QUESTION: I have a lot of onions to save from my garden. How do you prepare onions for storage? -Tammy C.
ANSWER: After harvesting your onion crops, you will need to cure them to prepare them for storage, assuming you are not planning on consuming them all immediately. Curing is the month-long process that prepares your onions for storage by drying out the bulbs so that excess moisture won’t cause the onions to mildew or rot before you have a chance to use them in the kitchen.
Just after harvesting your onions, spread them out on a flat surface in a sunny location on the top of the soil or on a drying rack (for better ventilation) for two to three days. Allow your onions to dry for a few days until their roots and the bulbs themselves turn dry and brown or the outer skin becomes somewhat crisp. If there is rain in the forecast during the drying period, either cover them or move them indoors until sunny weather returns, and then resume the process.
Once the onions are dry, brown, and crisp, slice the tops off the onion to about an inch above the bulb and remove the dried roots. Then, continue to cure your onion bulbs by placing them loosely out of direct sunlight on a table or counter in a dry, well-ventilated area for an additional 2-3 weeks. Now your onion bulbs are ready for long-term storage. Keep them in a cool, dry, and dark place for optimal longevity. If properly cured and stored, your onions should keep through the winter.