June 25, 2014
Harvesting and storing garlic
We might not eat this much garlic in a year, but when we have plenty of good fresh garlic, we eat more of it.
Harvested garlic needs to be cured to help it last longer.
Back in the day when we bought it one head at a time, we used garlic less and it wasn’t as good.
When tomatoes and zucchini are exploding in the garden, we eat fresh tomatoes and zucchini almost every day, in one way or another. Look at all the zucchini tips and recipes on my Pinterest: Courgette (zucchini) Everything Squash
If you want to try your hand at growing garlic read my Hub Pages: How to grow and harvest garlic Look for garlic now to get the best selection. Order it now and it will be mailed to you at planting time.
Don’t plant grocery store garlic. It may have been treated to discourage sprouting. Purchase bulbs from mail order or online suppliers, garden center, or locally at farmers market.
Gently lift garlic and move to the shade.
Harvest garlic in summer
Watch for the yellowing of the plant leaves. When about half of the leaves have turned yellow/brown, stop watering two days before harvesting. Do not pull garlic. Carefully lift garlic out of the soil.
Garlic can bruise if not handled carefully. Move to the shade as soon as possible. Spread out in an airy spot for drying.
If the weather is wet, dry garlic indoors or in a garage. I used the shaded, screened porch and the garage.
Dirt will dry quickly. Gently brush off the dry dirt. It is important for garlic to cure or dry in a cool, shaded space.
The curing process takes between one and two weeks. Don’t rush, more time is better than less. Proper curing will extend the life of
Drying garlic needs good air circulation. Do not remove the leaves and roots while the garlic cures. The bulb draws energy from the leaves and roots until they are completely dry.
The bulbs are ready to store when the skins are papery and the tops and roots are dry. Remove any dirt and trim off any roots and tops. Look for any damaged or bruised bulbs and discard them.
Garlic bulbs may be stored individually with the tops removed, or the dried tops may be braided together to hang in the kitchen or pantry. Trim roots to within 1/4” of the base.
If braiding the garlic, do this while the leaves are pliable. If you wait until the leaves are completely dry they will be too brittle to braid.
Snip roots, leaving ¼”.
When these little bulblets form, use them for a milder garlic taste.
I plant garlic in late October or early November. Work plenty of compost into soil. Start with good soil and fertilizer isn’t needed.
Don’t worry about planted garlic cloves freezing. They are a ok. This garlic was harvested late June. Last year it was harvested in mid July.