Friday, 8 September 2017

Incredible String Garland

Yes it's time to string the onions for winter storage again.

It has been a good year for onions although a few white noses reminded me that white rot is an ever present threat.   I am glad I lifted them when I did as the weather has been dampish recently as evidenced by the blight sweeping in and the proliferation of slugs.  The  onion bulbs have been under cover in greenhouse and shed for a couple of weeks.

Most days I have been giving them a quarter turn to help even out the curing process.  Any blemished bulbs have been used first, so I am confident the rest will store well under the right conditions: that is suspended on a string in an airy place out of direct sunlight.

Here's my step by step guide to stringing onions:

First dry your onions for a couple of weeks.  You want the tops to still have some flexibility and strength rather than be bone dry so don't leave it too long.

You need to secure a hook in a location strong enough to carry the weight of the onions and with sufficient clearance below.  The doorway of a shed or greenhouse is ideal.

Cut off a length of strong twine and tie the ends together to form a loop.

Hang the loop onto the peg at the top and tie a nice big onion to the bottom end. (Shorten the loop if necessary by tying a further knot at the desired height and rehanging the new smaller loop. You will now have two vertical strings and the method is to add one onion at a time wrapping the onion top in a figure of eight around the two strings and then closing off the knot by passing the onion bulb over the top between the two strings.

Close up on the figure of eight.

Progressing  up the parallel strings
You soon learn that each additional onion is best presented from opposite sides of the string so that when they pop between the strings they fall into a free space between lower bulbs. It is not an exact science and they generally rub along together.

End result

In a week I will snip off the loose ends to improve the look and ensure the air can circulate freely around the bunch.  It is sensible to use onions of a similar size in a single bunch. Provided you do use strong cord the size of a string is only limited by the weight you can manage to support! I will need four of these this year, including one for the smaller sized onions.It has been a good allium year.

Hanging Around

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