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Harvesting Onions


 
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Blowin
Rank attained: Orchard owner


Joined: 20 Aug 2008
Posts: 678
Location: Drimoleague, Co Cork

PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 7:02 pm    Post subject: Harvesting Onions Reply with quote

Here in West Cork we've had a terrible Summer and the number of 'Summer Days' suitable for drying and ripening onions outside has been negligible.

We've therefore resorted to racking the huge crop of onions in the garage on pallets with the foliage dangling through the gaps between boards and the roots uppermost.

Has anyone ever tried this and, if so, does it affect the way the goodness drains out of the foliage into the bulb?

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verge
Rank: Chief Moderator


Joined: 04 Jun 2006
Posts: 598
Location: Ireland

PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Blowin. Had the onion stems tops fallen over outdoors already and begun to dry?
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Blowin
Rank attained: Orchard owner


Joined: 20 Aug 2008
Posts: 678
Location: Drimoleague, Co Cork

PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No! But they'd been blown over by the strong SW winds. MOst were still green.
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verge
Rank: Chief Moderator


Joined: 04 Jun 2006
Posts: 598
Location: Ireland

PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The bit of shelter is essential alright when grow most veg, but even sheltered areas got a good few gusts and lashings of rain. I have never tried to save onions at the stage you mention Blowin, but I presume you will have a few failures due to rotting. I believe it would be very much like trying to save scallions or spring onions at the green stage you have racked them at. And I know what happens to my scallions if I leave them in the press for too long..... wrinkled mush.
I think you made a good move though by leaving the foliage dangling through the gaps between boards and the roots uppermost, It should help prevent the bulb itself rotting.
If it happens again in future seasons the best course of action is if they are blown over and the roots dislodged, then you should lift them altogether and leave them to one side of their planting position until the stems start to go brown. Then bring them indoors for storing.

Let us know how this years crop ended up as I am interested as to the results. Smile
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Blowin
Rank attained: Orchard owner


Joined: 20 Aug 2008
Posts: 678
Location: Drimoleague, Co Cork

PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that. I'll certainly let you know what happens but I may have misled you slightly.

The crop was enormous and the outsides of the bulbs were definitely brown and ripe looking. Whilst the stems had been bent over by the wind, the bulbs were still firmly rooted but I thought it would be the time to lift them.

I planted an early 'overwinter' crop that did exceptionally well too but, again, we didn't have enough warm, sunny days to really ripen them and my attempts at storing them weren't very successful. Many have gone soft.

My shallots produced well, too, and seemed to dry quite well spread out on plastic netting. I'm keeping them in saved egg boxes as an experiment - fingers well and truly crossed.

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Blowin
Rank attained: Orchard owner


Joined: 20 Aug 2008
Posts: 678
Location: Drimoleague, Co Cork

PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 6:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm pleased to say that the onions have dried well and I've now strung them up on ropes, hanging from rafters in the garage.

Shallots stored in saved egg boxes are also doing well. Easy to stack on a bench or shelf

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verge
Rank: Chief Moderator


Joined: 04 Jun 2006
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Location: Ireland

PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the update Blowin. Its helpful for others in your position in years to come. Enjoy your onions.
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Sean Ph'lib
Rank attained: Ash Tree
Rank attained: Ash Tree


Joined: 11 Dec 2008
Posts: 200
Location: Co Kerry

PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 1:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had the same problem as Blowin with my onions this year, and I adopted the same method of dealing with it. I eventually got the onions dry, and they looked to be well-saved, but I've lost about a third of them to rot already. I think onions need sunshine to ripen properly - simple as that, and that's something we just didn't get! Sad
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Import
Rank attained: Hawthorn Tree
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Joined: 20 Sep 2008
Posts: 57

PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I left the onions in the bed and have lost about a third of them as well. This was the first year I have grown onions with any measure of success.
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