Laying over onions?

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by jamie_here, Jul 7, 2006.

  1. jamie_here

    jamie_here Active Member

    Messages:
    36
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Location:
    PA
    My husband has always bent our onions over around the 4th of July and I was wondering if there is any REAL reason that he does that. He can't really say, other than that is the way his mom always did it.
     
  2. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    14,801
    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Location:
    South Central Wisconsin
    Other than the fact that 4th of July is already 2 weeks into the time when days begin growing shorter, there would be only one main reason for doing it. That would be to eventually have all of them at the same stage of curing prior to lifting. Since onion maturity is mostly governed by the length of day, the shorter days trigger them into maturing regardless of their size. When they are done growing, the tops flop over. Since not all plants suddenly do it at the same time, commercial growers knock the entire field over. That stops those which were still not fully mature and shortens the overall curing time. The entire crop can then come up and go almost directly into storage.

    Martin