This morning, there is definitely an Autumn chill in the air. Not that I mind, as I find it so much easier to handle working outside. Summer temperatures here can easily reach into the 30′s Celsius and it seems the older I get, the harder it is to be out in the heat.
Over the next few weeks, I am going to be slowly emptying parts of the vegetable garden. I started this morning with pulling the red and white onions I grew. I wait to harvest (for storing) until the tops have fallen over and have started to yellow. They’re ready now to be pulled and cured.
I had already pulled the row on red onions when I took this picture. You can see how the tops have fallen over. You can also see that blasted Chickweed in the foreground – how I dislike that weed!
The onions are nice and big – Graham will love having these to eat over the winter. Me, not so much – I have never met an onion I liked.
There are a few ways to cure onions so they will last over the winter. You can braid them so they hang together or you can lay them out on newspaper. Put them in a cool, dry place and leave them for a couple of weeks. Check on them during that time, they may need to be rotated. Try and get as much garden dirt off of them as you can. Don’t worry if there is still a bit left on there; as the onions dry, the dirt will fall off.
I try to leave room between the onions as I don’t really want them touching each other. Leave the tops on while the onions are curing.
Small onions and bigger onions set to cure on newspapers.
After a couple of weeks, the tops will have dried and the onions should be cured and ready to be stored. At that point, I will cut off the tops, leaving an inch or so. I like to put my onions into those mesh bags and I save any from the grocery store (the bags that oranges come in). Don’t store your onions with your other winter stored vegetables, because they will pick up the odor of the onions. I keep my onions and garlic in one room downstairs and all the other veggies go into the cold room. Squash is another vegetable that should be stored separately, it likes a warmer temperature than most cold rooms provide.
If you want to read more about cold storage so you can enjoy your garden harvests well into winter, check out the link. In general, we eat our garden potatoes, carrots and garlic until at least March. Grocery store prices skyrocket in the winter time, especially for fruits and vegetables, so start looking into building a cold room or root cellar of your own. It will save you money and the food you grow is healthier for you.