Preserving and storing your homegrown onions to enjoy throughout the winter months


One of the best ways to enjoy the fruits of your labor in the garden throughout the winter months is to store your homegrown onions. Onions are not only a staple in many recipes, but they also have a long shelf life when properly stored. With a well-ventilated, dark, and dry storage area, you can ensure that your onions will last for several months, allowing you to enjoy their flavor and nutritional value well into the colder months.

When it comes to storing onions, there are a few key factors to keep in mind. First and foremost, onions should be properly cured before storing. This involves allowing the skins to dry out and the necks to become firm. To do this, simply leave the onions in a dry and well-ventilated area for about 2 to 3 weeks. During this time, regularly monitor the onions to ensure that they are drying properly and there is no sign of rotting.

Once your onions have been properly cured, it’s time to prepare them for storage. One popular method is to string them together using twine or a sturdy string. Simply thread the string through the stems and tie knots between each onion to keep them in place. This way, you can hang the string of onions in a cool and dry location, free from sunlight and any potential moisture. Plus, this method allows you to easily grab an onion from the string whenever you need it.

If you don’t want to string your onions, you can also store them in mesh bags or wire baskets. Just make sure the containers are well-ventilated, and the onions are not stacked too closely together. This will prevent the onions from rotting and allow air to circulate around them, keeping them fresh for longer.

Another important tip to remember is to keep your onions away from other vegetables, especially potatoes. Potatoes tend to emit moisture and gases that can cause onions to spoil more quickly. So, it’s best to store onions separately from potatoes to extend their shelf life.

By following these simple steps for storing your homegrown onions, you can enjoy the taste of freshly harvested onions throughout the winter months. Whether you choose to string them up in your pantry or place them in mesh bags, proper storage will help preserve the flavor and quality of your onions for months to come.

How to Store Onions So They Really Last

If you’ve grown your own onions and harvested a healthy bunch, you’ll want to make sure they last for as long as possible. When stored properly, onions can stay fresh for several months, allowing you to enjoy your homegrown produce throughout the winter.

Here’s how to store onions so they last:

  1. Cure them first: Before storing, it’s important to cure your onions. This process helps dry out the outer skin and neck of the onion, making them less prone to rotting. Lay your harvested onions in a warm, dry location for about two to three weeks. Ensure good airflow and keep them away from direct sunlight.
  2. Choose the right varieties: Some onion varieties have better storage capabilities than others. Varieties like ‘Copra’, ‘Redwing’, and ‘Stuttgarter’ are known for their long storage life. Consider growing these types if you want your onions to last.
  3. Store in a cool, dark place: After curing, store your onions in a cool, dark place with good ventilation. An ideal temperature is around 40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit (4 to 10 degrees Celsius). Avoid areas that are too humid or prone to temperature fluctuations, such as the refrigerator.
  4. Use alternative storage methods: If you don’t have a cool, dark place available, you can also store your onions in mesh bags or hang them in a well-ventilated area. String a twine through the onion tops and hang them from a rod or hook.
  5. Label your onions: To keep track of different varieties or harvest dates, label your stored onions. This way, you’ll know which ones to use first and which ones may have a shorter storage life. Use a marker or small tags to label each bunch.
  6. Inspect regularly: Periodically check your stored onions for any signs of spoilage or rot. Remove any onions that show signs of decay to prevent them from spreading to the others.
  7. Store with other compatible produce: Onions can be stored alongside other compatible produce, such as potatoes. However, keep in mind that some fruits and vegetables may release ethylene gas, which can cause onions to spoil faster. Therefore, it’s best to store onions away from apples, pears, and other ethylene-producing produce.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your homegrown onions will last throughout the winter and provide you with great-tasting bulbs long after harvesting. Enjoy the fruits of your labor and keep your pantry stocked with these onion keepers!

Can onions be stored on the counter

When it comes to storing vegetables, onions are often grouped with garlic. Many people have learned that garlic should be stored in a cool, dark place, but what about onions? Can they be stored on the counter like other common vegetables?

The short answer is no, onions should not be stored on the counter. Unlike some other types of vegetables, onions do not have a long shelf life and tend to spoil more quickly if not stored properly.

Onions should be cured and stored in a cool, dark place after harvesting. One popular way to store onions is to hang them in a dry, well-ventilated area. You can use twine or wire to string the onions together and hang them up in your garage or pantry. This allows the onions to stay fresh for a longer period of time than if they were left out on the counter.

Before storing your onions, make sure to remove any dirt or debris from the bulbs. It’s also a good idea to label your onions with the date they were harvested, so you know which ones to use first. This is especially helpful if you have a variety of onions growing in your garden.

Onions are a delicious and versatile vegetable that can be used in a variety of dishes. By storing them properly, you can enjoy the flavors of your homegrown onions throughout the winter months. So grab some twine or wire and get to work preserving your onion harvest!

Storing your homegrown onions for winter

When it comes to storing your homegrown onions for the long-term, it’s sometimes hard to know what to do. Your onions have put in a lot of work to reach this point, and you want to make sure they last as long as possible.

One of the best ways to keep your onions safe is by curing them. When you harvest your onions, leave them in a dry, well-ventilated area for several weeks. This allows them to dry out and develop a protective outer layer. Once they have cured, you can cut off the dried leaves and toss them out.

Stringing onions is another easy and effective method of storage. You can use twine or wire to string your onions up and hang them in a cool, dry place. Make sure to label each string with the variety of onion you have planted. This way, you will know which ones to use first when it comes time to eat them.

Storing your onions above ground and in a state of free-air circulation is key to preserving their freshness. Keep in mind that onions are best stored in a cool, dark place. If you don’t have access to a cellar or basement, the next best option is to store them in the fridge. However, be sure to keep them away from other produce, as they can cause each other to spoil.

It’s really about planning ahead and knowing how much you use throughout the year. If you grow a lot of onions and have a large garden, you may have more onions than you can eat. In that case, you can consider preserving them by pickling or freezing them.

Remember, onions are great keepers and can last for years if stored properly. So, enjoy your homegrown onions all winter long and know that you are eating food that you grew and preserved yourself!

How to Grow Awesome Onions

If you want to grow awesome onions, there are a few things you need to know. Onions should be stored in a warm and dry place. If kept really dry, each onion can last for several months.

The reason onions need to be stored in a dark and dry place is because light and moisture can cause them to produce sprouts or start rotting. That’s why it’s important to store them in a cool and dark location. If you have harvested your onions and there is still some green growth attached to them, it’s best to cure them in the sun for a few days before storing.

To store onions during the winter, you can start by planting them in the fall. Onions are usually planted in late August or early September. This will give them enough time to grow and mature before the cold weather sets in. When planting, make sure to space the bulbs at least 4-6 inches apart to allow for proper growth.

Once your onions have been planted and harvested, it’s time to store them for the winter. The best way to do this is to hang them in a dry, cool, and well-ventilated area. You can use twine to tie the onions together and hang them from a rod or hook. This will allow for proper air circulation and prevent them from rotting.

Another way to store onions is by using a mesh bag or wire basket. Make sure to remove any onions that are showing signs of rotting or spoiling, as this can spread to the other onions. It’s also a good idea to label the onions with the date they were harvested, as this will help you keep track of their freshness.

Onions can be stored for a long time if properly cured and stored. They should be kept in a cool and dark place, such as a cellar or garage, to prevent them from sprouting or spoiling. By monitoring them regularly, you can ensure they are in good condition for eating.

If you don’t have a suitable storage area, you can also store onions in a fridge. However, keep in mind that this is not ideal for long-term storage and they may not last as long as they would in a cool, dark place.

Growing onions is relatively easy and can be a great way to have a fresh supply on hand. They are a versatile vegetable and can be used in many different recipes. Whether you’re a beginner or have been growing onions for years, following these tips will help you grow awesome onions that you can enjoy all year round.

For additional resources on harvesting and storing onions, you can check out the Michigan State University (MSU) Extension website. They have a wealth of information on growing and preserving homegrown vegetables.

How to Know When to Harvest Homegrown Onions

Knowing when to harvest homegrown onions is essential to ensure that you get the best-tasting and longest-lasting bulbs. Onions typically take about 100-175 days to grow, depending on the variety, so it’s important to keep track of how long they’ve been in the ground.

One way to determine if your onions are ready for harvest is to check their necks. Once the necks become soft and start to fall over, it’s a good sign that the bulbs have reached maturity. The necks should be completely dry and crispy before you harvest the onions.

When harvesting, gently pull the onions out of the ground, taking care not to damage the bulbs. If the onions are difficult to pull out, you can use a garden fork to loosen the soil around them. You can also leave the onions in the ground for a little longer if you prefer larger bulbs, but be mindful that if you wait too long, they may start to rot.

After harvesting, it’s crucial to cure the onions before storing them. Curing involves drying the onions in a well-ventilated area for a few weeks. This process helps to toughen the outer skins and prolong the storage life of the onions. To cure them, spread them out in a single layer on newspaper or a drying rack, making sure they’re not touching each other. Keep the onions in a cool, dry place with good air circulation.

Once the onions are cured, you can remove the dried tops and roots. It’s also a good idea to label the variety of onions, as different varieties may store for varying lengths of time. To store the onions, you can use mesh bags, crates, or even pantyhose. Stringing the onions is another popular way of storing them – simply thread a needle with twine and pierce it through the necks of the onions, tying a knot between each one.

Stored onions should be kept in a cool, dark, and well-ventilated place, ideally with a temperature of around 32-40°F (0-4°C). It’s important to regularly check the onions for any signs of spoilage. If you notice any soft spots, mold, or sprouting, remove those onions to prevent them from spoiling the rest. Ideally, use the onions within six months to a year for the best quality and taste.

Harvesting your homegrown onions can be a rewarding experience, and storing them properly will ensure that you have a supply of fresh, flavorful onions throughout the winter. By following these guidelines, you’ll be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor for months to come.

For more information and resources on storing and growing onions, check out the posts from MSU Extension:

Growing and Storing Onion Variety Assessments

Harvesting and Storing Vegetables

Vegetable Crops

✿ Read More About Vegetables.

Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.