Ok, so I have read and also found to be true from personal experience, that when your onions start to fall over; it's time to harvest. I had already started to pull my onions out when I remembered to photograph this so I promise there were more here when I started.
In this bed in the new garden, I had planted red, white and yellow onions from sets. I only pushed them into the ground 3/4 of the way and hoped this would yield a larger onion than in years past. Sets intrigue me but honestly I think I get a nicer onion from actual plants. Who knows?
I just tugged on the tops and out popped my pretty little onion. I love easy harvesting, it makes my heart sing. It makes everything..... Groovy. Sorry, I just had to. That song has been popping up for days.
This handy gadget with 1/2 metal mesh is my compost sifter but for today it doubles as my onion curer. Onions are ready to harvest when most of the tops fall over. You are supposed to leave them on the dirt to cure for at least one week but so much else still needs to be watered in the big garden that I can't water harvested onions with a clear conscience so I moved them to my garden shed to cure. Curing means they will develop that pretty papery shell on the outside that protects them for storage. After the curing stage is over you're supposed to clip the tops to within 1/2" of the top of the bulb but that seemed messy to me so I jumped ahead a week. Waiting was probably the more prudent thing to do. It's a problem I have. One can then store them in a cool, dry place for winter use.
Last year I got hold of all the old (not gross) pantyhose I could find and cut the legs out of them. I would then slip one onion into the toe and tie a knot above it. Then I would slip another onion down on top of the knot and so on. This kept the onions from sitting directly on one another and made it easy to get one for dinner time use by just cutting below a knot and taking it indoors. I did not buy an onion until January this past winter. They store quite nicely. Not the sweets, they don't store for beans but most of the others store like a dream.