Harvesting Onions: A Complete Guide For 2023

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how to harvest sweet onions


Growing onions can be a rewarding experience for any gardener. Not only do they add flavor to our meals, but they also provide numerous health benefits. If you’re planning to harvest onions this year, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we will provide you with a complete guide on how to harvest onions successfully.

When to Harvest Onions?

Knowing when to harvest your onions is crucial for their overall quality and storage life. Generally, onions are ready for harvest when the tops have fallen over and turned brown. This usually happens in late summer or early fall. However, if you prefer sweeter onions, you can wait until the tops have fully dried out.

How to Harvest Onions

Start by gently loosening the soil around the onions using a garden fork or spade. Be careful not to damage the bulbs in the process. Once the soil is loosened, carefully lift the onions out of the ground, taking care not to bruise or cut them. If the weather is dry, leave the onions to dry in the sun for a few hours before bringing them indoors.

Storing Onions

Proper storage is essential to ensure the longevity of your harvested onions. After drying them, remove any loose soil or debris and trim the roots and tops. Place the onions in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated area. You can store them in mesh bags, nylon stockings, or even hang them in braids. Avoid storing onions near potatoes or other vegetables that release moisture, as this can lead to spoilage.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I harvest onions early?

While it is best to wait until the tops have fallen over and turned brown, you can certainly harvest onions early if needed. However, keep in mind that early-harvested onions might not have reached their full potential in terms of size and flavor.

2. How do I know if my onions are ready for harvest?

As mentioned earlier, the tops of the onions should have fallen over and turned brown. Additionally, the necks should feel soft and dry. If you’re unsure, you can gently dig up one onion to check its size and appearance.

3. Can I store onions in the refrigerator?

No, storing onions in the refrigerator is not recommended. The cold and humid environment can cause onions to become soft and develop mold. It’s best to store them in a cool, dry place instead.

4. How long can I store harvested onions?

If stored properly, onions can last for several months. However, it’s important to regularly check for any signs of spoilage and remove any affected onions to prevent the spread of disease.

5. Can I harvest green onions?

Absolutely! Green onions can be harvested at any stage of growth. You can start harvesting them once they reach a desirable size, usually when the greens are around 6 inches tall.


Harvesting onions can be a satisfying and enjoyable experience. By following the steps mentioned in this guide, you can ensure a successful onion harvest and enjoy their delicious flavor throughout the year. Remember to store them properly and check for any signs of spoilage regularly. Happy harvesting!

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