Onion Harvesting


Storage has varied, as we built more/better places. Currently we have a “sort of” root cellar; the NW corner of the barn foundation is closed off, and the interior walls and ceiling are insulated, the foundation is below ground in that corner. It takes longer than I would like to get cool in the fall (am working on that) but seems to hold its temps at 38-40F pretty well. The humidity levels are lower than ideal due to our dry climate and the concrete walls/floor. But it seems to work OK. Prior to that, we used a “cold room” in the house (heat turned off in it and door shut), and extra fridges in the garage. Even tried buried pits outside. Root cellar seems to work as well as any of the solutions and better than quite a few; I am hoping for storage improvement if I can get the fall temps lower more quickly.

BTW, I just started my Ailsa Craig seeds a week or so ago. The pattern which seem to work here is starting them Feb 1, transplanting when about 1 month old to the greenhouse, then transplanting again outdoors in April when they have sized up to “pencil” diameter and after most of our winter.


Nice. Mine were kept in the house at 60-65 deg. so I need to consider other options for longer storage. No cellars here as the water table is high. We do have a crawl space so I’m thinking to put a big Rubbermaid box under there with a thermometer that telemeters the temp to the kitchen to see what kind of temps we get in relation to outside temps.
My onions seeds are in as well. I’m experimenting with multisowing in modules this year. That may help them not to get so big. We can put them out in March.


I start mine usually the 15th of this month. My lights are already taken, I only have one left so I need to figure something out this year. Not much room for onions, peppers, and tomatoes.
My onions sprouted early this year too. One that didn’t and is only supposed to last 90 days is Ambition Shallot. Mine are still very good. It’s possible they could be Camelot shallots too, as I had a few seeds of them in there, but think it’s Ambition. I will grow this one again. I love these shallots as they are mild enough to go into fresh salads. Even mild onions here come out strong for some reason? The shallots have proved more useful for a mild taste.


Do you spray sulfur nearby for fruit trees?


I do spray sulfur, and also add it to my blueberries, it’s possible as to why they are strong? i would say not because they all taste the same and some are grown wherever I have room, with the strawberries, with the blueberries, and every other year I have 2 4x4 beds for them alone. This year tomatoes and peppers go into those beds. Last year they were in those beds. I do find they seem to like an acidic environment. The biggest onions are always with the blueberries.
Still you could be right! Nothing I can really do about it. It’s fine the shallots work, and I really like growing them. Such fine firm texture, and beautiful coloring.
This year I’m growing some from Baker Creek, plus a few from last year.


I just have heard that part of the reason why Vidalia onions are so good is the lack of sulfur naturally occurring in that area. I have always wondered if spraying sulfur for my trees will affect the flavor of my onions but it has been a moot point until I get them bigger than pearls, lol.


I had always heard, that alliums (onions & garlic) don’t really need a lot of S in the soil to create their flavor molecules, they will find it. Varieties make more of a difference I was told. Pick a sweet variety, grow it in good conditions in good soil etc. and you will have a mild tasty onion. Take a regular storage onion and let it grow with insect/pest pressure, in poor soil and without sufficient water and you will get pungent onions (and small too).

I have not put this theory to a complete test, but I have noticed that my Ailsa Craig onions are very sweet and mild in good years and more pungent and smaller in bad. Have not had the interest to test the other extreme.


Mine come out fairly pungent, but they are not small by any means.
I need to find a good sweet. I like them strong for certain dishes. It would be nice to have a good mild one too, I put photos of the ones I grew last year here.