It’s midsummer now, and the onions planted in spring have begun to flop over at the neck and lose their bright green colour, signalling that they’ve stopped growing.
If you planted onions that are suitable for storage, you’ll need to ensure that they’re suitably dry before storing them. This process is called curing.
To cure and store onions
- Stop watering your onions once they flop over, and wait for a dry day to harvest them.
- Use a garden fork to lift them from the soil, or grasp the greens and gently pull them out. You don’t want to bruise or damage any part of the onion, as this may lead to rot.
- Set them out in the sun for a day or two to dry the roots. Choose a location that maximizes airflow. For example, you could place them on a sheet of mesh over an umbrella clothesline, or drape them over a fence.
- Carefully remove any clods of dirt clinging to the bulbs or roots.
- Bring the onions inside to a warm, dry room in your house or garage. Spread the onions out on newspaper, in a single layer, making sure they don’t touch each other.
- Check them every few days, and remove any rotting or damaged onions right away.
- Once the necks of the onions are completely dry, and contain no moisture, cut the roots off the bulb, and trim the stems to about an inch long. The bulbs should now have a nice papery coating that will protect the moist layers within. This curing process may take up to a month.
- Store onions in baskets, mesh bags, or cardboard boxes with holes in them. Place them in a cool, dark place.
Enjoy! Properly cured onions can be kept in storage for well over a year.