Onion Troubles

Posted by on May 15, 2015 in Ask Klaus

Q:  Onion troubles

I have been growing vegetables for many years – last year’s crop of onions was a complete disaster for some reason.

I grow different varieties to ensure a reasonably good crop – last year the varieties grown were Santero, Sturon and Centurion, all grown from good quality sets.  All of these varieties have been tried and tested over previous years, have cropped extremely well and stored excellently.

Last year however, most of the crop started to rot at a very early stage, commencing early September and unfortunately continuing right through the winter. All varieties were impacted equally.  The same treatment that was applied in previous years was adopted but harvesting / airing was much easier this year given the excellent warm and dry weather in September.

Do you have views on what might have been the reasons/causes for this?  Have you come across any similar cases.

I would be interested in your views on this.

Micheál

A:

What a nuisance.  I had a similar problem.  The problem in 2014 was that the onions started to mature and then it got moist again in August.  This left a dampness within the layers of onions.  I wrote about it in one of the newsletters recommending that the outer skin should be pulled off when harvesting the crop, because I noticed at that stage that the crop will be affected.  Mine stored reasonably well until Christmas – but then they developed neckrot as well.

So whenever you’ll notice some mould between layers of onion skin – remove the outer skin and clean the bulbs.

Hope this won’t happen again next year.

Klaus

Comment From Micheál :

Many thanks for that information Klaus.  I intuitively removed the outer layers when storing where I noticed mould developing – perhaps these are the onions which have still survived.