GETTING A NICE SKIN FINISH ON ONIONS
Shelia raised the question in a comment in the GC Show is there a way to get a good skin finish. The first part of this blog is how I prepare all my onions either for show or the kitchen.
When ready to lift I never just yank them out of the ground, the day before lifting I cut the leaves down to around 10cm, ease the bulb with a fork just enough to break the roots free, then lift the next day. When lifted the roots are shortened and all the dirt washed off. Then loose skins are removed and the onions are dried well on an old towel. They then stand on wood shavings in these blue baskets the supermarkets throw out. My onions are never left out side or left in the sun in the green house, I take them home and leave them in a cool dark place to ripen
Onions for show, after lifting clean down to a complete unbroken skin, the neck should be firm and thin and the flesh white [green patches will not ripen], wash onions , dry with a towel then use a cheap talcum powder to make sure they are completely dry.. These are stood on shavings , the blocks of pet shavings are ideal and sterile. The onions are then put in the dark with a temperature of 20-25C with a strong fan blowing on the bases of the onions, the fan stays on for a week, then turned off and it takes another two to three weeks to finish ripening. If ripened without heat the skins will stay a pale straw colour with ghost marks on them or water lesions. To prevent the skins cracking use hand lotion, one with no or very little smell, and wipe it off before showing