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Storing Onions in an Irish Climate.


 
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tippben
Rank attained: Vegetable garden tender


Joined: 15 Jan 2011
Posts: 898
Location: north tipperary

PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:32 pm    Post subject: Storing Onions in an Irish Climate. Reply with quote

I've been growing veg in Ireland for 2 years now; before that, the sunny south coast of England. Garlic works ok, but onions and shallots are a pain! They grow beautifully, but don't dry properly for storage. I've tried on traditional chicken wire frames outside, and on newspaper inside, but they all develop mould and are unusable by christmas. I think the August weather is just too cloudy and damp! How do you venerable Irish gardeners get around this problem? I also have a (fairly damp) covered breeze block built shed I could use. Given that we probably use 700 onions a year, and shallots are gorgeous, but expensive, I'd really like to find a solution! Thanks in advance for any advice.
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sirpsycho
Rank attained: Pedunculate oak tree


Joined: 15 Mar 2010
Posts: 341
Location: Stamullen, Co Meath

PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I keep mine in the wooden shed. I just left them spread out on empty seed trays on a shelf. Working so far so good.
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barremic
Rank attained: Rowan Tree
Rank attained: Rowan Tree


Joined: 30 Mar 2007
Posts: 143
Location: Dublin

PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Tippben

I had the same problem this year, last year my onions stored great, and i didnt even do much to look after them.

this year though, i dried them in the GH on wire frames then tried for the first time to string them up, and stored them in the dark garage. Even before christmas we had lost most of them to rot, and the middle of some just fell to mush on the floor.

so any helpful hints would be great, i really enjoyed the crop from the year before well in to spring, not sure what went wrong this year!

Thanks
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Robert Boccaccio
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
Rank attained: Hazel Tree


Joined: 15 Jan 2011
Posts: 5
Location: BALLINA CO.MAYO

PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dry them inside if you can and on a raised platform eg mesh but make sure there is plenty of ventilation. Even when storing them in a frostproof shed, unless it is freezing, ventilate.
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James Kilkelly
Rank: Site Admin


Joined: 30 May 2006
Posts: 2142
Location: West of Ireland

PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Having lost some to mould in a darkened but slightly damp garage last year I decided to change tact.
I dried them inside our glass porch with a side window left open a crack for venting.
The porch stays really dry to inhibit mould but thankfully never gets extremely hot.
It faces north-west so beating sun is not an issue.
It worked like a dream, with no onions lost to mould.
Being a lazy so-and-so i leave the onions there and nip out when one is needed.
It looks a bit honkytonk, but sure no one uses the front doors out here in the country except TV licence inspector and canvassers . Wink



onions inside porch.jpg
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Onions dried inside a glass porch.
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