Onions are a must in our diet all year round. But not everyone knows how to store it in winter. In order not to throw away half of the harvested crop in winter and then buy onions in the store, you need, firstly, to grow it correctly, secondly, to collect and, thirdly, to prepare it for storage. On our table we have onions every day, and it will be nice when these are onions from our own garden.
To preserve turnip onions in winter, it is important to correctly determine the time for harvesting. It is best to start only after most of the bulbs are fully ripe. This moment can be determined by two external signs.
Firstly, the onion tops turn yellow and fall on the ground, and secondly, the neck of the bulb begins to dry out noticeably. If these signs are not observed by the middle of the third decade of July, then you can help the onion and accelerate its ripening. To do this, you need to shake off the soil and roll the tops.
It is better to start harvesting directly in dry, sunny weather, since after removing the bulbs from the ground, the bulbs will have to dry out, and this will take 4–5 days.
Storage of onions
It is necessary to prepare for the storage of onions even when buying seeds. It is very important to remember that not all varieties are suitable for long-term storage. Currently, the yellow varieties are considered the most mature, they can be stored much longer than white and red ones. Their covering scales are denser, containing a greater amount of dry matter and essential oils.
So, varieties with a dense bulb and a pungent taste are suitable for long-term storage: Bessonovsky, Arzamassky, Spassky, Strigunovsky, etc.
Semi-sweet varieties are stored indoors until February. Among them, the most famous varieties are: Belozersky, Krasnodarsky, Danilovsky, Samarkandsky, Mechkovsky, Markovsky.
In addition, it has been noticed that onions grown from sets are stored better than those obtained from seeds - nigella.
Preparing onions for storage
It is very important to dry the onion before storage at a temperature of + 25 ... + 35 ° C and then warm it up for 10-12 hours at a temperature of + 42 ... + 45 ° C and bring the moisture content of the integumentary scales to 14-16%.
Dried and disinfected in this way the bulbs have a high storage capacity and give minimal waste during storage. This is the preparation of the onion for storage. After all, good drying of onions is 90% of success in its storage.
Onions of spicy varieties are best stored, semisweet and sweet varieties are worse preserved and more susceptible to disease. Some gardeners believe that onions will keep better if grown with black radish.
Onions for storage should be ripe, dry, with well-dried scales, uncontaminated, preferably the same in size, shape and color. Bare, contaminated and diseased bulbs are unsuitable for this purpose.
To reduce the possibility of onion contamination during storage, it is advisable to pollinate it with chalk at the rate of 150-200 g of crushed chalk per 10 kg of onion. Chalk is non-toxic and creates an alkaline environment that is very unfavorable for the development of pathogenic flora.
Storage methods for onions
Dried and selected for storage onions are put in a specially prepared container. For storing onions at home, wooden boxes, wicker baskets, fabric bags, special nets for storing vegetables, nylon stockings are used.
Boxes and boxes should be small, no more than 30 cm high and have holes for ventilation. Medium-sized bags and nets should be taken, and the layer of onions to be poured should also not exceed 30 cm. It is better to put the onions in several boxes or bags than to pour them into one large one. This is more likely to save the harvest.
In no case should the boxes be closed tightly - the humidity in them will rise, and the onions will begin to rot.For the same reason, you cannot store onions together with potatoes, beets or other vegetables that require a higher level of indoor humidity.
Dried and sorted onions are placed in lattice boxes, baskets or bags, set in a cool and ventilated room, and with the onset of cold weather they are transferred to cellars or other storages and stacked in a checkerboard pattern with some gaps between them.
You can also store onions on shelves with a layer of no more than 30–40 cm. The best storage for onions is a dry cellar, where onions are stacked on lattice shelves, poured into a layer of 30–35 cm, or in low boxes with a capacity of up to 25 kg.
You cannot store onions in an apartment next to heaters or central heating radiators, as well as in plastic bags, where it will immediately start to rot.
Best of all, onions are kept at a temperature of 0 ... + 1 ° С and a relative humidity of 75–80%. If the humidity is high, then the onion out of time comes out of dormancy and begins to germinate.
In addition, in humid air, the upper scales of the bulbs and the neck are moistened, and the onion rots. It is especially important to maintain the correct air humidity when storing incompletely ripe onions, since they are much less resistant to neck rot.
When laying onions for storage, a short-term increase in temperature in the basement to + 4 ° C is permissible. But with a prolonged increase in temperature, the formation of dew is inevitable, which is deposited on the shirt of the onion. This dew is the reason for the appearance of neck rot, especially during the first period of storage. The onion is first covered with bloom, and then dies.
Storing onions indoors
Onions well prepared for storage can also be stored in room conditions at a temperature of + 18 ... + 22 ° С, but not higher than + 24 ° С. The disadvantage of such storage is the strong drying out of the bulbs. Sunlight affects the shelf life and quality of onions, which is why they are stored in a dark room. In this case, it is necessary to regularly check the quality and remove rotten and sprouted bulbs.
If you do not have a basement or cellar, then the question arises: "How to store onions in an apartment?" At home, onions can be stored in cardboard boxes or baskets of 10-12 kg in the coolest place. It will be quite difficult to do this, since during the heating season, there are large fluctuations in the level of air humidity and temperature.
To prevent the bulbs from sprouting in winter, many housewives lime them. To do this, the roots are cut off the bulbs, the cut is coated with lime paste, dried and stored as usual. Other gardeners, in order to preserve the bulbs well until spring, lightly burn their roots immediately after harvesting. Such onions cannot be planted in the spring, but they are stored perfectly all winter.
Sometimes the harvested onions, together with the dried tops, are tied into braids and hung under a canopy for natural drying and ripening of the bulbs. Before the onset of cold snaps, these braids are brought into the garden house, where they are kept until frost.
They are then brought home, hung on the kitchen wall, and used as needed. The only thing that can threaten him in such conditions is drying out, to which small heads and onion sets are more susceptible.
For growing seeds, mother onions should be stored at a temperature of only -2 to 0 ° C. This saves him from many diseases, promotes earlier appearance of leaves and arrows, and ultimately - and earlier ripening of seeds.
"Ural gardener", No. 38, 2017