One big crop to harvest and store, or succession sowing?


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I had a good onion harvest this year. I dried them in our shed. We had some cheap temporary greenhouses, the shelves of which are made of a wire grid. We popped the onions so the 'stalk/leaves' hung down through the wire grid and left them there for a couple of months. They've done very well (despite the summer heat) and are now in mesh bags in our utility room cupboard. So I think we can do OK with onions and garlic - although I didn't know about managing water prior to harvest so will do that next time.

I'm nervous about storing potatoes so ended up freezing most of them as par boiled chips and roasts. Although the ones we did store in our utility room seem fine. I'm concerned about storing large volumes in sacks as I won't be able to keep an eye on them and would be afraid of some rotting.

Carrots went soft within a week and ended up being fed to the horses. I think someone here advised me to keep them in sand, so I'll try that next time.

I think my main problem is one of confidence - once I've had one successful year I'll probably be OK.

I'm getting the impression from you guys that this cold store thing isn't as big a deal as I'd thought.
 
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When preparing to storing potatoes 2 things are paramount.
1) Letting the skins cure for at least two weeks after all growth has been cut away.
2) DO NOT wash them.
Brushing off dirt is fine.
 

Meadowlark

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Regarding storing potatoes, I certainly agree it is paramount to NOT wash off the dirt. Second on my list would be "No Touching" each other in storage.

In my climate, when the potato tops start falling over, it is imperative that the spuds be removed from the soil immediately. Otherwise, with a good rain they can rot overnight.

I had a good onion harvest this year. I dried them in our shed. We had some cheap temporary greenhouses, the shelves of which are made of a wire grid. We popped the onions so the 'stalk/leaves' hung down through the wire grid and left them there for a couple of months. They've done very well (despite the summer heat) and are now in mesh bags in our utility room cupboard.

I have found through experience in my climate, that is important to store onions up right...that is with the stems pointed upward. Otherwise, they lose excessive moisture content during storage. Also, I remove the tops prior to storage and after they dry in sun post-harvest. Works for me.
 
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Regarding storing potatoes, I certainly agree it is paramount to NOT wash off the dirt. Second on my list would be "No Touching" each other in storage.

In my climate, when the potato tops start falling over, it is imperative that the spuds be removed from the soil immediately. Otherwise, with a good rain they can rot overnight.



I have found through experience in my climate, that is important to store onions up right...that is with the stems pointed upward. Otherwise, they lose excessive moisture content during storage. Also, I remove the tops prior to storage and after they dry in sun post-harvest. Works for me.
That's interesting. My neighbour told me to dry mine stems pointed downwards else the moisture would drain into the bulb and cause them to rot. She told me this too late last year and indeed many did rot as she predicted. This year, drying them stems down resulted in zero failures.

I've read that we should leave potatoes in the ground for at least two weeks after cutting tops down for the skins to thicken. I did it both ways this year and didn't notice any difference. The past two summers have been dry, but in Scotland the norm is wet. It's possible that my experience thus far will all go out the window when we get our first wet summer.

It's all very complex!
 

Meadowlark

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That's interesting. My neighbour told me to dry mine stems pointed downwards else the moisture would drain into the bulb and cause them to rot. She told me this too late last year and indeed many did rot as she predicted. This year, drying them stems down resulted in zero failures.

I've read that we should leave potatoes in the ground for at least two weeks after cutting tops down for the skins to thicken. I did it both ways this year and didn't notice any difference. The past two summers have been dry, but in Scotland the norm is wet. It's possible that my experience thus far will all go out the window when we get our first wet summer.

It's all very complex!
One difference is I remove the tops after the bulbs have dried and prior to putting in storage. With the tops removed and hanging downward, all the moisture will drain out of the onion.... but maybe with the tops still on it would not. The other difference of course is climate. Finding what works for you is more than 1/2 the battle.
 
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I would imagine that we in the UK, especially those of us who grow long day onions, have, as result of the approaching autumn, more to worry about as regards rain, especially as the Wettest City in Europe (Greenock) is less than 100 miles up the coast.
 
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