How to: Cure and Store Garlic
Updated: Sep 11, 2022
Did you know that garlic can last for months after you harvest it? This once medium size clove, took nine months to grow into the garlic bulb you recently harvested. Now unless you plan on eating them right away, the trick for long term storage lies in the way you cure and store them.
Curing: is a food preservation technique that draws moisture out of the food, retains the foods flavour, decreasing its chance of spoiling. This makes it ideal for storing long term.
Funny thing about curing garlic, it's very easy. Once you understand how to do it, you'll laugh and wonder why you hadn't grown garlic sooner!
Curing the Garlic
To Cure Successfully You'll Need
To remove any dirt from the roots gently, while leaving the roots intact.
Leave the stems on. The bulbs are still growing at this point and their nourishment from the foliage about as it dries down.
Plenty of ventilation or a fan if needed.
Protected from direct sun and rain.
Must be able to have in one area for around 2 weeks.
Cleaning Cured Garlic
Once dried out, garlic isn't hard to clean up.
You'll need a couple things
Tools: Sharp scissors, Bristled brush.
How to clean your garlic
Cut the Stem off at about 1/2" - 1" above the bulb. If the bulb is going to be seed garlic then cut a little higher, 1.5", to use like a handle to open up the garlic cleanly and carefully. Whether for seed or to eat, I sometimes leave more on just to be able to handle them better.
Remove the Beard (aka the roots), these need to be trimmed fairly close to the bulb in order to ensure that unwanted guest do not inhabit the area.
Clean the Wrapper, depending on the condition, peel off any broken layers making sure not to puncture all the way through.
Biggest question you'll have to ask yourself - is it for seed, or to eat? Tough right?
Garlic for SEED
A healthy garlic clove is the desired candidate. No nicks, cuts, blemishes, mold or severe deformities.
PROTIP: The bigger the cloves that you pick, the better your outcome will be. Big Cloves = Big Bulbs
It all varies but I scale my cloves on size:
Small Clove: 1.5" to 1.75"
Medium Clove: 1.75" to 2"
Large Clove: 2" to 2.5"
X-Large Clove 2.5" and up
Garlic to EAT
All garlic is good, if you don't plan on planting it, eat it! It's really that simple.
PROTIP: Use up any that have a torn wrapper first.
Garlic keeps best in a shaded or dark, and a well ventilated place. It also does not store well in the fridge. It's a seed that needs a dormancy cold period, if you put it in the fridge it might start to sprout again because of the conditions presented.
- Not in direct sunlight.
- Store in 10 to 16 degree Celsius with approximately 60% humidity.
- Being properly cured prior to being stored.
- Wrappers must be intact.