I went through my onions from last summer today to see how they were doing and pull out the ones going bad. I grew Copra and Dakota Tears last year, and both of them made nice big onions and didn’t store too badly. Here in the middle of March, I think about 60-70 percent have made it through the winter. I don’t do anything fancy, they’re just stored on racks in my shop, in the dark generally but at outside temperature and humidity. I did put them in a heated room for a couple of days early in the winter when it got down to almost zero or they would have frozen and spoiled like all the other storage veg.
The real winners were a bit unexpected. I’d found a few Red Marble onions, a “red” / purple cipollini onion. They get pretty large, up to 4″ or so and are generally more flat than round. A lot of them make doubles when they get big, so they are a little more work to prep, but I would say that 95 percent of them made it through the winter. Out of a big box I only found one or two that had gone bad, really amazing. I see they’re sold as F1 hybrids at some vendors and open pollinated at others, but the seeds are pretty cheap and they’re great onions.
The other winner were “Ed’s Red” shallots. They make standard size shallots, a lot of them doubles, and are grown from seed. They did well and I ended up with a ton of them and got at least 90 percent survival in storage and maybe a little better, I didn’t count them but I made big braids and each braid had one or maybe two that were starting to sprout. One nice thing about them is that none of them spoiled, they only sprouted, so they didn’t affect the ones next to them the way onions do when they melt down.
I’ll be growing the same this year as I was really pleased with how all of them did except that I won’t be bothering with Copra and will just be growing Dakota Tears as they were pretty much identical in size and storage quality and Dakota Tears is an open pollinated variety while Copra is a hybrid.