I had a bunch of the Copra onions fall down over a week ago in a wind storm. Most places say to harvest a couple of days after the top fall over. UMass Extension service says to have half the leaves dead before harvesting for the best storage. They say they don't cure well if the leaves are too green. So I split the difference. A couple of leaves have died on the bulbs and they have been down for a while now. I'd say this is about 2/3s of my Copras. The others are still standing tall, so I'll leave them alone.
The first curing is in the sun preferably an 80F degree day. Well yesterday it 92F. This can produce sunscald, but waiting longer means another rainstorm they have to go through which could lead to rot. So I did it anyway. I decided this year to try a new way. Last year I'd leave the onions outside on the path for a day or two, then I'd bring them inside to dry. I don't particularly like the constant smell of onions in the house (we don't have a shed big enough for them or a garage like most people would use). And I think the gas they release is bad for my asthmatic lungs. So I wanted a better solution.
I would say this is going to be one of the best years for my Copras. Copra has never been a particularly large onion. Their claim to fame is that they store very well. They are a 3" onion that can get bigger in good conditions. Mine were always lucky to get to 3". This year the bulbs are bigger than usual with many over 3" and I haven't found even one that was starting to bolt. I think the netting over the onions really helped to keep the onion fly from damaging them. I hope that means that they will store better too as I've gotten a lot of random rot in storage in the past. I'm also endeavoring to be as gentle as possible with my onions as dropping them or knocking them around can lead to rot.
In addition to the Copras, I've been harvesting the Ailsa Craig onions as I need them. They are a sweet onion and though they are a good keeper for a sweet onions (about 2 months) I always use them first as they can't store over the winter. They haven't fallen over yet, but the bulbs are big enough. Interestingly I don't think they are getting quite as big as last year. But the taste is a lot better.my refrigerator pickle brine. I like to make up jars of the brine and when the cucumbers are harvested, I can just pop any extra ones I'm not using, into the brine. I decided to make up the brine because as I was setting up the onion drying spot, I had to take down a couple of dill plants. They had huge heads and were just perfect. Now I just need my cucumbers to go crazy. I think they are almost at that point.