Spring Transition to Short-Day Onions

Spring is a transitional time for onions. It’s a time when storage, or long-day, onions are done for the season and short-day onions come on. The first onions of the spring season are called short-day because they are planted in the fall and their growing patterns are matched to days with shorter periods of sunlight. Long-day onions are planted in the spring and their growing patterns are matched to long days filled with sunshine. Understanding the qualities of short-day onions will help you educate customers and optimize handling, storing, and merchandising during this season.


Short Day Yellow Onion

(Short-Day Yellow Onions Pictured Above)

Short-Day Onions

  • Thinner, lighter colored, and fewer layers of paper skins
  • Sweeter flavor profile
  • More mottled appearance and green veining
  • Higher water ratio makes them softer
  • Tendency to mark, nick or bruise easily
  • Softer onions have a shorter shelf-life
  • Best used fresh and not over-cooked


Long Day Yellow Onion

(Long-Day Yellow Onions Pictured Above)

Long-Day Onions

  • Thicker, opaque glossy paper skins
  • Less sweet flavor profile
  • Evenly toned appearance
  • Less water ratio makes then denser
  • Firmer and less likely to nick or bruise
  • Firmer onions have a longer shelf-life
  • Hold up better in cooked dishes


Merchandising Tips:

  • Keep onions dry and away from misters. Do not refrigerate.
  • Remove loose skins from onions to keep your display looking neat.
  • Consider placing red onions between yellow and white ones to create a striking color contrast.
  • Use waterfall displays to create more space for your onion display.
  • Cross merchandise with BBQ grilling supplies, stir-fry veggies, peppers, or potatoes.

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