So you’ve dug up all your garlic bulbs that were planted last autumn, but there’s only so much fresh garlic you can eat, and stashing produce away to use later is one of the joys of growing your own. Before it’s stored, it needs to be cured.
Curing garlic is the method of drying it so it keeps for as long as possible, usually that’s between four and six months, depending on a few factors.
There are two simple stages after it’s been dug up:
Keep the bulbs somewhere cool, dry and airy, check them every couple of days, they may need turning so they dry evenly. This may take around 2-3 weeks, so it’s easiest if this place is somewhere convenient, like a porch or shed.
When they’re thoroughly dry and all the leaves are brown and withered, they’re ready for the next stage.
Brush off any remaining soil, some of the papery skin may also come off, just make sure the bulbs aren’t exposed.
Trim the roots and stems if they’re to be spread out or kept in net bags (the sort that onions are bought in).
Leave the stems on if they’re to be hung up in bunches, either way make sure that air can get to the whole bulb. Then put them into your chosen storage place, a garage or shed works for most people.
My top tip is to hedge your bets and use a couple of different storage places.
If you’ve planted hard-neck and soft-neck varieties, use the hard-neck first, it doesn’t keep for so long.
We’re told to buy garlic from growers to plant, but a few of my neighbours at the allotment use their own bulbs to plant for next years crop, so I’ve earmarked some of the biggest and healthiest to do the same. I’ll buy some commercial ones too and try both methods, to see what works best, and of course I’ll let you know what works best.
You can find out how to grow and harvest garlic here, it really is very easy.
Happy gardening, Jill