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Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by doc623, Jul 31, 2005.
How do you braid onion to hang for drying?
You braid onions while the tops are still soft but have partially cured. After you pull your onions at maturity, let them rest, layed out with the tops straight for a day or two right where you pulled them. (This is assuming no rain is coming. If you are in a real high humidity condition, move them to your garage or barn.) The tops should be partially dried and soft but not stiff and brittle. They'll be limp, NOT crisp.
You braid onions and garlic like french braiding hair, adding more tops as your braid lengthens. Start with 3 and almost immediately add the fourth.
Then you add the next onion to the braid as you clear the top of the last onion. Some people add floral wire to the braiding for strength. It all depends on the kinds of onions you grow. I've always grown Italian heirloom onions - they were meant to be braided. If you're growing something like spanish or vidalia onions, the weight of the onion might cause the braid to break after it is completely dried. When you get to the end of your braid, wrap the top with some floral wire then use some loose tops to wrap over the wire to hide. Then hang in a well ventilated area to finish drying.
Thanks for the info.
Ours may be too heavy but may try anyway.
Instead of braiding the onions I just bunch a handful of them together then tie them off and hang them under a shade tree. After they have cured for a few days and the tops have completely shribbled up, I then take them and cut the tops off and stuff them into a big mesh bag saved from oranges. Then hang the mesh bag in my pantry to use whenever needed.
I usually braid my onions and garlic like French-braiding hair, but I also do something different. I get a long piece of baling twine and tie it in a big loop, then tie an onion to the bottom and put the top of the loop over a rafter. Next, I weave an onion top through and around the two strands of twine (I think it usually ends up being a half hitch), pull tight, and cut off the end leaving a bit of tail. I keep adding onions all around and end up with a solid column of onions. This keeps very well and I can cut off onions as I need them.
Hereâs a couplaâ sites that I use and the info seems to work quite well.
I guess it looks cool, but is there any real benifit to doing it? We just let the onions dry, cut off the roots and tops, and put them in mesh bags to hang in the root cellar. Still got two five pound bags from last year and they are just as good as fresh.
I've never braided either, I've done as you have mentioned--I store them, I don't have a root cellar as of yet. That's a project for next year.
Welll . . . besides letting air circulate all around the bulbs on the braid, it looks kinda neat. More decorative than mesh bags, and I've gotten good at it so it doesn't take a lot of time to do.
Besides, I sell braids at our local farmer's market and they bring *a lot* more than garlic/onions by the each!