We love to cook with garlic, and always have it in the kitchen, but it constantly sprouts on us. What is the best way to prevent this?
Eat more of it - & faster? lol.
Seriously, I'd be interested in an answer to this as well, & go thru garlic like Hells Bells. I'm not sure if it's something I'm doing or just that I sometimes get garlic that is past its prime.
If you are buying it from the store there is probably nothing you can do.
From the store you have no idea how long it has been harvested (so it could just be old).
Also stores and shippers often have it in cold storage with the rest of the veggies (cold encourages sprouting)
Growing your own and controling the enviroment yourself you shoud get a longer storage life (6-12 months)
Storing garlic at room temperature in a breatheable bag or container is the best way to store.
The Garlic Lady
I must assume that it should also be kept in the dark?
Dark doesn't seem to make a difference. The ones I keep in the dark sprout just as vigorously as the ones on the counter.
When garlic is ready to break dormancy, nothing short of holding them right at 32F will stop them. Those kept in the dark will often sprout even quicker. I've even heard of pre-sprouting garlic by placing it in a closed brown paper bag. Anyone here try that? Really no reason for it other than spring planting when you'd want them to hurry up.
You can always store peeled cloves in a jar of olive oil. I have never seen them sprout in oil.
It's a little late to be replying but....
First of all storing garlic in Olive oil or any oil for that matter is asking for trouble. It's a high risk for botulism!
I sometimes get sprouting cloves where they are stored in the cupboard. I like to take these and bury the cloves in a pot of potting mix and use them to harvest greens. Just like chives they will continue to sport more greens for snipping and cooking or topping :D
Last year, after doing a web seach on this question, I discovered that you can freeze garlic cloves. Remove the skins and pop the cloves into a container and freeze.
While the texture changes (garlic flesh turns transluscent) the flavor was still good, though maybe a little milder. The frozen cloves soften quickly and can immediately be chopped or crushed for cooking. My husband actually prefers using the frozen garlic because it's so convenient. This year we plan to freeze all our garlic as soon as it starts to sprout.
I use a similar approach, except that I chop the garlic before freezing. Once peeled and chopped, I spread the garlic out in one quart ziplock bags about 1/4 inch thick, and stack these flat in the freezer (I call them "garlic books"). When needed, I just break off the amount I want, drop it into whatever dish I'm making, and re-zip the bag. So easy!
Being new to this allium growing I started last Fall by ordering garlic from a local producer. I hate buying the dried out and cracked garlic from the local stores which usually come from Asia, so having no garlic in the house I e-mailed him to get some fresh cured Music. To my surprise be drove over to deliver eight bulbs, garlic chips, and garlic powder.
He told me the cured garlic bulbs would last 3 - 4 month as he has already had them hanging in the barn since his July harvest.
This is a long way to get to the point I know, but I just like to share.
He said "Do not change the temperature of the bulb or it will bloom". He recommends leaving them in the garage in cool to cold temperatures since that's where the curing happened and the bulbs went to sleep. Hope that helps.
Faithling, THANK YOU!!! I had no idea that I could freeze garlic cloves, and you've just saved me a lot of angst from having to throw away sprouted/dried out garlic. I haven't had much luck growing it (yet...) so I've been buying it in bulk from Sam's Club because it's cheaper and better than the stuff in the supermarkets. But there are only 2 of us, and as much as we LOVE garlic 4 pounds is a LOT of garlic. I'm off to peel and freeze right now! Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Faithling; I second the thank you's I am alone and love garlic. Ha Ha what a great way to store it.
How about pickling in light viegar/ brine?
Garlics don't pickle(turn sauer, salty) very fast like othe veggies.
So , keep them fresh as long as you can, then when you see them sproutind
pickle them and possib;y refrigerate them too.
BTW: pickle them whole, no peeling.
It's September in Ohio and in the next few weeks I will plant garlic for next year's harvest. I break apart the cloves, store bought, and press them into the ground just a few inches. I mark the row so I won't forget where they are. They may start to grow this fall and then take off in the spring. I'm in southern Ohio so I'll dig the bulbs by about July 4th. I hang them in the shed to dry and then break off the stems to store in the garage over the winter. I haven't yet grown enough to plant some of my own. It's great fun and really fresh.