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It would seem that onion harvesting is the simplest of all gardening matters, because the turnip needs to be pulled out of the ground and the feathers cut off. But not everything is as easy as it seems at first glance. The hardest part is figuring out when to dig the onions. If you start harvesting a little earlier or, conversely, miss the right moment, this will certainly affect the keeping quality of the bulbs - the vegetable may not last until next season.
When they remove onions from the beds, how to preserve the harvest of turnip onions by digging them out at a suitable time - the answers in the article.
When to collect onions
The timing of harvesting a crop such as onions depends on several factors at once. In this case, it is imperative to take into account such things as:
- Vegetable variety. After all, onions are not only onions, leeks, shallots or a family variety are often grown in Russia, you should also not forget about the set, from which the next crop will grow.
- The rate of maturation of the culture. Common onion varieties mature on average in 70-75 days.
- Weather conditions can also affect the rate of ripening, because in a cold summer, turnip onions will stay green longer, and intense heat, on the contrary, will quickly dry out the feathers, speeding up the harvest time.
- Soil moisture is of no small importance. Watering onion beds must be stopped 10-14 days before the expected harvest date. If the last month of summer is usually rainy in the region, the gardener should harvest before the rainy season.
In general, it is very difficult to determine exactly when to remove onions from the garden for storage. Inspecting the bulb, testing it, or any other method will not help here. The main rule of the gardener, in the case of the turnip onion, is: "The feathers will tell you when to remove the onion from the garden."
This means that the gardener should pay more attention to the aboveground part, and not inspect the bulb itself. When the timing of harvesting approaches, feathers manifest themselves in this way:
- They begin to turn yellow and dry.
- Lie on the ground.
This means, as soon as the green part of the onion has turned yellow and instead of a vertical position has taken a horizontal position, it is time to pull the turnips out of the ground.
Attention! Do not wait for all the feathers in the garden to fall, so you can wait for the rainy season to start. Half of the fallen bushes indicate that the time for harvesting the turnip has come.
Optimal onion harvesting time
In different regions of the country, the turnip feathers turn yellow at different times. Weather conditions also contribute to this - they can also affect the rate of maturation of the bulbs.
In most regions, the time for harvesting turnip onions coincides with the last days of July. As a rule, the rainy season begins in August, nighttime cold snaps, which leads to rotting of the bulbs and infection of plants with fungal diseases.
One thing can be said, if the weather is cool and cloudy, and the onion feathers are still green and are not going to fall, you can wait until the end of August. It is only important not to miss when to remove the onions from the garden, and for this you will have to regularly inspect the plants and follow the forecasts of weather forecasters.
Important! In any case, do not delay harvesting - the turnip must be harvested before the beginning of September.
What to do if the onion does not turn yellow
Sometimes it also happens that the gardener is already ready to remove the onion, and the time seems to have come, but the feathers do not turn yellow or dry, on the contrary, they stand in an even green formation. In this case, the turnip onions need a little help, because during the allotted time the turnips had to be saturated with all the useful substances and “dress” in strong husks.
If the feathers are not drying, and autumn is already on the nose or rain is predicted to come, you can try the following:
- dig in the ground under the bulbs with a pitchfork and slightly raise the turnips;
- cut the roots of plants with a sharp shovel;
- shake off the ground from the bulbs, exposing the heads;
- explode the onion with your hands, depriving the roots of contact with the nutrient medium.
In this case, it is important to understand that it is the roots that need to be cut, in no case should you cut off or mow the above-ground part of the plants. Incorrect tactics will lead to infection of the bulbs, while depriving the roots of nutrition contributes to the drying of the tops and the outflow of nutrients from the aboveground part of the plant to the underground one.
When you need to collect onions it is clear, now you need to decide how to do it correctly.
Onion harvesting rules
Turnip onions will be well stored only under the obligatory conditions:
- if it is assembled correctly;
- if the turnips are healthy and well protected by husks;
- if the storage conditions are met.
It is necessary to harvest the onions following these recommendations:
- Choose a dry sunny day for cleaning. It is good if the weather is also windy.
- View meteorological reports a couple of weeks ahead - it shouldn't be raining.
- From light soils, the bow can be easily reached by hand, for this it is enough to pull the neck. In denser and dry soils, the heads will have to be dug out with a shovel or pitchfork.
- Do not dig directly into the garden bed, you must step back at least 10 cm from the row with onions - this way the heads will not be damaged.
- The dug onions can be left in the garden bed, folded with their heads to one side, if the weather promises to be dry and sunny. Otherwise, the crop should be taken under a canopy, spread out on the floor of the attic or shed.
- The turnips should be well ventilated, so it makes sense to create a draft in the storage and lay the crop on the grate. You need to fold the onion in no more than three layers.
- You can trim the feathers when the neck is dry. This will happen somewhere on the 10-12th day after harvesting from the beds.
- Cut the onion with sharp scissors, leaving 8-10 cm of the neck. The roots are also trimmed, leaving shoots of 1.5-2 cm. So, the bulbs will be stored for as long as possible.
- The cut onions are dried a little more and sent for storage.
Important! Bulbs with torn off or cut off bottoms will not survive the winter, so such specimens are selected and tried to be consumed as early as possible.
Dug up onions are usually stored in wooden boxes, boxes or baskets. It is very effective to weave braids from a bow and hang them from the ceiling - in this case, the feathers are not cut so shortly, leaving at least 15 cm.
It can be unambiguously argued that the bulbs need dry, cool air and a minimum of sunlight.
When to harvest other varieties of onions
All of the above applies to only one type of culture - onions. But gardeners grow other varieties, the rules for harvesting which may differ.
Attention! Yellowing of feathers is not considered an indication for harvesting for all onion varieties.
For example, leeks should not dry out, on the contrary, this culture is harvested along with green feathers, only slightly trimming their tops. Determining the appropriate time for harvesting is simple - you need to read the recommendations of the seed manufacturer, find out the growing season of a particular crop.
The leek has no external signs of full ripening; this variety can remain in the ground until the first frosts begin. Even in this case, for the first time, you can use a covering material, and pluck the right amount of vegetable if necessary.
Before storage, the leeks are cleaned of damaged leaves and washed thoroughly, then fold the head to the head and place in a cool place (refrigerator) in a plastic bag.
Onion sets are harvested in the same way as ordinary onions. The peculiarity lies only in the small size of the seed and, accordingly, in its early ripening. When the feathers turn yellow and fall, it's time to pull out the sevok. After that, the bulbs are ventilated, dried, the feathers are cut off, leaving 2-3 cm, and sent for storage.
The family variety grows in nests; the bulbs are elongated and small in size. This variety also ripens a little earlier than the usual onion variety. Some gardeners keep such onions in nests, others divide them into separate bulbs - practice has shown that this is not important.
There is nothing difficult in harvesting and storing onions, the main thing is not to miss the right moment for harvesting and thoroughly dry the heads before placing them in storage.
If the onions are harvested too early, their scales will not stiffen and will not be able to protect the heads from cold and damage; later harvesting can lead to rotting of the bulbs in the ground and infecting them with infections.