Earlier in the season we produced a short film on how to sow your onion sets and shallots. Here’s the other half of the story: how to how to harvest and store onions and shallots for best results.
Once the green leaves above ground have died back and are brown and crispy, its time to harvest your onion crop. For low input of effort, try and harvest when there is some sunny weather forecast. Simply gently dig or ‘lift’ the onions or shallots out of the earth and leave somewhere dry and cool. Once that is achieved, the crop can be stored for using over the winter months.
Onions and shallots both need to be stored somewhere cool and dry to extend their storage life to the max.
For onions: make sure that you remove all the soil from the onions and any excess flaking skin. It is helpful to also trim roots and tops back as well. When you prepare your crop, make sure you discard any onions which show signs of white rot ( a white mould present at the base; other indicators are poorly formed roots compared to other onions or the onion feeling soft).
For shallots: pretty much the same as onions, but you will need to separate out the clumps into individual shallots.
Once the onions and shallots are prepared you can store in a net bag to maximise air flow, or why not go for a country-cottage style approach and try stringing onions (and shallots) using our short film guide below. It’s a lovely way to store your produce practically and aesthetically!