Onions Drying to Brown Time to Harvest

Harvesting onions is easy work. Watch them grow and water them until the tops fall over. When the green tops have faded to brown and the onions appear to be drying out to a tan color, it’s time to harvest.

This year the onion harvest is early for us. Usually we’ll be harvesting them in September or even October, not August.

We have to harvest when they’re ready however, or else they could rot in the garden. The torrential rains we’ve had must have toppled over their greens early. Now that the green tails have all but dried up and withered down to a small portion, we’re removing the onions from the garden.

Onions are ready to harvest as noted by their brown and withered tops.
Onions are ready to harvest as noted by their brown and withered tops.

Once the onions are lifted from the ground, and it’s really that easy, they’ll be set on newspaper to dry.

Roots can be snipped off with your fingers and the outer dirty wrapping removed also. Don’t clean the onion bulbs too good at this point. The outer wrappers will protect the juicy onions from drying out during storage.

Wait for a week or two and test whether the top near the onion itself feels moist. If the top feels like it isn’t totally dry, wait.

Wait to cut off the brown tops until they’re completely dry.

Protect Snow Peas from Freezing Weather

Spring gardening chores have started early for lots of gardeners. Some of us were probably a little too anxious with the very warm temperatures we had in late Winter, as the weather now seems more like it should be in the eastern United States for April.

The past couple of weeks we’ve had to cover the sprouts coming up in the garden to guard against freezing weather, but only two times. We covered the lettuces, peas, radishes and onions with an old sheet, a piece of muslin cloth, or black plastic sheeting or garbage bags. The covers were weighed down with rocks or boards. The next day the covers were removed at mid-morning.

Lettuce seeds were planted on the 11th, onion sets and snow pea seeds were planted on the 14th, and radish seeds were planted the 18th of March 2012. These ‘cold crops’ seem to do well in the chilly months if they’re protected from the frost.

Snow peas sprouting in a row.
Snow peas sprouting in a row. Photo taken 30 Mar 2012.

Snow peas will just about be finished for the season when we want to plant tomatoes, but until then we’ll be enjoying the fresh pea pods. It will probably take another 4 weeks until the snow peas are ready to eat, so we’ll just have to wait!