like the big red onion you have pictured. They are growing very well. We plant 2 inches apart and then pull every other onion for a "scallion" or "Green Onions". We consume some and we sell the rest at our Farmers Market booth.

This is some inside onions probably about a month ago.

Here is a picture a few weeks after we planted.

Here is a link that might be useful: Dixondale Farms

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 2:59PM
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nygardener(z6 New York)

Well, the good news is that you can use the stems for cooking or in salads. Discard the brown portions, and refrigerate the rest (including the bulb) before the greens start to wilt.

Immature garlic, also called green garlic, is as you've discovered delicious. Depending on how mature the bulb is (which determines how tough the membranes around the cloves are), you might not have to separate the cloves; just chop the whole bulb and use it. Sweeter and milder than mature, cured garlic.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 3:15PM
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Oh yeah.......pulled too soon, and man those were beautiful and should have ended up as whoppers. You didn't do anything the rest of us haven't done at least once when we started gardening. Use them up asap or freeze as said. You'll know next year.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 6:01PM
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nygardener(z6 New York)

the good news is that you can use the stems for cooking or in salads.

Oops. I meant leaves, not stems. That includes the flat garlic leaves, and the tubular green onions (scallions).

Happy cooking (and growing)!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 9:22PM
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