This post may be a bit seasonally late but perhaps I will catch some of you whose onions are ready to be stored…
Step One: Know when you onions are ready. When the tops fall over your onions are ready to be picked. If you’re busy at the time, no worries, they can lay there for quite awhile. Amélie and I just got to ours a couple weeks ago.
Step Two: Be proud of your harvest – it is what it is! Onions can be ornery to grow. I grew mine from sets this year and most of them grew to a pretty decent size thanks to well tended and amended soil. But if you threw late seeds in like my sister did and expected giant onion ring size bulbs by August you’ll probably be disappointed… what do I always say? Gardening is always about next year!
Step Three: Well, really, it’s a lack of step. Don’t wash them, just gently brush away big clumps of dirt. Or don’t, it won’t matter in the long run.
Step Four: Set your onions in a sunny area with lots of air flow. The point here is to allow the onions to create a couple layers of that papery skin. I use an old screen and a wagon. I pull them out into the sunshine every morning and pull them back in from the rain or overnight dampness every night. Mine sat out a good 10 days before I could find time for them this year.
Step Six: Your onions should be papery and dry. Now is a great time to gently rub your hand over them release any really loose paper and any left over clumps of dirt.
Step Seven: Take three onions and place as pictured. Tie kitchen twine to the middle onion.
Step Eight: Begin to braid the three onions, cross each strand once like the beginning of a braid, using the twine to stableize the structure. Then grab another onion and treat it as you would when you reach for another section of hair when you are french braiding. (If you don’t know how to french braid here is a tutorial. IT’S NOT DIFFICULT but you will need to know how to braid your onions!) Continue to add onions as you would hair. How long you make your onion braids is up to you. This year I did mine short and fat. When you get to the end you can braid your leaves and twine for a few inches and then use the left over twine to tie a knot to secure the braid, then make a loop and knot it to use as a hanger.
Step Nine: Store your onions in a cool, dark area. I have had mine last all the way into March! When you need one just cut one from the bottom! This technique can also be used for garlic!
Later this week…
How to Dry Hydrangea and Keeping Clean with Herbs!
Unless I deliver of course!!!