Saturday, May 15, 2010

Harvesting Onions

Yesterday we had some very heavy rain, our local area got about 3-4 inches and our yard flooded. I went out to check my little garden plots today and most of my onions had been washed up after being under water yesterday. The roots were the only thing holding them in place. About 1/3 of the tops had fallen over as well, so today I have been trying to figure out what to do next. Do I harvest them, try to anchor them back in the soil or leave them as is?

Since onions are one of those plants that can be harvested at any time I decided I am going to go ahead and harvest the plants with the fallen stems over the next week, I anchored some of the onions whose tops had not fallen but the entire plant had been washed up, and I'm leaving the others. I'm taking a wait and see attitude right now. I only have about 30 onion plants right now and as often as I use onions I can easily go through these in a couple of weeks since they are relatively small bulbs (larger than a golf ball, smaller than a tennis ball).

From what I've been reading, in Texas onions are harvested in May when 2/3 of the tops have fallen on the entire crop, where they are then pulled and laid in the sun to cure (outer layers dry to protect the inner layers), then the tops are cut off and they are stored or the tops can be braided and the onions hung until pulled off for use.

I feel that I've been fairly successful with the onions and I'd be comfortable planting them again in the future, so I think I'll plant many more in future years. It'll be a great money saver since I use them almost daily in my cooking. 

Here is my onion plot when I went to check on it today before I started playing around in it. I also have a yellow squash and zucchini planted in there two in the bare spots where onions didn't make it. When I tried stepping into the middle of the plot to help prop up a couple of the onions I ended up sinking down about 8 inches into the mud the soil is that soft right now.


Lisa said...

I love your garden and we are jealous! Jeremiah is wanting to start at least an herb garden.

I had an herb garden years ago when we lived in Denton but I don't have a green thumb at all and just about everything died.

I would love to have a garden, eventually. I just need to study up on it a bit more and get the motivation it takes to keep a garden going.

I am proud of you and your onions already look delicious.

Diana said...

Awe, thanks, sweetie!!! We'll see how things go when the temps get above 90 every day. lol. When you were in Denton were the herbs in pots or in the ground? This is the first year that I've planted a veggie garden in the ground and not in pots and it makes all the difference in the world. I don't have to water as often and pots in Texas isn't always the best idea, especially terra cotta. The clay cooks the plants, plastic is better but still gets much hotter than the ground gets. I can't wait to expand next year. As soon as I have the onions harvested I'm going to plant pumpkin seeds there with the squash.