Onions – Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Planting, Growing, Harvesting, Curing & Storing Fresh Onions

Onions – Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Planting, Growing, Harvesting, Curing & Storing Fresh Onions

It is time to harvest the onions!

This is really a continuation of my original onion post:  How to Plant Onions.  Go here to see it.

I buy my onion sets at our our local hardware store.  They are sold by the pound and are practically free.

Growing onions is a joy.  There are some crops that are just fun and easy.  There’s not any real bugs, diseases, or funk associated with them.  Onions are one of those lovely garden additions.  They are predictable and faithful.  I know what I plant will come back out of the ground healthy and easily.  No blight.  No squash bugs.  No cabbage worms.  No fungus.  Yea!  Onions!

onion collage

Onions are super easy to plant and grow.  You can see the sequence from the grid above:

  1. Use a rake handle or other garden tool to punch 3-4 inch deep holes in the ground
  2. Stick the onion sets in the holes
  3. Let grow
  4. Harvest
  5. Cure
  6. Move to long-term cool storage

onion collage 2

How do you know when it’s time to harvest the onions?

Here’s some signs to look for:

  • the tips are beginning to turn brown
  • the stalks are flopping over

onions 1

If it hadn’t been raining for the past 30 days straight I could just pull the onions out of the ground.  Since we have been underwater here in Kentucky I had to dig up my onions.

onions 2.1

After pulling digging them up I tied them into bundles.

onions 2.3

Hang the bundles in a hot, dry place to cure.  Curing removes all the moisture from the outside of the onion bulbs.  This will allow them to store for months and months and months in a basement or root cellar.  If you were to skip the curing and take the onions straight from the garden to cool storage you would end up with a bunch of moldy, squishy bulbs in a few weeks.  Gross.

I allow mine to hang out in our barn for 3-4 weeks.  Once they are hard and dry I can easily brush off the dirt and braid them.  I then move the onion braids to a cool, dry place (like my basement).


My onions hang next to the garlic and Christmas Decorations until I want one.  Throughout the year I just go to the basement and cut off an onion or two as needed.  If properly cured, these onions will last until next February!  Maybe longer, but I always run out by February.

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Happy Harvesting!

  • Candi

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