When are Onions Almost Ready for Lifting?

When they begin to do this…..

Some of the onions are naturally bending or ‘flopping’ over now, the leaves are still very green so they’re not ready just yet. What they’re doing now is getting ready for the drying process which is really important if they’re to store well.

At the moment I’ve exposed the bulbs to the sun by removing any built-up soil around the bulbs and re-positioned the leaves to allow maximum sunlight through. I’ll leave them like this until all the onion necks have naturally bent over and the leaves start yellowing, then, gently lift them during a spell of dry weather and place on top of the soil to dry. If wet weather threatens I’ll move them into the greenhouse and place on racks to complete their drying process.

I used the garage to dry onions last year, trouble is the mice are a real pain and happily nibbled their way through some of them so the greenhouse seems to be the better option this year. I have noticed my onions are a tad smaller than previous years, I’m putting this down to the hot dry spring.

4 thoughts on “When are Onions Almost Ready for Lifting?

  1. I’m interested to know when you planted your sets, Karen. My onions are bulking up nicely but showing no signs of flopping – apart from the ones that were crowded out by spinach grown in between the rows! I dried my onions and garlic in my friend’s greenhouse last year; the garlic is still keeping well and the yellow-skinned onions did well, the red onions not so much, lasting just a few months. I guess it depends on the variety as well as the drying.


  2. April I believe :)

    I planted more a few weeks later at my allotment, no sign of bending just yet though.


  3. Nice looking onions :) We were hoping to lift ours this week but it’s a bit too wet. Did you grow shallots this year? Just wondered as ours have put on a poor show.


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