To new gardeners, rolling down onion tops may seem like a questionable thing to do, but many gardeners think folding onion tops before harvesting onions is a useful practice. Read on to learn all about it.
Why Do You Fold the Tops of Onions?
If you plan to use the onions right away, folding onion tops isn’t really necessary. However, if your goal is to store the onions for the winter, rolling down onion tops encourages the onion to turn brown and stop taking up water, thus boosting the final process of ripening. When sap no longer flows through the onion plant, growth stops and the onion will soon be ready to harvest and cure for storage.
When to Fold Onion Tops
This is the easy part. Fold or bend onion tops when they begin to turn yellow and fall over on their own. This occurs when the onions are large and the tops are heavy. Once you’ve folded the top of the onions, leave the onions in the ground for several days. Withhold water during this final ripening period.
How to Roll Down Onion Tops
The technique for folding tops is totally up to you. If you’re an orderly gardener and messiness drives you crazy, you can fold the tops over carefully, creating rows that keep your onion bed tidy. On the other hand, if you tend to be casual about the appearance of your garden, simply walk through the onion patch and step on the tops. Don’t, however, step directly on the onion bulbs.
Harvesting After Folding Onion Tops
When the onion tops turn brown and the onions are easy to pull from the soil, it’s time to harvest the onions. Onion harvest is best performed on a dry, sunny day.
Gardening tips, videos, info and more delivered right to your inbox!
Sign up for the Gardening Know How newsletter today and receive a free download of our most popular eBook "How to Grow Delicious Tomatoes."
A Credentialed Garden Writer, Mary H. Dyer was with Gardening Know How in the very beginning, publishing articles as early as 2007.
Plant Hacks On TikTok That Are Actually Worth Trying
You may have come across a few plant hacks online and wondered how many are worth your time. We round up the key plant hacks on TikTok that are every bit as good as they claim to be…
By Mary Ellen Ellis Published
3 Clever Ways To Use Up Yard Trimmings And Clippings – For a Zero-Waste Garden
If your compost bin is bursting at the seams, then it’s time to get smart about using up garden waste. Rather than send it to landfill, these sustainable ideas will nurture plants, support biodiversity, and save you money.
By Melanie Griffiths Published