Friday, June 15, 2012


This is my first year growing onions.  We eat some onions around here, but not a lot.  Every time I would need an onion though I was always shocked at the price to be paid at the store.  Seems silly to pay a couple of bucks for a red onion (my favorite) so I decided to try to grow my own.

Starting  onions from seed was a joke (trust me I tried) so I purchased a sampler set from Dixiondale and planted them back in March and honestly...They've been the most fun things to grow.  Everyone always talks about how kids should grow radishes because they're easy.  Got news for ya.  Nobody like radishes but everybody eats onions at one time or another.  And are they ever fun to grow!

I've watched theses suckers size themselves up and take care of themselves.  No babysitting!  Easy, Peasy!

I'm most anxious though to try and get them to cure properly so I can store them without them going to rot.  (I tried to store potato's last year and they rotted within a few weeks!)

So I'd really like some advice on how to successfully cure onions.  Here's a link that I found that seems to explain it best.

Any words of wisdom out there from those of you who've stored onions from your own garden?

The Red Candy were falling over first.  There were about 8 plants that had fallen over so I pulled them the other day and laid them on my south facing back porch to dry a bit more. 

Temps have been in the low 80's and we're in for a week without rain so I thought the porch would be a good place to start the curing process.   Nice and dry, good circulation and warm.  I tossed a paper towel over the bulbs to prevent sun scald. 

Should I move them back into the shady part of the porch to cure for a few weeks more?

The rest of the reds are just starting to brown at the tips but the leaves are still erect. so I'll leave them be for now.  The yellows (Candy) and the whites (Super Star) don't look ready to pull yet.  The leaves look really green and "juicy", far from falling over.  The tips are just starting to brown.

How long can I expect these to store if I've cured them properly?  The reason why I ask is that I've got a LOT of onions.  If I can only expect a few months storage, then I'll be giving some away.  There's probably about 50 onions in my garden and I don't think I'd use more that one a week so to say that I've got an over abundance of onions is an understatement.  I'm also not sure about preserving onions long term?  Is there any other way than other than dehydrating them?  Perhaps freezing them? 

So much to consider!  So fess up...How would you proceed if you were me?


  1. Nice - I have been that successful with onions, but am determined to make them work. Thanks for the link on curing them :)

  2. Nice onions! I cure mine and then hang them in the basement with a brown paper bag over them. We just ate the last onion about a week ago.

    About half way through the winter, I noticed that some of the onions were not storing all that well. Those onions were chopped and frozen in 2 Cup packages. We still have about 1 cup of those left.

  3. Um, I think you bought all sweet onions and they will not store properly. If you want long term storage you have to buy an onion that states that in the description. They have less sugar and some will last a year in storage, yours will last a month or two. To cure them, I keep them out of the sun and let them dry laying out, not touching each other, until there is no green in the stem. Then cut the stems off close to the bulb, if you still see green down in there, not dry yet and will rot.

    You would be best to freeze them or pickle them for long storage. But you should get at least a month or two from storing fresh.

  4. I both cure and freeze onions. Not all types of onions store for long periods of time.

    To freeze, clean and chop the onions. Lay them out on baking sheets and place them in the freezer. Once frozen, they can be stored in a large zipper freezer bag. This way they won't stick together and you will be able to scoop out what you need. I tend to freeze mine in good sized chunks. Frozen onions are easy to chop if you need smaller pieces.

  5. They look wonderful! Would you be able to carmelize them and then freeze them? Not sure if that would work, other folks here know way more than I do about it. Maybe you could sell or barter with someone at the farmer's market?

  6. When the onios are ready, knock the greens so they all "fall" to the ground and leave them there for several days to dry out. Pull them and either lay out on a dry deck or hay until all greens turn dry brown. If they are sweet onions you're better off with freezing them because they will only last few weeks (vidalia is sweet). Red and yellow tend to last longer. Just keep them in cool dry place and they'll be fine. You can hang them in the walls in the garage :)

  7. Ditto to everything that everyone else said ;) I grow sweet onions and storage onions. The sweets are chopped and frozen...the storage onions are cured then stored in the walk-in pantry. But at the same time I always have onions growing in the garden (love California) must really be into onions! Share with your neighbors...they will love you forever!

  8. I actually do like radishes.... I used to be able to grow green onions in my garden, but for the last two years, nothing is coming up. Maybe I should try sets instead.

  9. Well, live and learn! Thank you all for you advice. I'll be sharing the wealth with neighbors and chopping and freezing as well. I'll try not to cry!

  10. Oh your onions look great! So glad to have discovered your blog!

  11. Thanks for stopping by, Alicia!