How to Harvest and Preserve Onions | SHIFTING ROOTS

How to Harvest and Preserve Onions

Harvesting and preserving onions is one of the easier late-summer-early-fall gardening chores that you will do.  If done right, you’ll have onions well into March.

When are onions ready to harvest?

Onions are ready to harvest when the green parts have fallen over and are starting to turn brown.  If the green parts haven’t fallen over by early-to-mid-August, help Mother Nature out and step on them.  You can keep them in the ground up until the first frost.

Related: 7 Must-Do Fall Gardening Chores

Remove from the garden and set out to dry

Seriously, it’s as simple as it sounds.  You only need to let them dry for an hour, but longer is fine.  Move them indoors if it looks like rain.

Remove dirt and loose onion skins

Again, just as easy as it sounds.  Wear gloves to keep your hands cleaner.  Do not get too crazy with your cleaning.  You want most of the skin on!

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Tie the onions and hang to dry

My family always hung the onions outdoors in a sheltered area safe from rain for at least a week.  I always joked that they must be afraid of vampires.  Yes, I know it’s garlic, I was just trying to be funny.  Transfer them indoors after the week is up, or before freezing temperatures.

Sometimes it’s easier to just watch someone do it.  My Mom shows us how to harvest onions in this short video.

P.S.-Want to catch the latest videos?  Follow the Shifting Roots Facebook Page.  I keep all my Facebook live videos short. . . promise!

What if my onions are starting to rot?

Fear not!  Cut off the bad part, slice or dice in a food processor, and freeze them.  Frozen onions are nice to use for soups over the winter.

Quick Tips and Tricks

  • Save yourself some stress and cut your twine ahead of time so it’s easier to tie your onions
  • Use surgical gloves, like my Mom does in the video, to keep your hands clean
  • This process works for garlic too!

That’s it!  I’d love to hear about your onion harvest or any questions you have in the comments.

Pin me for later!

Harvesting onions is super easy and leaves you with delicious onions from your garden until the spring. Tips and tricks for harvest and storage in the fall. #onion #harvest #storage

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Kristen Raney

Kristen Raney

Kristen is a former farm kid turned urban gardener who owns the popular gardening website, Shifting Roots.  She is obsessed with growing flowers and pushing the limits of what can be grown in her zone 3b garden.  She also loves to grow tomatoes, but oddly enough, dislikes eating them raw.

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Grow roots with us

Kristen

Welcome!

Hi, I'm Kristen and I help new gardeners learn to grow their own vegetables and beautify their yards. I also share recipes that use all that delicious garden produce. Grab a coffee (and your gardening gloves) and join me for gardening tips, simple recipes, and the occasional DIY, all from the lovely city of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

P.S. First time gardener? You'll want to download the quick start gardening guide below!