Where's the best place for me to store my garlic?

neohippie(8b)May 20, 2010


As I've mentioned before, this is my first year seriously growing garlic. Thanks for answering all my questions so far. I grew several different varieties, and now have started harvesting Chet's Italian Red, while the other softnecks are not far behind (and the hardnecks and elephant are doing the scape thing... which are REALLY good in stir fry, by the way).

My next question is how should I store my garlic to re-plant this fall? I know I can dry or freeze some for culinary use, but I'll like to plant the ones that did the best.

I read that ideal conditions are 50-70 degrees with 50-70% humidity. Ok, that's nice, but what if I don't have those ideal conditions? Here are my options:

The Fridge - have a feeling that wouldn't be good. I'm always told to not put garlic, onions, or potatoes there.

The Garage - gets really hot in the summer, like in the 90's. That would be the most convenient place for me if it weren't for the heat.

Somewhere in the House - In the summer we keep it around 75-80 degrees in here. I could make room for them in the kitchen or something, but since store bought garlic kept on the counter often sprouts, I'm worried the homegrown would too.

So which of those places would be best (or least bad) for keeping my garlic?

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Do you have a crawlspace? That might be ideal. From the above list though, probably your house is the best. If you have a lot of garlic however, that may make the house stink. I'm going the garage route myself because of this.

Garlic put in the fridge will start to sprout in a month or two, so that's definitely out.

Pick out the biggest bulbs now and put them someplace safe for planting in the fall. If you put all the garlic in a bin the biggest ones tend to the the ones that get used first.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2010 at 3:03PM
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I hang mine outdoors under the patio roof where they get plenty of air circulation and are protected from rain. A shed with open windows or doors would also do fine. If not available, the kitchen works.


    Bookmark   May 20, 2010 at 3:14PM
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Cooler is better; I am able to store mine in a relatively humid free area at a consistent 50-60 degrees and the ones I'm using now are just as nice as the ones I started with. Some garlic has better keeping properties than other varieties so if storage is a problem, that is one item to check. Where heat is a problem, go for an area as shaded as possible with lots of air circulation.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 11:02AM
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Would a basement that's in the upper 60s and 55% humidity work for storing garlic? Should I buy a mesh bag and hang them or they will be okay just laying on a counter?

    Bookmark   May 27, 2010 at 2:18PM
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If you have a shed, dig a, say, 2ft by 2ft, twoo feet deep hole.
place some straw at the bottom, put a layer of garlics on it. Another layer of straw,
another layer of garlics...
Then cover the hole. The wisdom of this method is that the ground temperature is about 60F all the time, inside the shed. That is the same idea
as the root cellar in the basement. The ground will also have just the right humidity.
Plus, the straw will not let the garlics/onions dry up fast.
Onions have their own insulation layers that may not need any straw, but I think garlics dry up must faster.

PS: Just yesterday I found an onion in my shed, from last year's harvest, in perfect condition.
I almost forgot to mention that you need to airdry your garlics, onion outside,
in the shade. I woul not cut or trim anything off of them. Just leave those dried leave on.
This way they are partially sealed and the leaves provide cushon too.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 1:04AM
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