Onions can puzzle even an experienced gardener: when to clean it? When to deposit? Indeed, vegetation periods differ from each other, and often you cannot equal last year - you can seriously miscalculate. Or is it worth it to equal, and do everything as per a pre-prescribed plan? Let us understand today how to properly prepare onions for harvesting. Naturally, in this material we will touch on the ripening dates of onions, and digging, and drying, and much more.Onions - correctly harvest and prepare for storage.
Optimal onion harvesting time
So, about maturity. In onions, it can be determined by lying and greatly changing the color of the pen - usually it turns yellow. And of course, onion ripening will be indicated by the neck of the bulb beginning to dry out. Quite natural biological processes take place - the fading sheets give food to the bulbs, the coverslips of the head change color, they acquire a typical color of the variety.
Most often, the onion does not ripen one at a time, then here and there, but rather simultaneously, that is, somewhere around 65-75% and up to 85% of the leaves die right away, which is a kind of go-ahead to harvest.
Usually, onions massively begin to be harvested from the third decade of July until the beginning of the first month of autumn. However, it is important to consider the climatic features of the area where you live; the weather that is now outside the window; initial features of onion cultivation on the site; the land structure of your site, and naturally, varietal features.
For example, when planting winter onions, it will have to be harvested, naturally, earlier than when planting spring onions.
Consider the fact that if there is real heat for a long period, onion ripening can come faster, and then onion harvesting can be started safely ten days earlier than the specified time.
In the northern regions it is colder, and onion harvesting begins closer to mid-August, and in years characterized by coolness and excess moisture, even in early September. But even in these harsh Siberian regions, if it’s hot in August, then you shouldn’t delay the cleaning, because then it can become very cold and it will be very difficult to wait for good weather.
Some gardeners, by the way, who love to measure everything in numbers, believe that the period from spring planting of onions into the ground to its excavation varies within wide limits and amounts to about 75-90 days. So, by the time the pen is down, you can add the numbers of smart mathematicians, and if the numbers agree with what the eye sees, then it's time to harvest.
By the way, another interesting feature is the lunar calendar, which seems to be not a very serious thing, but the experience of so many generations of people and civilizations. If you strictly follow his advice and remove the bow when it is written in the lunar calendar, then lay the bow can be much longer. But you still need to act reasonably: so, if there is heavy rain outside the window, and the lunar calendar indicates the perfect day to harvest, then this is clearly not worth it.Usually, onions massively begin to be harvested from the third decade of July until the beginning of the first month of autumn.
The importance of timely onion harvesting
It is important to remove all crops from the garden in a timely manner, and onions are no exception, but in this case, in addition to violating some taste (the onions will become more sweet or bitter), it is also important to consider the length of the onion storage period: if you rush to harvest or vice versa tighten with it, then the onion may be poorly stored, rot.
Why it happens? It turns out that if the bulb is removed from the earth earlier than the prescribed period, then the onion cover scales that are located on the surface of each bulb will not form completely and will not be able to protect the head from putrefactive bacteria during storage.
In addition, the neck of an onion pulled out of the ground early, as a rule, is still not completely dried up; on the contrary, it is quite thick and juicy. If this is true, then after laying for storage the duration of the onion lying down for at least a couple of months will be very short.
If you do not have the opportunity to wait (you live far from the dacha and will be here next time only in a year), and the onion is not yet ready for ripening, then you can remove it like that, but then you will need to use it as soon as possible for food or apply as part of a wide variety of workpieces.
We talked about what will happen if you pull the onion out of the ground ahead of time, but believe me - nothing particularly good will happen if the onion is pulled out of the earth much later than the optimal time.
It is interesting to know that even in the actually dead plant, when only the bulb remains alive, which continues to sit in the ground waiting for digging, it starts to grow again, forming small suction roots, in connection with which the turnip itself matures, the upper integument begins to burst and all this ends with rotting of the bulb either directly in the ground or during storage.
How to accelerate the ripening of onions?
There are different situations in life, sometimes due to bad weather, sometimes technology or health fails when it is necessary to activate growth processes aimed at accelerating the ripening of onions.
There are many ways to accelerate the ripening of onions. The first, most common, next technique. We take onion tops and gently hold them as if we are trying to take the bulbs out of the soil, sometimes the head really shows up from the soil, but you can’t pull it further. The essence of this method is that we cut off the suction roots of the bulb, and it begins to actively eat due to the leaf mass. With caution, this procedure should be carried out on sandy and too heavy soils. On sandy ones, you can pull the bulb out of the ground, and on heavy ones you can tear the tops off.
The second method is more gentle and does not require the use of physical forces and expenses of a large amount of time - you just need to stop moistening the earth a couple of weeks before harvesting.
The third method is painstaking, you need to carefully dig each bulb to expose its upper part, then the onion head will be ajar, cover scales will form more quickly, and the onion will begin to ripen more actively and will soon be ready for harvesting.
By the way, when using the third method, it is important not to water the plants, and if it is thought to rain, then you need to immediately cover the entire plantation with film. Bare heads when water gets on them can begin to rot.
Well, a tip for dummies who are trying to accelerate the ripening of onions by cutting the pen. At least it’s stupid to do this - you cut off all the nutrients that could end up in the bulbs.If, before the prescribed period, remove the bulb from the ground, then the covering onion scales will not form completely and will not be able to protect the head from rotting.
Features of harvesting onions
You need to start with the choice of weather - no rain today, neither yesterday, nor tomorrow - only dry, warm, and better, even hot weather. Only in this weather, after you remove the onions from the ground, you can properly dry it directly in the garden, without transferring it under a canopy or into the room. If the weather pleased in the morning, and in the middle of the day a drizzle drizzled, or even more - a downpour started, then, naturally, all the harvested crops for drying would need to be transferred under a canopy or in a dry and ventilated room.
Bulbs are usually dug up with hands, most often using forks to “modernize” this process. The main thing in this case is not to rush and dig up the bulbs so as not to damage their covering surfaces. After digging the head carefully, with your hands, without knocking on each other and without hitting the ground, you need to clean the adhering dirt and lay it on the surface of the earth.
By the way, I would like to give a separate tip to the "haste" - do not grab a few plants and pull them out in bunches without using a pitchfork. It is necessary to take out each onion separately, gently prying it with a pitchfork, because if you damage the covering scales, then the onion will be very poorly stored.
After digging, the onions can be folded directly onto the ground or spread the burlap and lay the onions on it. It should be folded solely in one layer so that the onion dries well.
At night, so that the onion is not covered with moisture again, it is advisable to bring it into any dry room or put it in the attic.
In general, the onion dries best at temperatures from 24 to 32 degrees above zero, and it is fine if this temperature is not created in the room with appropriate appliances, and if the onion dries under the natural rays of the sun. Only in an open area or, for example, under a canopy, can one provide a suitable temperature and the movement of air that can dry literally each bulb individually.
About once a day, it is necessary to change the position of the bulbs, and so for 12-14 days.
If you want the onion to dry out as perfectly as possible, then build something like a hammock and put the onion on it, but also with one layer, no more.
By the way, in no case cut off the feathers! Dry onions only with them.You need to dry the onions with feathers, you can braid them in a braid.
Preparing onions for storage
First of all, you need to understand that the onion is already really dry. There are several factors that indicate this: the neck should be closed and dry; outer scales should be dense and completely dry, that is, rustling in the hand; the density of the bulbs themselves - dry bulbs should not be soft.
When you realize that the bulbs are dry, it's time to cut the leaves. The sheets are cut so that there is a short neck with a length of three or a little more than centimeters. Examine the bottom of the bulb - with a sharp knife, remove all the roots on it.
It is clear that if you keep the bulbs tied in braids, then there can be no talk of any removal of the sheets, but it is still worth trimming them, because 12 centimeters in length is quite enough for this.
After the onion has been cut, it must be carefully sorted and all the bulbs that have any suspicion of rot or are simply deformed should be set aside for now. Throwing them away, of course, is not worth it, but you can put it into processing or store it, which is called in plain sight and, if anything, throw it away right away.
Air-conditioning onions can be folded into wooden baskets, cardboard boxes, wooden boxes, bags or simply hung, but be sure to place them in a dry room without excess moisture.
Conclusion So, you know the signs of onion ripening, understand how to accelerate its ripening, how to prepare it for storage and even in what to store it. And if you faithfully follow all the recommended steps, then the taste of the crop and the duration of its storage will definitely please you.