The Big World Blog

follow frank_o_file on twitter
Subscribe here

Traditional Pickled Onions Recipe   Dig for Victory - UK Film from 1940   How to grow onions from seed   Onion Chutney Recipe   Dig for Victory - UK Film from 1940

How to string onions (A how to on storing your garden produce)

Fresh Garden Onions

onion stringing is a simple 2 step process that will keep your onion crop fresh and ready for use.

You'll need scissors, some string and onions with the stalks still on them.

An onion line can be kept either in the kitchen or outdoors hung from a rafter in a shed.

An onion line hung in the kitchen can be a great space saver. You can hang as many onions as you can grow.

Making an onion line and hanging it in the kitchen also looks attractive.


It makes a kitchen look used and shows a keen awareness for fresh produce. Never run out of onions again! With an onion string you can always see how many onions you have left.

How to String Onions properly.

Part 1.

Drying your Garden Onions first will allow them to harden. this will make them taste better and easier to string.

Lift out the onions by clearing the soil around the tops gently with your hands. It's best to dig or scoop them out of the ground because you want to retain the dead or dying stalk on the top.

You can't really hang large necked onions so dry these out and use them first as cooking onions.

Put the fresh onions on a rack, I use an old cooker shelf but something larger would be more practical.

Put them indoors or in a dry place and leave them alone for 10 days.

This will allow the drying process to take place properly and after 10 days the stalks will have taken on a raffia look and feel when touched.

Stringing the onions is the best bit but can be messy.


Part 2.

Create a loop of line and hang it from a nail or hook and at the bottom of the string loop put your first onion stalk through.

Make a tight figure of 8 with the stalk through the 2 strings. This is best explained by looking at the picture at the top of the page.

Next place another healthy onion and string it next to the first.

Place two alternate onions and string separately at 90 degrees to the first pair. This is basically the French onion string process.

Repeat until the string cant carry anymore. Yes I’ve broken the string by putting too many onions on.

I would recommend doing this outside or somewhere you can sweep up easily. The amount of onion stalk, onion skin and dried mud you will find on the floor is incredible.

Stringing vegetable onions alternately

Storing the onions on the line helps keep the kitchen tidy.

jar labels ad 

Storing the onions out of direct light these will keep them fresh until ready to be eaten.

There are many variations on this theme so with experience you will find which way works  best for you.

I do find that 10 days is a good minimum drying time and if you want to pickle some onions these onions will be crisp and firm within 10 days of stringing.


        Onion string ready for your recipe