When are onions ripe

I planted onions for the first time this year. I live in zone 8. The tops are pretty and green, however when I dug down around them to see how they are coming along, it looks as though the bulb is falling apart instead of producing a healthy bulb. What am I doing wrong and how will I know if they are ripe?
Submitted by BHGPhotoContest

When onions are ripe their tops turn yellow then brown, and outer layers of the bulb turn papery. You can start using the onions at an earlier stage, but they won't store well if harvested sooner.


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