Every gardener is in trouble with specific part of growing vegetables. For me, it was the lack of better schedule and where certain vegetables will be placed. Well, it was, until the harvesting and preserving time came. Onions were particularly interesting for this subject since a lot of people are growing them.
Because of that, here’s this article. Let me show you how to store onions and keep them at hand during winter for cooking and preparing salads. As you will see, it is nothing too difficult.
What Is The First Thing To Do?
Proper storing of onions begins much, much sooner than you would think. Namely, not all cultivars are suitable for storing. For example, red onions are much more susceptible to damage and rotting, and are not recommended for this purpose.
On the other hand, those more pungent ones are better, since the level of sulfur which gives strong taste also works as an agent for conserving. Therefore, if it is possible when considering which variety to grow to take one of these into consideration:
Of white and red types, you can choose Stuttgarter for the first kind, or Red Bull for latter. Of course, it is my recommendation to stick with yellow ones.
Are There Any Preparations?
Even before you start harvesting onions, there are few things you need to do, to prolong the time of preservation of onions.
First, determine where you will store them. My preference is the basement, since it is cold enough, and there is enough space. Moreover, it is dark, which is also needed for storing onions. To make everything ready, I have swept dust and dirt, so the basement was clean. Of course, nothing drastic and too much in detail, just to be clean.
Next, I knew that net and crates would be needed as well, so I have prepared those as well. Speaking of boxes, shallow, wooden ones are the best. Of course, if you have plastic ones, they can serve as well, as long as there are ventilation holes.
Old newspapers have been needed, so I found those as well. Those ordinary ones, non-shine ones are the best, since the paper will absorb any extra moist and prevent spoiling. If you have those large paper bags, you can tear them open, so it is one of the solutions.
How And When To Harvest Onions?
As I said in the article dedicated to this subject, there is no specific time frame in which harvesting can be placed, due to a high number of different cultivars. However, you can keep a close look at the leaves above the ground. Once they start withering, know that the time to act draws near.
The first thing to do is to take a spade or trowel and loosen the soil around the bulbs. This way, you will able to pull the plants out. Shake off any extra dirt and leave them lying on the ground for a few days. Any remaining soil will get dried like this, so it will be easier to remove it entirely.
Now, after those few days, thing whether you want to store just bulbs, or to make a string out of it. If crates are your options, remove all leaves above the bulb. Don’t cut them too close to bulb and flesh; there should be a small part of the neck. Next thing which is in order is complete drying.
Spread the net or cardboard, and evenly distribute the bulbs. Watch that there is space between each bulb and don’t spread them in levels. Also, while doing this, see that all bulbs ready for drying are without damage or soft spots. If there are any such, set them aside and use those first.
How To Properly Store Onions?
Luckily, there aren’t too many things which are needed for proper storing. First, after about a week in shade and windy place, onions are ready for their final place. Those crates I have mentioned, use them now.
Fill each crate with bulbs, and take them to the basement. If there are enough holes for the wind to circulate, you can stack them one upon another. If not, see to spread crates. Also, don’t remove the outer layer of onions. That thin, paper-like layer is intended for the protection of the bulb. Once it gets dry, it will be perfect for protection.
Caring is also almost trivial, once in every week or two just visit the basement and see if the bulbs are still hard and healthy. If there are spoiled ones, either use those first or throw them away.
Is This The Only Way?
Luckily, there is another way to store onions for a more extended period but will require some peeling and freezing. Note that this way will reduce the crispiness and freshness of the onion, so if you don’t mind it, proceed with this treatment.
Peel onions, and wash them thoroughly. My preference was to leave the bulbs for an hour or two to dry from water completely. Now, use ziplock bags, and store bulbs there. Onions can be either put whole or cut into cubes or rings; it is up to you.
Take all air out, not just because of space which it occupies, but because the air will cause spoiling. After that, just throw the bag into the freezer. When needed, just defrost them.
So, there it is. Now you know how to store onions so that you will have them available whenever needed. As you can see, the procedure is not something difficult, and you should be good, as long as you look after them.
In case that I missed any creative way to store these wonderful vegetables, feel free to share with the rest of us what you know in the comment section below.