How To Braid Onions
If you are going to keep onions over the winter (and into the spring and possibly summer), you’re going to want to make sure they are getting plenty of air, as air circulation is key to their preservation. There’s nothing worse than putting all your onions up for the year in a box or bucket and finding later that there was one that went bad and now you have to toss them all (or most) out.
I’ve seen different ways people put their onions up, including 5 gallon buckets with holes drilled in them, wood boxes with plenty of gaps in the sides, etc. But in my experience, braiding my onions and hanging them up in a cool, dark place (my root cellar) is the best place for them. I make sure to check each string a couple times a month for any rotting. I just slowly twirl the strand around, and if I find one has rotted, I just pluck it off and discard it.
By the time spring planting comes around, I usually have some onions left. I have a trick for any of the ones that happen to start sprouting at this time so they don’t go to waste. I’ll show you that later. For now, let’s look at braiding them.
Start with onions that have dried and cured. After they are dry, cut the tops off (pull them apart with your hands, really), about 6 inches above the bulb. If you wait a really long time after they are dried, the tops will just break and this won’t work. You’ll need to time this to do as soon as the tops are thin and dry enough to manipulate.
Don’t peel the papers off. I wipe mine mostly clean, but don’t wash them.
Prepare all your onions this way, and divide them up into a small, medium, and large stack if you want.
Next, you’ll want to have a loop of rope. I always use baling twine because it’s what I have, and I use it for everything. It’s also rated for 170 pounds, and these onions braids get heavy.
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