The hot days of July are the time to harvest garden onions. Onions should be harvested as soon as they have matured. They are mature when more than half of the tops of the plants have broken or fallen over at the neck of the plant to the ground. This usually occurs about 100 days after planting.


The hot days of July are the time to harvest garden onions. Onions should be harvested as soon as they have matured. They are mature when more than half of the tops of the plants have broken or fallen over at the neck of the plant to the ground. This usually occurs about 100 days after planting.

If there are a few tops remaining upright, these can be broken down by gently running the back of a rake over them. There are several steps to be taken when harvesting garden onions. When the tops are dead, usually a couple of days later pull or dig up the onion bulbs. Pulled plants should be left on the soil surface for at least one or two days.

After the tops are cured and dried, they can either be braided or cut. If they are cut, leave about 1 to 1.5 inches above the bulb. Move the onions to a shaded location (to prevent sunscald) for several days to cure.

Spread them out to ensure all the onions will dry evenly. When the outer skin is completely dry, gently clean the remaining dirt from the onions. Some varieties have higher water content and are more susceptible to bruising; therefore, always handle harvested onions carefully.

To store onions, place them loosely in a mesh bag or crate. In a crate, stack them in a crisscross manner, leaving air space. Storage should be in a cool, dry room that has good air circulation. If properly cured, onions should keep about four months to one year. Shallot bulbs mature in about five months. They are harvested and stored like onions.

Happy harvesting!