Recycled Onions Sprouting With Greentails

We love to use onions in most dishes we cook and we even use them in fresh salads, so there are always onions in the pantry, garage or refrigerator.

Onions Growing in the Garden with Greentails
Onions Growing in the Garden with Greentails

Last Autumn we harvested onions from the garden. Once the onions were apparently dry the tops were cut back to a couple of inches in length and allowed to dry some more.

The onions were placed in cardboard boxes in layers. In between each layer a couple of sheets of newspaper prevented the onions from touching each other as much as possible. When they touch, that’s were a rot can start.

Some of the onions never did dry out and instead they rotted. As the cold months went on a few onions were disposed of that started to go to mush. Many others were eaten.

Make sure the boxes for storing onions have lids so the onions can be kept in the dark. Storing onions in the dark will prevent sprouting until early Spring. Layering the onions with newspaper might help to keep them in a hibernated state as long as possible.

Once Spring did arrive the onions in the pantry started sprouting, so we planted them in the garden. See the photo above? The onions are really growing great. It feels like we’re recycling the onions in a way or maybe reusing them.

I like to snip off a green shoot or two and chop them up for salads or sandwiches.

When clipping off some greentails to eat, don’t take too many leaves from one plant because these long, green onion leaves will feed the plant and help to grow the onion bulbs that we could eat in a few months time.

Getting Onion Bulbs Ready for Storage

There’s not a whole lot to say about prepping onions for storage, except that the goal is to dry them sufficiently before placing them in storage.

We have a table on a porch where we gather some small amounts of vegetables as they are harvested. A spot in a garage or even the shade of a tree would work as well, as long as the food items are protected from getting rained on.

We lay out a few pieces of newspaper to make the clean up go a little faster. The newspaper will catch dirt and shed pieces of the outer wrapping of the onions.

Use a thumb and fingers to remove clumps of dirt and long roots as well as wet outer layers of the onion skins.

Onions are laid on their sides on newspaper to dry before storage.
Onions are laid on their sides on newspaper to dry before storage.

Lay the onions out on the newspaper so that the bulbs are on their sides and the root section is exposed to the air. We want the onion to dry out well before cleaning off all the dirt and outer layers of the bulb.

Make sure the onions are not touching each other and that they have some room for air circulation for the best drying.

Pick an area where the onions can be laid out to dry for a couple of weeks. When harvesting the onions on a sunny day, this drying time might be reduced as the onions will dry nicely in the sun. However, the tops may still feel “green” for a few weeks.

Use any of the damaged onions in the kitchen first and also use first the ones that retain the least outer skins as they won’t store as well as those onions that are completely wrapped by their own skins.