Recently, we have received quite a few phone calls from customers that are experiencing wet, rainy weather in their parts of the country. Some of these customers are just planting, while others are asking should they harvest before or after the rain passes.
Keeping Your Onions Healthy and Dry
Once you receive your onion plants by mail, we tell customers that drier onions plants are better than the contrary. If your ground is still too wet to plant, be sure to store your onion plants in a cool, dry place until the rain passes. Cut the rubber bands to allow ventilation to your onion plants. If you leave the rubber band on, the plants may mold and rot in the center of the bunch. The same holds true throughout the growing season; dry is better than overly wet. While onions need water, overwatering after rain can be very detrimental.
For those customers that have received or are receiving constant rain, your goal is to stay ahead of the disease by applying the fungicide to your onions. We recommend our Mancozeb Fungicide with Zinc or OxiDate Organic Fungicide. Apply every 7-10 days as a preventative and every 5-7 days if you see the tips of the foliage start to turn yellow or brown. This is one of the first signs of disease.
When to Harvest with Rain in Your Forecast
If your onions are nearing harvest and you are expecting rain, there are a couple of options.
One, you can harvest your onions so that the tops do not experience that added moisture from the rain. You can pull them into a cool, dry place that is covered so that the onions can continue to dry inside. We advise that the curing process will take a bit longer than normal by not allowing all of the tops to fall over and seal off the onion bulb on their own. We would recommend this for customers that have multiple days of rain in their forecast with no drying days in the near future.
The second option is to leave them out in the field or garden until the rain passes and continue to allow them to dry and cure naturally in the garden. Again, this will extend the days to harvest, but will allow the process to continue naturally without interrupting it by harvesting prematurely. As always, we are available year around to answer any growing questions you may have along the way or specific questions about rain in your onion patch. Contact us by phone at (830) 876-2430 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
i live in an area where high winds are the norm. i have been told that if the tops get blown over at an early stage of development, you should cut the tops at the bend and they will grow more tops. i will assume this is false since you do not mention it. i would appreciate your input
We advise against cutting the tops as it will allow a larger avenue for bacteria to reach the center of the bulb. We’d recommend spraying them with a fungicide if they have damage from the wind. This will keep them from weakening in that early stage of growth.