How to store onions in winter

Basic rules for storing onions

A dry, cool and dark place with good ventilation is ideal for storing onions.

Required temperature conditions

Recommended storage temperature is 0…+3°С. In such conditions, it is possible to preserve the beneficial properties of the vegetable crop as much as possible. When storing warmly in an apartment, maintain the temperature around +18°C.

Humidity level for storing onions in an apartment

When choosing a place for onions, do not forget that excess moisture has a negative effect on the bulbs, as a result of which they rot and become moldy. The optimal humidity level for storage in an apartment is about 70%.

Shelf life

If you follow the recommendations for storing onions, then in the apartment the product remains suitable for consumption, does not lose its presentation, and retains its taste and beneficial qualities for 8 months. If onions are stored in a cellar or basement, the shelf life can be up to a year.

Onion storage methods

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There are many methods for storing onions in winter at home. The most popular method is braids. A braid is simply made from a bow (the tops cannot be torn off for this). But this method is only suitable for those who grow the crop themselves. If it was purchased at the market, then most likely there will be no tops on it. This means that you need to choose some other method.

  • Onions are stored well in nets - there is good ventilation, it is easy to view them if necessary. If somewhere the heads begin to rot, it is immediately noticeable. To prolong their storage, you should not place them on the floor, but hang them from the ceiling.
  • Nylon tights can become a reliable storage for onions. Essentially this is the same mesh, only fine. Onions are placed in them in small batches to ensure good ventilation, and then the tights are hung from the ceiling.
  • Onions lie in baskets or wooden boxes for a long time, but only if they are sprinkled with sand, ash or something similar so that excess moisture is absorbed. The height of such a container should not exceed 30 cm. It is worth making sure that there are enough ventilation holes in the walls of such a container.
  • Bags are a less popular method. There are no spoiled heads visible in them, so you often have to sort through the crop. But, in addition, onions are placed only in bags made of natural material, since plastic contributes to the accumulation of condensation (increasing humidity).

Storing onions in a net


You cannot place bags, baskets, boxes or any other containers directly on a cold floor, as well as lean them against a wall. They are installed on wooden platforms, shelves or suspended from the ceiling. The distance from the floor and walls should be at least 20 cm.

Varieties suitable for long-term storage

The good keeping quality of fruits is largely determined by the variety, so it is important to choose it correctly.

In this regard, the following varieties are most popular among gardeners:

  1. Bastion . Representative of mid-season varieties. The bulb is flat-round in shape with dry and dense scales. It is grown in all regions of Russia, with the exception of the southern ones. Has excellent taste. Can be stored for at least 9 months.
  2. Stuttgarter Riesen. Bred in Germany. Early ripening variety. It has a large bulb, about 150 g. It produces a high yield. Does not require maintenance. Well kept.
  3. Orion . A variety obtained by English breeders. It is an early-ripening species, so it is often grown in regions with short summers. The fruit reaches a weight of 200 g and is well stored.
  4. Yalta. The bulbs are purple in color and flattened in shape. They have juiciness and excellent taste. Due to its sweet taste, it is often consumed raw.
  5. Arzamas . Well suited for growing in midland conditions. The bulbs have a round shape and a pungent taste. The variety produces a high yield, is resistant to pests and has a long shelf life.
  6. Red Baron. Representative of early ripening varieties. The fruits are red, weighing up to 80 g. Onions have a dense structure and are considered one of the best varieties for winter storage.
  7. Hercules. Belongs to mid-early varieties. The fruit is large and round. It is resistant to high temperatures and drought.
  8. Bessonovsky . Has a pungent taste. 4-5 bulbs weighing 40-50 g grow in the nest. The flesh is dense, yellow or white. Onions contain a large amount of dry matter, which helps vegetables last longer.

Preparing onions for long-term storage

The harvested onion crop is dried for 10-15 days in the fresh air. The bulbs are laid out in one layer on a dry surface. To do this, use wooden flooring or a blanket.

If drying is carried out in an apartment, then place the onions in a well-ventilated place (balcony) or use an oven to dry. It is first heated, and then turned off and the bulbs are placed in it.

Attention! Make sure the onion doesn't dry out. A sign of this condition is cracked scales.

After drying, dry feathers are trimmed, leaving the necks about 4 cm long. The top layer of scales is also removed.

Reference! For onions grown in humid climates with constant rainfall, it is recommended to remove almost all of the scales. It forms again during storage.

Onion storage conditions

How to dry onions after harvesting?

When the crop is harvested, it is dried:

  • lay the bulbs in rows on top of the cleared soil;
  • leave the vegetables for a couple of days (provided there is no precipitation);
  • Harvest the crops in the attic, where it is dry and warm and has ventilation;
  • to achieve complete drying of the feathers and roots, bend the neck of the onion (hang on a rope, place the necks on the edges of the box);
  • determine readiness by the thinning, yellowing of the neck;
  • if the onion was collected during the rain, remove a couple of the top layers of scales from it, cut the roots to 2 cm;
  • 3 weeks later, after turning the necks into dry ponytails, leave small ends necessary for braiding;
  • trim the roots by a centimeter;
  • Store braided vegetables placed inside boxes.

Storability of onion

The shelf life of root crops depends on the following factors:

  • variety: early ones are suitable for food and preparations;
  • weather during ripening: rain reduces the shelf life, increased moisture content provokes the development of putrefactive processes;
  • orientation to the rules of agricultural technology;
  • compliance with harvesting deadlines: early and late start of the process can affect the shelf life of the product (optimally - the end of July).

At what temperature should onions be stored?

  • Cold mode: -3 – 0 °C. Characterized by low losses and breathing intensity.
  • Warm mode: 18–22 °C, with humidity around 70%.
  • Combined mode: before the onset of autumn cold, keep the temperature at 18–22, after -3 to 0 degrees. After the thaw, transfer the root vegetable to the warm method again. On average, the shelf life ranges from 60 to 270 days.


Relative humidity depends on temperature:

  • cold method – 75–90%;
  • warm method – 70%.

Air circulation

To prevent the development of rotting processes during storage of root crops, monitor the constant circulation of air masses. The accumulation of carbon dioxide released by the onion during breathing interferes with it while lying down. Therefore, she needs to be taken out of the room in time.

Equip the storage location with a ventilation system to maintain uniform air temperature and humidity. Lack of proper air exchange will lead to the development of rotting processes and shorten the shelf life of vegetables.

The winter period requires a reduction in the circulation flow to 50% of the main one. If temperature or humidity indicators deviate, arrange periodic, forced circulation.

How to store onions at home: suitable containers

To store onions, select the necessary containers. Most often used:

  1. Wicker baskets. They are well ventilated (one of the most important storage conditions) and aesthetically pleasing. This container is suitable for a small amount of vegetables.
  2. Wooden boxes. They are practical to use, as they take up a small area when placed one on top of the other. Provide good ventilation.
  3. Cardboard boxes . The material has high breathability. You can additionally make small holes in the walls. Cardboard packaging from household appliances and shoes is often used as containers for onions.
  4. Ordinary bag. To prevent the product from deteriorating, it is recommended not to fill it more than 30-40 cm. Although burlap has excellent air permeability, air circulation is disrupted in an overfilled bag. This storage option is not very aesthetically pleasing, so it is used for basements and storage rooms.
  5. Onion braid. Onion wicker is not only a great way to store, but also a decorative element that will decorate the kitchen. The storage method is effective since there is no air stagnation. It is also possible to visually monitor the condition of the bow.

In a refrigerator

Housewives often store onions in the freezer.

The vegetable is prepared according to the following scheme:

  • cleaned of scales;
  • cut into slices or half rings;
  • frozen on a board;
  • placed in a special plastic bag for food products and placed in the freezer.

This method will help preserve only a small amount of onions.

In nylon tights and stockings

Nylon is a thin synthetic fabric that is highly breathable. Nylon tights can be safely used as containers without worrying about air exchange. This storage option is suitable for the basement and pantry.

How to store onions at home?

At home, the vegetable can be stored in a cold place or at room temperature. The main thing is that it is dark, dry and well ventilated. Below are recommendations for choosing the most optimal storage location in your apartment.

Where to store

List of places in the house where onions should be stored:

  • in the refrigerator (on the bottom shelf for vegetables);
  • on the glazed balcony;
  • on the loggia;
  • on mezzanines;
  • in the closet;
  • in the pantry.

Vegetables should be placed in wicker baskets, wooden boxes, cardboard boxes, fabric or paper bags. When suspended, it is stored in nets.

At what temperature

The minimum temperature at which vegetables can be stored is 0...+3°C. This means that when stored on an unglazed balcony or loggia, it freezes and becomes unsuitable for consumption. Spicy varieties can withstand temperatures down to –1°C. The maximum temperature at which onions can be stored is +22°C. Humidity should be at the level of 50–70%.

Storage methods in cellars and warehouses

Cold storage uses shelves and racks. Onions are also placed in vegetable boxes. Spread in a layer of about 40-50 cm to prevent it from rotting. The containers are placed on shelves or special stands so that the bottom does not come into contact with the floor.

Onions are also placed in small bags.

Attention! Cellophane bags are not suitable, as vegetables quickly deteriorate in them.

If you have a large number of egg containers available, they make great storage containers. Place an onion in each cavity and place it on a shelf or rack.

Make sure that the ventilation in the cellar works well. If the room is damp and poorly ventilated, the bulbs will quickly sprout and become unsuitable for eating.

When the room temperature drops slightly, the hot onions are not damaged. Sweet varieties are frost-resistant.

When storing in the cellar, constantly monitor the condition of the bulbs. If moisture appears on them, they should be dried and the storage should be well ventilated.

Advice. Lime will help remove excess moisture. It is poured into containers and placed in the corners of the cellar.

How to store onions in the winter in a cellar or basement

A cellar or basement is considered an ideal place for winter storage. Firstly, in such a room there is a constant temperature and humidity. Secondly, the owner can control and independently regulate the microclimate if he notices that the crop has begun to deteriorate. In addition, in most cases, the basement space allows you to conveniently place several crops at once.

You can take any container for storing vegetables: wooden or plastic boxes, large baskets, fabric bags or cardboard boxes. You can simply lay out the heads on shelves and racks, after covering their surface with paper or burlap. In addition to these traditional methods, you can weave onion braids or place the heads in old stockings. Some gardeners store onions in empty egg containers, placing one vegetable in each cavity. Such filled containers are easily and compactly placed on shelves and do not take up much space (Figure 5).

Figure 5. The vegetable cellar should be dry and cool.

Regardless of the chosen method, it is important to maintain optimal humidity in the cellar - no more than 80%. Otherwise, the vegetable will begin to sprout and rot. In addition, the entire crop should be periodically inspected and soft or sprouted bulbs removed so that they do not spoil the rest of the crop. However, it is not recommended to remove dry scales that have accumulated over the winter from the basement, because they perfectly absorb moisture and protect the crop from rotting.

About the storage features of some types of onions

Storing certain types of vegetables has its own characteristics.

How to store green onions

Green feathers can be placed on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator. There the product is stored for 10-14 days.

To ensure that the greens remain fresh for a long time and do not spoil or wither, the roots are moistened with water and wrapped in a wet cloth. Then they place it in a paper envelope and bandage it so that the moisture evaporates less.

Green feathers are also wrapped in food paper and placed in a bowl with water, and covered with a bag on top.

Green onions keep well when dried. Dry both in the open air and in the oven.

How to store leeks

In the cellar, leek bulbs remain suitable for consumption for six months, while they retain all their beneficial and tasteful qualities.

Before storage, the roots are cut to a length of 3 cm and yellowed leaves are removed. In the basement, leeks are placed in containers with wet river sand. The bulbs are placed in a vertical position with a slight tilt, and the roots are buried in a layer of sand about 10 cm.

Vegetable crops are also frozen or dried.

Attention! You can also store onions on the balcony. Containers with the product are insulated with old outerwear or a blanket.

Onion sets

The favorable temperature regime for sowing is up to +16°C, so it is stored in an apartment in a cooler and drier place. Small bags and cardboard boxes are used as packaging.

A basement or cellar with good ventilation is suitable for storing seedlings.

Conditions for winter storage of onions

The conditions that onions require for their preservation are methods, place and container. It is important to know what to store the onion harvest in. Be sure to adhere to the optimal temperature regime and periodically ventilate the room. But first things first.


In order to store onions in the apartment for as long as possible, you need to follow a certain regime. The ideal indicator is zero degrees. However, both cold and warm storage methods are acceptable. Time and experience will tell how best to store onions.

If stored in an unheated room, you need to monitor the “dew point” - a little reminder for you

When asked whether it is possible to store onions in the refrigerator, gardeners answer in the affirmative. For example, sevok feels good at temperatures from zero to minus three. But nothing will happen to it even at much higher temperatures - from 18 to 25 degrees plus.

The main thing is not to suddenly take the container out onto the balcony or loggia, because this is too sudden a temperature change for vegetables. Otherwise, the set may produce arrows as soon as it is planted.

However, ensuring a stable storage temperature for onions is not as difficult as constantly maintaining the same humidity or air circulation. Meanwhile, this needs to be done. After all, if the air in the room is dry, the heads will dry out quickly. And an increase in humidity above permissible values ​​is fraught with germination or the development of rot.


Storing onions in an apartment or in a private house requires stable maintenance of humidity. The figure should range from 49 to 70%.

Some gardeners are convinced that humidity can be increased to 80%. But in this case, the housewife must closely monitor the reaction of the crop sent for storage.

Increasing humidity is easy, but decreasing it will require additional steps. To do this, you should install a container with ash in the storage room. Lime or sawdust will also work. All of the above can effectively absorb excess moisture. And the heads will be protected from drying out by their own husks, which have previously fallen off.

Air circulation

You can preserve onions until spring not only by properly setting humidity and temperature, but also by periodic ventilation. The air should circulate freely. It’s good if special devices are installed in the room. If they are not there, the place is ventilated manually.

Reasons for onion spoilage during storage

Product spoilage often occurs due to disease infection:

  • bacterial rot;
  • fusarium;
  • cervical rot.

Bacterial rot is clearly visible on the cut of the bulb. Healthy scales alternate with yellowed ones. The fruits emit an unpleasant odor.

Cervical rot develops slowly and can be difficult to detect.

When infected with fusarium, the onion begins to deteriorate from the bottom and becomes soft and watery.

The following factors also contribute to rotting:

  • wrong choice of variety;
  • Damage to bulbs during harvest.

Onions quickly become unsuitable for food if the temperature and recommended humidity are not observed.

Problems during storage

Other difficulties may arise when storing the product. In apartment conditions, onion flies appear. This is facilitated by damaged and rotten fruits, which create a favorable environment for the reproduction and feeding of the fly. Check your onions regularly and thoroughly to remove damaged specimens in a timely manner.

If a vegetable is stored in violation of the recommended humidity, it begins to sprout. To prevent this, onion heads are sprinkled with dry peels or chalk powder. For 10 kg of onions, use 250 g of the product.

The process of preparing onions for storage

Preparing onions for long-term storage is an important process. You need to know how and where to store onions in winter: in the basement, on the balcony or just in the apartment, how to prepare the boxes. To prepare for storage, you need to carry out all the procedures described at the very beginning. So, drying:

  1. Place the onions on a dry, flat surface, such as a blanket or board, in the yard.
  2. If the weather does not allow it or we are talking about drying in the apartment, then you can use another method: preheat the oven so that it is warm inside (important - not hot), turn it off, and then place the bulbs there.
  3. Drying out, which is indicated by scales with silt cracks, is unacceptable.
  4. After drying, it is necessary to clean off the remaining soil and excess dry skins, and also trim the green shoots (onion necks), leaving only a few centimeters (3-5 cm).
  5. Next is sorting. It is necessary to leave dry, non-rotten, without mechanical damage, soft fruits. The rest should be gotten rid of.

If the crop was grown in a humid climate, subject to constant rain or excess moisture, absolutely all scales must be removed. They form again during storage.

These are all important aspects. Now you can say that you know how to prepare onions for storage. The next step is choosing the environment for the crop.

Useful tips

To successfully preserve onions until the new harvest, experienced farmers recommend adhering to the following preventive measures:

  • regularly change the site for planting vegetables;
  • carry out disinfection treatment of planting material;
  • disinfect the soil with special means before planting;
  • observe agricultural technology for growing vegetables;
  • carefully clean and sort the harvested crops;
  • dry it well.

Be sure to ensure good air circulation in the area where the product will be stored.

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