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Onions is one of the top vegetable that most people consider indispensible in every kitchen as it can be used for so many dishes and in so many ways.
How to Know When Onions are Ready to be Harvested
Harvesting onions is very simple and easy. Depending on when you plant your onions, Most onions take between 80 to 90 days to mature. you can harvest individual onions any time to use immidiately.
For Onions that are going to be store, it is best to harvest them when the bulbs start to fatten up, Usually in mid to late summer or early fall, the leaves on your onion plants will start to bend over at the neck of the onion. That signals that the Onion plant has stopped growing and is ready for harvesting.
Onions should be harvested as soon as the next bends over and not to long after that. Onion will not store well is you don't havest it at the right time. After havesting, you need to cure your onions before you store it.
What is curing Onions
Curing onions is process of drying your onions to get them ready for storage. This process usually takes between 3 to 6 weeks.
Why you should Cure Onions,
You cure onions to get it ready for storage, so that you harvest can last longer. Once properly cured, onions store for saveral months. Some may last up to the end of spring if stored properly.
How to Cure Onions
When the weather is dry, Onions can be gently pulled from the soil and laid right in the garden for a day or two but if it is raining or they might be frost, harvest it and put it in on a rack, pallet, garage or basement floor or shelf in a warm area and out of the sun.
Making sure there is enough space for air circulation around the onion. Spread the onions out in a single layer, (lay them individually and do not stack one on top of the other). A warm area with a temperature of between (75-80 degrees F) and a lot of wind or air circulation.
once the onions start curing, their necks will gradually wither and the skins will tighten around the bulbs.
Once the necks are completely dry and tight, the stems contain no moisture, you can use a knife or scissors to trim the roots off the bottom of each bulb. The leaves can also be trimmed to within 1 or 2″ of the bulb.
remove any Onions that has bruised or damaged bulbs in order to avoid having it destroy the other Onions.
How Long Will Onion Last
For best taste and quality, mild onions should be used up within a few weeks. On the other hand, Pungent onions need to be cured for three to six weeks. once cured properly, pungent onions can store for several months to a year.
How to Store Onions
Onions will have a very long shelf life if kept in a cool and dark location like a garage, basement or shed. make sure the temperature in the storage area is between 35 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit.