How to Braid and Make Garlic Ropes

Your garlic is ready!? Cool ! Once you harvest all the garlic you’ll need to store it, there are of course methods of pickling such as Spicy Pickled Garlic

They can also be dry stored in bunches, braiding them together is not only an age old method but also an aesthetically pleasing one.

Two braided garlic strings hanging under a tree.

Cloves of garlic or even onions strung together and hanging in clustered braids makes an attractive kitchen accent, it shows the world that your a seasoned cook or at least suggests it.



Don’t braid the garlic whiles it still green, it could easily rot before you get to use it. Cure and dry the garlic first, set in a dry place in the sun for 4 or 5 days. If you leave it to dry for too long it gets brittle and hard, if not impossible to braid. Common sense dictates that if it rains cover or bring the garlic in.

  1. Once your garlic has dried , gently brush off any dirt or plant residue. Do not wash it or you are simply defeating the purpose.
  2. Remove any loose garlic skins and husks, remove the outer papery bulb wrapper. You’ll also want to trim the roots on each head of garlic to about 1/8 to 1/4 inch each.
Crates of freshly dug garlic being prepared for braiding and storage.
  1. Dampen a towel and lay it out flat along the edge of your work table. Place your garlic tops in a row on this towel, with the garlic heads NOT on the towel. The purpose of this step is to somewhat re hydrate the stems – but not the cloves. This will make the stems more pliable / less brittle. You can also place a damp towel over the top of the stems, but once again take care to keep the heads dry.
  2. After roughly 1/2 hour your stems should have become pliable. Remove the towels.


  1. Your 3 largest bulbs should be used for starting the braid, they will be at the base of the finished braid. Working upwards the smallest will be at the top.
  2. The largest of the 3 largest will be the Central head and will be used for the Starting weave. Squeeze the central heads stem VERY gently just above the start of the bulb, to soften it a tad more. Don’t overdo it.
  3. Assemble Bulbs 1, 2 and 3. Bulb 1 will be the central head, the stem will overlap 2 & 3 which cross one another underneath the first stem. Bulb #1, the central stem that is above the other 2 should be hanging lower than the other two – it will be on the bottom.
Illustration showing the steps to braid garlic.
  1. Make the first Knot by bending the Bulb 2 stem over the central head [1] repeat the process with Bulb 3 and then weave it under itself, and finally over the stems of the other bulbs. Bulb 1 stem should now be back at its original orientation – at the base of the string pointing downward, lower than the other two.
A woman's hands holds a partially braided string of garlic bulbs.
  1. Select the largest of your remaining bulbs , place it in the center of the weave so its stem is paralleled to the central stem. Now bend the lowest stem over the two middle stems
  2. Place another Bulb on the right side of the string and weave it in and continue till you have a healthy string of garlics – not so hefty that the central stem[s] can’t support the weight – I usually go to about a dozen give or take a few depending on the weight.

Woman's hands hold two strings of braided garlic.
  1. Choose a small attractive small bulb for the culmination of your garlic string braid it in upwards for up to half a foot. Be sure to keep the braid tight and firm.

Some people will also incorporate string or twist ties which are easily hidden within the braid and work just fine.