To ensure that your onions do not spoil during storage, here are some tips:
Cure the onions properly: After harvesting, it’s important to cure the onions before storing them. Cure the onions by spreading them out in a well-ventilated area with good air circulation. This process allows the outer layers of the onion to dry and form a protective layer. Cure the onions for about two to three weeks until the necks are completely dry and the outer skins are papery.
Remove excess moisture: Before storing, make sure the onions are completely dry. Remove any dirt or excess moisture from the onions by gently brushing off the soil and allowing them to air dry. Moisture can promote rot and fungal growth, so it’s crucial to store dry onions.
Choose a suitable storage location: Store onions in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated area. The ideal temperature for onion storage is around 32-40°F (0-4°C) with a humidity level of 65-70%. Avoid storing onions in areas with high humidity or temperature fluctuations, such as the refrigerator or near heating sources.
Provide proper airflow: Good ventilation is essential to prevent moisture buildup and maintain onion quality. Place onions in mesh bags, crates, or baskets that allow air to circulate around them. Avoid using plastic bags, as they can trap moisture and lead to rot.
Inspect and sort regularly: Check your stored onions regularly for any signs of spoilage, such as soft spots, mold, or sprouting. Remove any damaged or spoiled onions immediately to prevent the spread of rot to the healthy ones. Sorting through your stored onions helps identify potential issues early and ensures the overall quality of your stored crop.
Separate different onion varieties: Some onion varieties have different storage requirements, such as different temperature preferences or varying shelf lives. It’s best to store onions of different varieties separately to avoid cross-contamination and to optimize the storage conditions for each type.
Avoid storing with certain produce: Onions release gases that can accelerate the ripening and spoilage of certain fruits and vegetables. Keep onions away from potatoes, apples, pears, and other ethylene-sensitive produce to prevent them from spoiling faster.
By following these storage practices, you can extend the shelf life of your onions and minimize the risk of spoilage. Regularly monitoring the stored onions and promptly addressing any issues will help maintain their quality over an extended period.