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How to string Onions (and Soft Neck garlic)

Stringing onions is easy and a great way to store your crop overwinter as you can keep a large number of bulbs in a small space. Hang them in a cool, dry, frost-free place - such as a shed - until you need to bring them into the kitchen.

Preparing Bulbs for Stringing

Leave your bulbs to dry out thoroughly before you string them, by laying them out and leaving them in the sun for a few days. If it's raining, lay them on trays in a warm, dry place, such as a shed, polytunnel or conservatory. Choose the best quality, ripe bulbs to store - any that are damp and moist should be eaten straight away as they won't store well and will be prone to mould and mildew.

Method of Stringing Bulbs

  • Before you start stringing trim the roots and pull off any lose foliage.
  • Take a length of sturdy string about a meter and a half long.
  • Fold in half and tie the ends.
  • Hang the knotted end on a hook at a comfortable working height.
  • Take the lower end and twist and fold back on itself.
  • Feed your first onion stalk through the two loops and pull the string tight.
  • Feed more onion stalks as shown by put ting the stalk between the two strands of string, folding behind then between the two strands again, and then a third time.
  • When you are happy with the length of the onion string knot a length of string as close as possible to the top stalk, trapping the stalk in the knot.
  • Carefully move to their storage place, bearing in mind that the string can be quite heavy
  • Softneck Garlic can also be stored in the same manner

Points to note about stringing onions & garlic

  • Only store ripe bulbs
  • Don’t make the strings to long as they will be too heavy to move
  • Make sure the storage area is well ventilated It should have a temperature of about 4 - 10 degrees Celsius. If it is too warm, your onions will begin to sprout. If too cold, the onions will start to rot.
  • Onions can also be stored on a wire or mesh shelf suspended from the ceiling or in mesh bags. Again, ventilation is the key to long storage.
  • A string of a few onions topped off with two cloves of garlic and some chillies makes a lovely Christmas present.

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