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Growing and storing onions is a great way to save money on groceries and supply more of your own food. We’ll walk you through the steps of harvesting, curing, and storing your onions so that they last throughout the winter.

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Harvesting Onions

Onions are ready to harvest when the tops have fallen over and begun to turn brown. To harvest your onions, loosen the soil around them as needed and lift them out of the ground. Be careful not to damage the roots or skin.

Once you’ve harvested your onions, allow them to dry by either leaving them in the sun for an hour or bringing them inside and laying them out with space to breathe. Brush off any excess dirt and then get ready to cure them.

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How to Cure Onions

The curing process allows onions to develop their full flavor and storage potential. To cure onions, simply leave them in a cool, dry place with good air circulation for 2-3 weeks.

They can be laid out flat on a surface or hung upside down – a table with slats works great for this purpose!

During this time, check on them occasionally and remove any that have started to rot so that they don’t spoil the others. You are looking for a green part of the onion to turn completely brown and dry. This typically takes about 2-3 weeks.

storing onions on a harvest rack

Storing Onions

Once your onions are fully cured, they can be stored in a cool, dark place for several months. One way to store onions is to braid their tops together and hang them in a dark pantry or basement.

Alternatively, you can also cut off the tops and store them in mesh bags, baskets, or on a shelf with slats (such as in a harvest rack).

The ideal storage conditions for onions are about 32-45 degrees Fahrenheit and 60-70% humidity. If you have a root cellar, you can keep onions there, but make sure it isn’t overly damp. Other options include a dry basement or garage.

Whatever storage method you choose, just ensure that there is good air circulation so that your onions don’t start to mold or rot.

Also make sure that they are not getting direct sunlight; you can cover your shelf with burlap or air-permeable garden fabric to keep direct sunlight out.

Check on your onions regularly and make sure to remove any that are starting to get soft – these onions can accelerate rotting of others nearby.

With these tips, you can enjoy fresh onions all winter long!

For more great resources on storing veggies, check out these articles!

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Carrie Williams Howe is an educational leader by day and an aspiring homesteader by night and weekend. She lives on a small homestead in Vermont with her husband, two children, and a rambunctious border collie. She blogs about her family's homestead life at The Happy Hive.

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