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How long can I leave my onions in the ground?

Posted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 12:59 pm
by annafaie
I've got great looking yet small onions gorwing in my garden. I planted them in early Feb. The green tops have fallen over (weeks ago for most) but the onions are still pretty little....maybe slightly bigger than golf balls. Will they get bigger if I leave them in the ground longer?

Thanks for your help!

Posted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 9:00 pm
by momof4rugratz
Mine wher in ground beg of April and no change in mine some tops have fallen off so I have to search for the onion LoL no clue when to pick them. I am waiting till July 4th for Potato salad and see :)

Posted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 7:22 am
by Ole Dummy
I pull mine up when the tops fall over and turn brown. Then I carry them to the barn and hang them on a wire and let them dry.


Posted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 7:47 am
by rainbowgardener
Once the tops have fallen over and starting to turn brown, the onion will not grow any more--the green part is what feeds it. They can be "stored" in the ground for awhile and stay ok, but they won't get any bigger. I have trouble growing big onions too. They just quit after awhile. I don't know if it's a reaction to the weather or what.

Posted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 9:08 am
by momof4rugratz
my weather doesn't know if it want be 70 or 90 am afrain i have small onions

Posted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 9:58 am
by annafaie
So, my tops are fallen but still green so I will leave them in the ground a bit longer...until they turn brown.

Thanks so much for the great info!

Posted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 10:41 am
by momof4rugratz
Few my tops are green but a few are gone :(

Posted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 4:19 pm
by Pypersmom
This may be a dumb question... but do you have to dry onions before you can eat them? I've read where a few of them are hanging them to dry?

Posted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 4:24 pm
by The Helpful Gardener
Dry papery skin is not conducive to rots and such, so drying makes sense for longevity of storage. If you are going to eat it right away, not an issue...


Posted: Sat Jun 06, 2009 3:03 pm
by jal_ut
Onions may be eaten at any stage in their development.

When they are done growing the tops fall over and soon turn brown and dry. This is the time to pull them and dry them for storage. They need to be dried only to store well. If you want to eat them fresh, just pull clean and enjoy.

If you want you can store onions in the refrigerator for a time. Walla Walla and other onions that do not store well as dried onions are prime canidates. Clean them and use a freezer ziploc bag to store them in. The freezer bags are strong enough to hold the odor so it doesn't go through the fridg.

I like little green onions from the time they are as big as my pinky finger.

how long onions can be left in the ground

Posted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 8:50 am
by veggieparadise
I pulled all the onions that grew last year, but I didn't till my garden this year and 10 onions came up that were still in the ground from last year, even though we had a lot of sub-zero temps last winter. I pulled one out and although the outside of it was mushy, the inside part was edible. Amazing how tough onions really are.

Posted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 10:05 am
by garden5
You said they are small like golf balls. What types did you plant?

There are short and long day onions and you plant short-day if you live in the south and long-day if you live in the north (I'm being general here).

I know some years ago I planted short day and the biggest one was only the size of a golf ball. That may be the reason why yours are smaller.

Don't worry, though, they'll still taste great :D.

Posted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 10:15 am
by SPierce
My onion tops haven't turned brown, but 3 days after the greens popped up out of the ground, all the tops fell over ! :?

So, I'm leaving them in the ground in hopes that the onions will grow bigger.. cause right now most of them are too small to eat. I figured i would give them at least until the end of august and see how they do. I planted late march.