Time to Harvest Onions

onion harvest
I harvested my onions around a week ago and they have been drying out on the floor of the outhouse ever since. There are fewer onions than last year. I decided not to plant so many this year because we couldn’t eat all of last year’s onions before they started to rot and so consequently a lot of them went to waste – which is heartbreaking after you have put in so much effort. So this year I planted a few super early ones (Radar) which did very well, then around 20 white onions and another 10-12 red onions (Red Baron). I also planted around 8-9 sets of shallots which, despite the foul weather, have harvested very well (even if some of them are a little small).
Onions are a staple crop of the allotmenteer. They’re like potatoes – you kind of have to grow them just because they’re pretty easy and everyone else does it. I must admit I’m hard pressed to tell the difference in taste between a store-bought onion and my own. Maybe my taste buds are faulty but I really can’t! Some would say, ‘well what’s the point in growing them if you can buy the same thing in the shops?’ But of course it’s the sense of achievement that growing them gives you. With all that weeding, feeding, harvesting, drying, hanging, onions are time intensive when you really think about it. But there’s nothing more satisfying than making French onion soup with ‘my own onions’ and bringing it to the dinner table with a flourish – ta-da! It makes all the hard work worthwhile.

9 Comments on “Time to Harvest Onions

  1. I think you hit the nail on the head there. In cost terms I don’t think there is much money to be saved in growing food on a small scale, but knowing the provenance of the produce and measuring the food metres instead of food miles is priceless. I love putting my own grown things on the table.

  2. I sadly announced to my wife today that we had to start buying onions again. we had a good 6 or 7 weeks of eating our own.

    keep enjoying yours.

  3. I have come to the same conclusion about growing too much. A lot does go to waste if you’re not careful and it’s heartbreaking. I’ve made the monumental decision to give up half of my plot for this reason and grow a little less of everything. Friends and neighbours will take just so much of your surplus but there’s all your own precious time and energy to account for. So it’s downscaling for me and allowing someone on the substantial waiting list to take a half plot.

  4. Oh no, it is wonderful to grow your own. There is the joy of the gardening, of course, and it is nice to know where your dinner has come from. And, these days, perhaps safer, too.

    I envy you your haul. Enjoy it.


  5. Did you have to say that onions are easy to grow! I never seem to have much luck with them, although my shallots did do ok for once this year. I have no idea where I’m going wrong, I used to think it might have been because I never water them, but with all the rain we’ve had this year that can’t be it. Maybe it’s feeding them!

    I’m so envious of your harvest mtp :-)

    SP x

  6. Turbo always give good results for onions.
    Onions need space, feeding as well as watering, always hand weed never hoe.
    Use onions with thick necks first, they always seem to go off first…Tony

  7. If you have too many fresh onions at any one time then peel them, dice therm and freeze them. They stay fine for both salads and cooking for absolutely ages.

  8. hi , i’d just like to say how much l like reading your comments and would like to add a few words about my own onions.l live in croydon,surrey and the weather down here has been very hot and my onions and leeks and garlic have loved it. l’m growing red baron ,stuttgarter giant and sturon onions , three types of garlic and leeks the garlic i’ve harvested a couple of weeks back ,the leeks are growing fine and the onions must be near ready,they are absolutely huge.last autumn l incorporated a load of horse manure into my raised beds and they’ve grown fantastically.thanks and enjoy your onions.declan

  9. I just harvested my first onion crop yesterday here in Germany. The tops had fallen and turned brown. When I pulled them up many had not grown very large but they were all a dark brown color (much like the picture on this web page) and seem kind of hard–not what you see in the supermarket. I planted a second crop about 6 weeks after this crop and those onion have just started falling over and look very large, green and plump. Did I wait too long to pick the first crop (I planted on 6 Apr) and can I still use them? Also, what is the best way to cure or dry my onions? Thanks very much! Tom