How to Braid Garlic (or Onions)
Photo & Video tutorial

The garlic is out, the onions are out.

Time to learn how to braid your onions or garlic.

For this little tutorial I’m going to use onions.   If you want to use garlic you have to soften up their stems by soaking only the stems in water or wrapping them in a wet towel for  half an hour or so (to make them pliable for braiding).



Lay out 13 onions.

The 3 biggest in the centre

The next 4 biggest down the left side,

Then 3 pairs of the smaller onions to the right.

Onions On Porch



Tie a string around the 3 large, centre onions.  Keep the tails long.

You’re going to braid the string tails into the garlic braid.  This helps hold it together plus helps give you something to hold onto if your stems are short or break.

Step 1


Now braid just like you would hair.

One. Two. Three.

Like that.

Stop after one, two three.

Step 2


Place a large onion from your left hand pile in the centre of the braid.

It’s stems will now be lined up with the stems of the onion in the middle of the braid.

Step 3


And braid …

One. Two. Three.  Stop.

Step 4


Cross a pair of onions from your right hand pile over each other (on either side of the centre onion).

Remember to line up your stalks.

Step 5


And braid.

One. Two. Three. Stop.

Step 6


Continue this pattern until all your onions are gone.

When you’ve placed them all, continue to braid the stem to the ends.

Fold the braid over to the back and secure with your handy string.



The onions are ready to hang and cut off when you need them.

Onions Braided


Ditto for garlic.

Garlic Braid


Still confused?  Watch my video …


Stillll confused?   Braiding produce probably isn’t for you.   You may however get enjoyment out of playing with the ball of string.


  1. JebberA says:

    In the spirit of the Olympic games, I award you the first ever gold medal for bulb braiding. Congratulations, Karen, on making history! Hurrah! Hurrah!

  2. Becky says:

    That’s just beautiful. Now I wish I had put some onions in my garden.
    The video is super helpful too.

  3. Niki @MaisonMutt says:

    So beautiful, it almost made me cry. Wait. no, that was a flashback to the last time I chopped onions. Anyway, great demo. Can’t wait to braid my 2013 bumper crop!

  4. Molly says:

    I always wondered how this is done. Thanks so much for showing!

    That reminds me of a braid of garlic that I once bought in France. It was smoked! It was not only delicious and the cloves were very juicy, it also lasted much longer than normal garlic.

    I don’t know how to do it, I have no smoker and no garlic 😉 But if you have a lot of garlic, maybe you can give it a try.

  5. Gawd you’re funny….play with a ball of string. Love the sarcastic humour. 🙂

  6. cred says:

    exellent! I really want a braid of both garlic and onion (that I made myself) hanging in my kitchen. NIce video- it made me lauhg when you popped you head in to smile at the camera.

  7. Tisha says:

    Very cool! Now I wish I had a garden with garlic and onions so I could have cool braided stuff on my walls

  8. Jen H says:

    It looks kind of like French braiding, but with produce. Did you let them ‘cure’ or dry before starting, or do you do this anytime after they are out of the ground?

    • Karen says:

      Jen H – Good point. Let them cure first. Otherwise they’ll have trouble drying while they’re all braided tight. For the garlic, the stalks will get hard after curing so you have to soak them in water or wrap them in a damp towel for a while to make them pliable again. ~ karen!

  9. JebberA says:

    I kept the Nike suit for myself for winning gold at “firstsies” this morning. It could so easily have been yours.

  10. I would get a huge charge out of this except that the blasted rabbits have decided that one of our gardens is their own personal eating refuge! Alas, my onions have been chewed to the ground. I am thinking about an electric fence and spy cameras to see how they are getting in! Any ideas, ladies?

  11. That is so cool! So wishing we planted onions or garlic now 🙁 We only did scallions. Next year!

  12. Jamiek says:

    As always, brilliant!

    • Karen says:

      Dawna – I used to have a horse. We showed Hunter and Eventing. Occasionally Dressage. I can braid like nobody’s business! French braid, reverse french braid, herringbone … you name it I’ve braided a mane or tail with it. Do you have a mane or tail? ~ karen

  13. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    They look so nice hanging in your kitchen..I would hate to use them..How long do they last before they go bad??

    • Karen says:

      Nancy – The garlic won’t stay there. It was just for a pretty picture. It will last for months if kept under the right conditions, which is a slightly cool room. Around 60 degrees or so. The warmer and drier the room the quicker it will sprout and shrivel up. ~ karen!

  14. ruth says:

    this is exactly what I needed to know today cuz i have garlic curing in the garage. Thanks!

  15. Jamieson says:

    So I’ve got it all braided together but now my hair smells like onions and my hat won’t fit over all these bulbs. I’m not looking forward to trying to sleep with this hairstyle, either.

  16. Bee says:

    When you cut an onion or garlic head off to use do you cut one from the top or the bottom of the braid?

  17. Shauna says:

    I love it when I read a post title of yours and think, “eh, not something I’ll probably want to do, but Karen’s always funny, so I’ll read it.” And then, I read it and immediately want to re-produce what you’ve taught us. I suddenly MUST braid some onions or garlic for my kitchen. You have a knack for giving us that which we had no idea we needed to know.

  18. Brenda j says:


  19. Barbie says:

    THANKS! I have ALWAYS wanted to know how to do that and we have oodles of onions and garlic in the garden!

  20. I don’t have onions or garlic, but I did French braid my grass earlier this year….

    Nikki Kelly @ the ambitious procrastinator

  21. marilyn says:


  22. AnnW says:

    Your blog gets “curiouser and curiouser” every day. What is that from? Alice and Wonderland? What Can”t You Do? I know, sew.

    • Karen says:

      AnnW – I can sew. I just sewed 2 nights ago. I don’t particularly like to sew. Although the other night I didn’t hate it for some reason. ~ k!

  23. Gayla T says:

    That was way too much trouble when we gardened because we had enough to last a family through the winter. We used the panty hose method. I have bought the strings from the farmer’s market but I guess my kitchen has too much moisture and it starts going soft. It sure looks good until then, though.

  24. Laura Bee says:

    Just checking to see when my garlic will be ready…about two weeks. Thanks Karen, you’re as useful as the Farmer’s Almanac & way more entertaining.

  25. Sam H says:

    So when you cut an onion off… which one do you start with or does it not matter?

  26. frances mcginlay says:

    Have jst harvested my garlic under yr tutolage..thanks!
    Wd post a pic but don’t think i can? ..Suffice to say mine is little bit different 🙂 yr site is GREAT tho..ta x

  27. Jane says:

    Been drying my garlic in the garage…can’t wait to try to braid it…but can’t keep my garden goodies on my porch because the coons visit every night…Par Tee time for them….tried putting out coyote urine to keep,em away…didn’t work…guess I need a trap. We caught about 6 last summer…rolled up our new sod every night! They are very brave….and we all wanna see your moonwalk video:)

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