LIFTING THE ONION CROP WITHOUT BRUISING – 3rd wk in August 2014

A GIY expert told me once to lift onion carefully. It may be useful to imagine they are fragile like eggs. Bruised onions do not store as well as the perfect specimens. Overall our onion crop, which was planted through holes cut in black plastic to suppress weed growth, looks good with the tops wilting to indicate readiness for harvest.

Most of the sets planted were Sturon which are known to be better at storing. WE also grew a red onion called Red Baron which is also ready to be harvested. The early onion sets, Jet Set, sown on March 31st last, are intended to be used first. However, all need to be lifted and dried so they will keep well until required.

Some years ago on a visit to The Organic Centre, Rossinver, Co. Leitrim, I bought a two-pronged trowel, with a view to deep weeding to exact dock roots and the like. I now discover, this long pronged trowel is perfect for gently easing the onion bulbs out of the ground from below with a prong on either side of the root. As a result we have about 400

My trusty 2-pronged trowel gently lifts the onions without any bruising. Hopefully we can use the black plastic on another plot for next year's crop.

My trusty 2-pronged trowel gently lifts the onions without any bruising. Hopefully we can use the black plastic on another plot for next year’s crop.

well formed onions to store. We go through a fair number of onions as you can imagine – when pickling and cooking needs are considered.

Sadly, it is becoming more and more difficult to find Irish grown onions in the supermarkets. Some years ago, of the onions bought in Ireland, only 15% were Irish grown. Let us grow more and get that percentage up! A good onion to plant this autumn would be a variety called Radar.

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