Garlic is a “long keeper”. Properly “cured” and stored, you will enjoy homegrown garlic all winter long. And, now for the good news, curing garlic is easy.
When Garlic bulbs are mature, the plant turns brown, dies, and falls over. Keep the bulbs in the garden for another 7-10 days, to allow them to begin dry.
To harvest the bulbs, loosen the soil around the bulb with a shovel or pitchfork. Pull bulbs out of the soil. Clean off the bulb. It is okay to rinse off dirt, although some sources suggest this is a “no-no”. Do not soak the bulbs in water.
Curing Garlic bulbs for long-term storage is easy. Importantly, the bulbs must be dried well. Bulbs that have too much moisture, can mold and rot in long-term storage.
The steps below describe how to cure garlic bulbs:
Allow clean bulbs to dry in the sun.
Spread them out on a flat surface, in full sun. Allow them to dry in the sun for several days until the garlic roots and the plant itself is dry, brown. If rain is in the forecast, cover them or bring them indoors, until it is over.
Cut the tops off the Garlic, to about an inch from the bulb. Trim off dried roots.
You can weave the stalks into a braid and hang them to dry and cure.
Continue to cure the Garlic bulbs.
Place bulbs loosely on a surface out of direct sunlight. The area should be warm and well ventilated.
Cure bulbs for an additional 2 -3 weeks.
Dried bulbs are ready for long-term storage.