Onion Harvesting and Curing Tips
Onions are officially ready to harvest when the tops turn yellow or brown and fall over. Be sure to stop watering once you see the tops falling over. Watering during this time can decrease your storage potential. Keep in mind that the last thing the leaves do during the onion growing cycle is send flavor and color to the bulb.
Be sure to harvest early on a clear day, and lay the onions out in the field for at least a full day to dry. Place the tops of one row over the bulbs of the next to keep the onions from getting sunscald.
Your onions need to be thoroughly dried, or cured, in order to store properly and to avoid rot and spoilage. The curing process may take up to 3 to 4 weeks. You can leave them out in the field to cure if weather permits. If it starts to rain or there is rain in your forecast, be sure to bring them in from the field and allow them to continue drying or curing in a garage, storage shed, or on your porch. You want them to be well-ventilated with low humidity indoors.
Your goal is to get them dry enough that the skin at the neck is tight and doesn’t slip. Also, the outer leaves should become dry and rustle when touched while the skin takes on a uniform texture and color. Don’t remove the dry outer layers as they help protect the onion until it’s ready to eat. When the onions are completely dry, you can clip off the roots and trim the tops down to 1-2 inches long. Your onions are now ready to enjoy!