Onions ready for harvesting?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
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unhappy_shopperunhappy_shopper Forumite
1.3K Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
First time onion grower here. So pardon my ignorance. Are these ready for harvesting and curing? A google search says that they are ready for harvest when the leaves bend over. Another says that the foliage has to turn yellow. Which is the right one?

Some more pics here and here. TIA for your kind help.
Mortgage: @ Feb. 2007: £133,200; Apr. 2011: £24,373; May 2011: £175,999; Jun 2013: ~£97K; Mar. 2014 £392,212.73; Dec. 2015: £327,051.77; Mar. 2016: ~£480K; Mar. 2017 £444,445.74

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  • RotorRotor Forumite
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    Think you planted these very late : they havn't really bulbed up. They havn't 'bent over' yet - that is when the stem collapses quite close to the bulb. I should leave them for now to see if anything develops ;if an early frost takes the leaves then pull them then.
  • floss2floss2 Forumite
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    Also, I think you may have had too many in your containers, which could be why they have not bulbed up.
  • Thanks for your replies. As I planted them quite late for this year, can I try overwintering them then? I have an outhouse/big shed in which I can place them to be safeguarded from frost.
    Mortgage: @ Feb. 2007: £133,200; Apr. 2011: £24,373; May 2011: £175,999; Jun 2013: ~£97K; Mar. 2014 £392,212.73; Dec. 2015: £327,051.77; Mar. 2016: ~£480K; Mar. 2017 £444,445.74
  • RotorRotor Forumite
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    No - even if they survive they will bolt next year (produce a flower instead of a bulb)
  • valk_scotvalk_scot Forumite
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    There's too many in the container which is why they've not bulbed up as has been said. Four would have been fine. They're not ready for harvest either, the leaves are drooping because they're running out of growing steam for this year. Basically they've gone into survival mode, they know they're very stressed, they're just trying to hang on till next year when they'll bolt and set seed as quickly as possible. They won't bulb up more next year, onions are bienniels so first year is for food storage (bulbing) and second year is for using this stored food to produce as much seed as possible.

    So by overcrowding them so badly you'be basically knackered them as a crop plant, sorry. My only siggestion is to pull out half of them now, give the rest a good feed and put them in a greenhouse or cold frame in a sunny spot to see if you can get a wee bit more growth out of them this season. Probably not though so pull them and use them like spring onions and put the failure down to experience.

    For next year remember if you want an onion 2 inches across you need to give it 2 inches to grow plus another 2-4 inches, in other words one onion needs a circular space of 4-6 inches across to grow. Plus in pots they'll need a fair bit of feeding once they start bulbing up, say once a week.
    Val.
  • RASRAS Forumite
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    I would be tempted to pull the smallest one now and use them as "salad onions". Then a light feed and see how much more they bulk up over winter (if we have one like last year there will be enough light and warmth for them to do a bit).

    However, they will run to seed sometime in March/April, so you need to pull them and use them quickly at the end of winter.
    The person who has not made a mistake, has made nothing
  • Thanks for everyone's replies :). All is not lost - I use lots of salad/spring onions in my cooking. So, I'll use them up ASAP. It still works out cheaper than shop-bought spring onions. Thanks again! Next year, I'll plant them right at the onset of spring. I've bought garlic to plant now, which I'll plant in the ground and wide apart. :D
    Mortgage: @ Feb. 2007: £133,200; Apr. 2011: £24,373; May 2011: £175,999; Jun 2013: ~£97K; Mar. 2014 £392,212.73; Dec. 2015: £327,051.77; Mar. 2016: ~£480K; Mar. 2017 £444,445.74
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