Our 2021 garden: first bulb onions

This morning, I decided to go through our onions and harvest the ones I was sure were done for the season. Here are the first ones I picked.

These are the yellow onions we planted from sets that I picked up at Canadian Tire, and planted in the same bed as the shallots. This is about a quarter, maybe a third, of what was in the bed. There were also a few that I pulled and left behind, as they had no roots and were starting to rot.

These ones are mostly pretty small, as they died off too early, I think.

There were enough of them that space on the drying screen was an issue, but they had enough stems left for braiding, so now they are hung up to cure under the canopy.

Then I went back to check the other onion bed.

Very few of these were ready to pick. On the left are the surviving yellow onions we grew from seed, and they are looking the best of all the onions. The ones on the right are the red onion sets we ordered from Veseys.

These have been left outside to dry for a while, but they will be for immediate use in the kitchen! 🙂

I’ve been looking up how to tell if onions are ready to pick and finding conflicting information. Some say they are ready after their tops have fallen over, which I think is way too early. Others says after the dry outer skin has developed. Still others say once the youngest leaves – the ones in the very middle of the stalks – are dry, they are ready to pick. That one seems too late!

So the ones I picked were ones that had died off the most, and I could be sure they would not be growing any bigger. I’m also on the lookout for those with roots that have died off, and pull up easily. Those tend to already be going soft, and often have what looks like mold growing in them. From what I’ve read, that’s a sign of fungal infection, so they need to be taken right out.

It should be interesting to see the differences in flavour. I probably won’t be able to tell the difference, and the medications my husband is on has changed his ability to taste things, but the girls should be able to taste differences. I’ll have to trust them to tell me which varieties are worth growing again! 😀

After the issues we had with cats destroying so many of the onions we started indoors, I’m just happy to have any onions at all right now! 😀

The Re-Farmer

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