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Question about onions.

LynLyn Posts: 21,372
My onions are huge but the green hasn’t started to die off yet, should I pull them up or will they just find their own level and sit in the ground until I’m ready for them.
Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 


  • HouseFinchHouseFinch Posts: 327
    What is your secret? Green with envy! Ours were popping out on their own :) Frost is a long ways off-what would be the need to pull them out now? I would leave them in. Have they flowered?
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 16,527
    With big onions, I just left them until the tops bend over naturally and start to yellow. Then leave out if dry, but if its wet, lift and fully dry off in a greenhouse or other dry place.
  • LynLyn Posts: 21,372
    edited August 2019
    Thank you @fidgetbones the tops have just started to bend over but still green, I was worried in case they grew too big and were tasteless, I’ll leave them in for a bit longer until they turn yellow. 

    @HouseFinch. They are Ailsa Craig, I’ve grown Bedfordshire Champ before but they never got as big as these.
    Dont know the secret,  lots of compost on the ground maybe. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 16,527
    For big ones I always grew Robinsons Mammoth, both white and red sorts.  They grew huge, but still a good flavour and stored until March.  I haven't got myself organised for a couple of years, but I should put seed in early January if I remember.  Sets don't seem to do well for me.
  • LynLyn Posts: 21,372
    I sowed mine on the 1st Feb. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,391
    Agree with fidgetbones and I also loosen the soil and lift them with roots intact before drying off in either way mentioned.  Doing that reduces the chance of damaging the root-plate, which reduces their storage potential. I've managed to become self-sufficient in onions for the last couple of years as they have stored so well.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • LynLyn Posts: 21,372
    Thanks Bob, this next.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Allotment BoyAllotment Boy Posts: 5,992
    Onions have much longer fine roots than most of us are aware of so if you put a fork under them & ease them up, they will begin to dry & harden off but keep the root plate as mentioned already, you can then lift & dry them off properly when you are ready.
    AB Still learning

  • LynLyn Posts: 21,372
    Thanks folks. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • InglezinhoInglezinho Posts: 568
    A tip if you live in a wet area (Dartmoor) to dry them out before harvesting: cover them with hedge clippings, except the very top, so that the rain runs off.
    Everyone likes butterflies. Nobody likes caterpillars.
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