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Harvesting Onions and Potatoes

Break out the garden fork and get ready to start harvesting onions and potatoes.

Dig onions when the tops fall over and begin to dry.  Wait for this to happen naturally for the best quality and largest onion bulbs.  Use damaged, bruised and those onions started from sets first as they do not store well as those started from seeds or plants.

Cure firm, blemish-free onion bulbs you plan to store for later use.  Braid the tops and hang them to dry.  Or spread the onions on a screen in a warm dry place.  Allow them to cure for a week or two before storing in a cool, dry location. 

Harvest potatoes as the tops die and the tubers reach full size.  Dig carefully to avoid damage.  Use damaged and undersized tubers first.  Gently remove excess soil and store surplus potatoes in a cool, dark location.

A bit more information: Apples and many other fruits give off ethylene that shortens the storage life of sensitive items like vegetables.  Store these separately to extend the life of your produce.  And be sure to monitor stored vegetables throughout the fall and winter.  Discard any rotting fruit to prevent ruining all the other fruits and vegetables.

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