Onion issues

emorems0(PA - 6a)August 3, 2014

I got really distracted this summer with new chickens and a baby on the way and pretty much neglected my garden for the past month. My onions got overtaken by nasturtiums and the green tops withered up and are gone. I don't think that would have happened yet if they hadn't been overrun... don't you typically harvest onions closer to fall? I can see a bit of the onions pushing through the soil but they still look fairly small.

At this point, with the tops gone, should I harvest them now? or is there any chance they'll keep growing now that I have uncovered them from their intrusive neighbors?

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theforgottenone1013(MI zone 5b/6a)

Harvest them. They're done.


    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 3:20PM
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emorems0(PA - 6a)

So this is my first time with onions... how do I harvest them? Just dig them up a bit and let them dry on/in the dirt before pulling them all the way out?

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 4:05PM
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wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana

Dig them fully up. If they are in decent condition, let them lay in the row 2 or 3 days. Then bring them into a warm, airy, and shady place to dry and cure. You can string them up by the tops or do like I do. I lay them out with a little bit of space between them on a table in a screened patio.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 7:42PM
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emorems0(PA - 6a)

Thank you! From what I can see poking up from the soil they look like they are still good, we'll see tomorrow when I dig them up :)

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 9:40PM
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naturegirl_2007 5B SW Michigan(5B SW Michigan)

Onions with weed pressure and low fertilization often don't grow very big. (and I know that from experiencing life happening, too) The onions still taste fine, though....just take more time to peel.

New babies definitely come before weeds and fertilizing. Get the rest you need now and be ready to grab a nap when you can once the baby arrives.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 4:19PM
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fcc0(Central PA)

Our onions are back to normal size this year after an incredible harvest last year. I always keep the weeds away but I had a lot of composted mushroom soil added to the onion rows last year and kept them watered and they went bonkers. We grew some spanish and several yellow and red storage onions, started from seed in January indoors under lights and put out early. They all sized up to baseball or larger size - touching in the row and uniform. Never had onions like that in over 20 years of trying. I used to have a cold basement for decent storage before I insulated it but I saw a lot of sprouting the previous winter from my onions stored down there. So I tried an experiment and it worked very well. I put the cured onions in tubs and kept them as cool as possible in the basement through the Fall As soon as it cooled off, I put them in the garage to keep them cold. On a few really cold nights, I brought the tubs in the house, but for the most part, they were in the garage. I managed to keep those onions in prime shape all through the winter. When it warmed up, I collected 20 pounds of the nicest specimens and put them in bags in our garage refrigerator. We managed to keep good onions all year that way, and had some up until late in July when the new crop is getting ready to eat. Free refrigeration!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 6:28PM
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tdscpa(z5 NWKS)

If you have to dig up your onions, you planted them way too deep, and they will be very small.

Mine grow on top of the ground, and are very easy to just lift. Mine also seem to have finished very early this year , but they did attain a pretty good size. Unfortunately, I do not have a cool place to store them.

Guess I'll spread them out on cardboard in my shop when the tops flop over. (Some already have).

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 1:54AM
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wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana

My onions are not fully on top of the ground, but are partly down in the ground. I like them that way and they grow to great size and soundness and are less 'greened'.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 9:47AM
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