My onion tops are totally brown and dead, can I pull and store them now or do they need to "cure" first? Potatos are also ready can I store them as well? I am concerned about them rotting in the ground.
Onions will store better if you pull them up & spread them out in a dry place for a week or so to let them dry out good before you store them. Use a sharp knife & cut the tops off about 1 inch from the onion. The ones that have big stems should be used as soon as possible because they don't keep very long.
Potatoes should be "cured" for several days, too. That gives the less-than-perfect ones time to start to show up so they can be separated & used first.
Pull the onions right away. They tend to rot in the ground after the tops are dry. We let ours lay in the sun a day or so to dry the dirt on them. Next we rub the dirt off with our hands and spread the onions out on a picnic tabble with the tops hanging over the edge for several days until the tops are shriveled up and dry. We throw a sheet of plastic over them when it rains. After the tops are gone we clean off the loose outside layers of skin on the onions and put them in cardboard boxes in a cool place in the house. They should be checked every two or three weeks to spot any that may start to get soft around the top center. Get them out right away.
A good way to store onions is in a pair of pantyhose. Slip an onion to the toe, tie a knot, slip in another onion, etc. Fill both legs and hang in a cool dry place. Just cut the hose to get the bottom onion out and work your way up as you need an onion.
This is a much better use for pantyhose than wearing the nasty things!
If you have problems with scab on your potatoes, do not let them cure in the ground! I have found that scab increases significantly the longer I leave them in the ground. I dig mine as soon as the plants die back, (often before), and put them under the house (cool, dark, moist.) They have always kept fine for me. If I don't get them all and leave some sit in the ground for a couple of weeks, they are covered with scab.
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