June 16, 2012 - Onions Out!

One of my two Walla Walla Sweet Onion beds is looking great, but the other evidently suffered some wind damage and many of the tops had bent over and broken at the necks of the bulbs.  Once this happens, it doesn't take long for the onions to rot right there in the ground.  I had to pull quite a few if I wanted to save them.


 The good bed.  All of the onions are standing tall.


 The bad bed.  Many onions are flattened.


 Some of the remaining plants are bending, but not yet breaking, so will be allowed to stay and, hopefully, grow larger.


These spent the day drying out on the fence, then were moved to the shed to finish curing.


41 comments:

  1. One or two of my red onions were bent over like you have shown, should I definitely pull them up. They have been in since November and I have only grown them for the first time so not sure how long to cure them once pulled up?

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    1. Captain Shagrat, I would go ahead and pull them. Just brush off the dirt with your hands, then hang them in a dry place until the tops are brown and completely dry. Once dry, you can cut off the tops or braid them, whichever you prefer. A photo of some of last years onions hanging in the garden shed to dry:

      http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-in_9GNIdic8/TgzkwuNDWpI/AAAAAAAAIGQ/ik7O-AwXZjc/s1600/2011-06-30%2Bonions%2Bhanging.jpg

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  2. Your onions have gotten big. Mine are sizing up, but not quite there yet. I usually harvest in August though so they have lots of time.

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    1. Daphne, I'm just about ten days early on these (for first "floppers"), my main harvest usually comes around the second week of July. The ones that are left out there are really looking to be good sized.

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  3. Such a wonderful sight-I love the gardens bounty getting prepped for storage(even EARLY, unplanned storage). Dang wind, though.
    Hope you have a great weekend!

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    1. Sue, this first batch will likely be sent home with all my kids tomorrow. I'll save those big 'uns that are still growing for me! Bwahahaha

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  4. How funny. I was just going to ask today if I should pick my onions that were blown over by the wind. Only one of my beds was affected. At least it wasn't my biggest ones. Unfortunately, it was my bed of candy reds- my only red bed. Thanks for your timely post!

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    1. Langela, you are welcome. Hey, maybe we should start staking our onions! Just kidding ;-)

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    2. I'll get right on planning a staking system. Since I use what I have around the farm for my projects and am running low on supplies, I will be using eyelashes and ant spit to weave something together for the onions. I'll let you know what I come up with once it's patented.

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    3. Langela, don't forget to use the hair from the dog's back and a kitten whisker!

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  5. Those look like some very nice onions, especially considering they were picked early. I am eager to see what your full grown ones look like.

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  6. Granny, you always grow the bestest onions! I hope my onions get as big as yours!

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  7. Coral and Robin, those were really quite small compared to the onions that are still in the ground. The rest should look more like this when they are ready:

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-rnkcIcioWqY/TheMan9JK5I/AAAAAAAAITQ/TVOSlFO_Q9Q/s1600/2011-07-08%2BOnions%2B%252807%2529.jpg

    That was Mr. Granny holding a 1-1/2 pound onion. No, they don't ALL grow that big! I wish!

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    1. You just had to show off your big ones!!

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    2. I've always been that kinda girl, Robin ;-)

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  8. Beautiful! I can only wish for any formed onions. Mine are still looking like scallions and I know I made two mistakes - planted too deep and soil was very compacted and not enough nutrients. Oh well.

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    1. Jenny, I always buy plants and I do plant them deep. I never get large onions if I use sets.

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    2. I used plants as well this year though usually I go for sets. It just didn't work this year. will need to add alot more compost to make them grow next year.

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  9. Wow, those onions look amazing! Mine haven't even begun to form bulbs yet! We're still eating the storage onions from last year; thankfully they've held up really well.

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    1. Nutmeg, I don't have very good luck with storage onions. Mine are still large scallion size.

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  10. Jenny- Mine are like giant scallions too. You are not alone. ;)

    Granny- Now see? Here you were all upset about my strawberries, and your onions are bigger than my cabbages! lol
    Thanks for the tip about them rotting once they fall over too, I'll be on the lookout now.

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    1. Anywhere, I actually have a cabbage bigger than the onions. I'll be picking it this week!

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  11. NIce! I hadn't thought about putting them out in the shed. Good idea

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    1. Tami, that line in the shed is great for drying everything from onions to herbs. I have to be careful though, as the tops dry they get lighter, and sometimes the onions fall off the line.

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  12. Good, bad and bendy, huh? They look great. I wish I had a sweet onion right now for some potato salad : )
    As always, inspiring.

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    1. Oh, Stefaneener, you should be at my house today. I just dug 4.5 pounds of new potatoes for a big potato salad for the family dinner tomorrow. With sweet onions. Alas, I had to buy celery, as mine is too small and tough (and going to seed). Still good enough for soups, but I needed great celery for the salad.

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  13. gesh mine have just started to come out of the ground and here you are pulling some out already...LOL

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    1. Mrs. P., as I look back at my 2011 blog, I see they are not that far ahead of the floppy ones last year.

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  14. Oh my goodness what an awesome harvest of onions!!

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    1. Thanks, Alicia, but that's just a fraction of what will be harvested! Last year I got nearly 50 pounds from the same amount of plants, but I don't think they're quite as large this year.

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  15. My favorite harvest to look at is either garlic or onions hanging to dry! Lovely photo

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    1. Thanks, Erin. I wish it were a bit later, and they were bigger, but at least the rest of them are sizing up better.

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  16. Really nice - mine are not really bulbing up and are very floppy, I've pulled the garlic, The onions are next. Then I'll have a bed to replant!

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    1. David, I'm looking forward to having a bed to replant too, but I won't need it until August. For the first time ever, I'm going to try fall planted peas.

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  17. Annie, your garden looks wonderful! I've taken a break from gardening the past couple years but made a start at getting back into it this year. Next year I'll have a plan and do more, but this time I just needed to plant SOMEthing! I'll be coming back here for tips from the pro!

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    1. Jean, thank you! I just peeked at your blog, and I'll be returning your visits. Even though your cooking puts mine to shame :-)

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  18. You really are the master onion grower. Those are beauties and they were harvested early! I have one patch that is getting good size and looking great. Another patch that is coming along but not nearly as big, and another patch that is already trying to lay over and has small bulbs. I intend to start eating the early floppers now for fresh eating so I can leave the others alone to keep growing on. I have hopes that the Ailsa Craigs will produce a decent crop of good sized onions this year. They certainly have been thriving in the coolish wet week we had this past week or so. I noticed last night the top growth has really thickened up in just the past few days.

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    1. Kitsap, I noticed a few more floppers this morning. Liz mentioned Robin's leaning garlic may have been due to excessive rain, which made me wonder if my excessive floppers are due to double coverage by sprinklers. That bed gets hit by the garden sprinkler as well as the lawn sprinkler (unavoidable). The other bed, of non-floppers, gets half the amount of water. We have to eat all of ours quickly, as they just do not keep long. No problem, all of my kids are very happy to take extras, and I do use a lot of them for cooking.

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    2. Nice onions! Ours up here are bulbing nicely as well.

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    3. Stay @ Home, mine are all beginning to flop now, so they won't be as large as last year's were. Still nice, just quite a bit smaller.

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