To dry onions


Onion is a cool-season vegetables that can be grown successfully throughtout most of temporate Europe and North America. Onions may be grown from sets, transplants or seeds.

Onions start bulb formation when the day lenght is of the proper duration and different varieties of onions require different day lenghts to initiate bulbing. For dryingIn general, most common varieties fall into one of two classes, long-day (for northern latitudes) and short-day (for southern latitudes). For this reason, onion varieties that are grown in the South are not adaptable to the North and vice versa. Late plantings of the suggested varieties also result in small bulbs or lack of bulbing altogether in any location.

High temperatures and low humidity are advantageous during bulbing and curing. Onions have shallow roots and compete poorly with weeds and grasses. Timely shallow hoeing and cultivation are important, especially when the onions are small.

Onions from sets.

Drying onionsGrowing green onions from sets is probably the simplest method for the home gardener. The plants are quickly established and become vigorous and strong. Onion sets may be used fo produce both green onions and dry onion bulbs.

When to plant.

Onions can be planted as soon as the garden can be tilled in the spring, usually late March or early April in prime regions for producing onions. Good fertility, adequate soil moisture and cool temperatures aid development.


Pull green onions anytime after the tops are 6 inches tall. Green onions become stronger in flawor with age and increasing size.
Drying OnionsThey may be used for cooking when they are too strong to eat raw.
Though leaves are traditionally discarded, all parts above the roots are edible.
Remove any plants that have formed flower stalks and use immediately. They do not produce good bulbs for dry storage. Harvest in late July or early August, when most of the tops have fallen over. Allow the plants to mature and the tops to fall over naturally. Breaking over the tops early interrupts growth, causing smaller bulbs that do not keep as well in storage.
Pull the mature onions in the morning and allow the bulbs to air dry in the garden until late afternoon. On especially hot, bright, sunny days, the bulbs may sunburn. On days when this is likely, remove onions to a shaded location and allow them to dry thoroughly. Then, before evening dew falls, place them under dry shelter on elevated slats or screens or hang them in small bunches. Tops may be braided or tied with string before hanging. Full air circulation for 2 to 3 weeks is necessary for complete drying and curing. Keep the dry wrapper scales as intact as possible on the bulbs, as they enhance the keeping ability.

Drying onions 

Onion for drying

Joergen Bundgaard