Curing garlic after harvesting?

Violet_Skies_(5b S.Central WI)June 13, 2007

Maybe I should check the harvest forum for this, but here goes my question anyway...what do you do after you dig up the bulbs of garlic? Let them dry somewhere? Indoors or out, cool or warm air, etc., and for how long? When do I cut the bulb from the rest of the plant, right away or let it all dry up together first? Also, my garlic is tucked in with other things that do still need to be watered, so I can't "stop watering it"...what is the problem with continuing to water it moderately until harvest? Just take longer to dry out and cure, I imagine? Thanks for the help!

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I dry ours in an airy place, under cover. I tie the greens together in bunches of 10 or so with string, and hang the bundles either in an unchinked outbuilding or under the metal roof of a porch - out of hot sunlight.If you are in a humid area, between 3 and 6 weeks later at most, they are cured.After curing, i cut away the leaves, brush dirt and snip the roots down short. Peel one layer of the garlic's paper away to get that clean, white look. No cleaning water is needed, even when planted in clayish soil. I found that if i harvest my garlics when the soil is quite dry, i get a much cleaner bunch of bulbs.
I just wouldn't harvest it when water-logged, but damp has not been a problem.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2007 at 11:30PM
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david52 Zone 6

I have a situation where the soil won't dry out very well when its time to harvest, but it doesn't seem to bother much of anything. I pull them, knock off as much dirt as I can, then lay them on tables covered with several layers of newspaper, kind of layering them so the bulbs are lying on top of the stalks of the ones beneath.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2007 at 5:52PM
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Violet_Skies_(5b S.Central WI)

Thanks so much! This is all I needed to know. :-) Glad, your explanation was just perfect, concise and easy to picture. Thanks too David for the reassurance that the watering won't do much if any harm to the garlic bulbs, I can't wait to start drying them! :-)

    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 9:16PM
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In my experience, water during the last month or so causes the bulbs to start sprouting which does not ruin them for personal use, but they are not as cosmetically perfect.

Where I live we just about always get a storm around Memorial Day and then once or twice in June which has, indeed, caused a small portion of my crop to start sprouting. This year I considered putting a tent over my beds, but ended up pulling them a bit earlier than I had thought I would to avoid the showers we had this week.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 10:54AM
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sunnyk(Z6 SW Coastal CT)

Does the garlic have to be cured outside...or will a dry room in the house be ok. I just worry about all the rain we have been having lately, and I dont have any place that I could keep them outside where the rain wouldnt affect them.

Thanks :)

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 2:41PM
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I just dry mine on the kitchen counter, and it hasn't been a problem. I'm afraid that if I dry it outside, some critter or other will make off with it.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2008 at 2:56PM
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garliclady(z7 NC)

Garlic can be cut off the stalks imediatly after harvest and cured by putting them on a screen. We cure ours inside a shed (it its humid here with lots of summer storms).
The garlic lady

    Bookmark   June 24, 2008 at 8:09AM
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can garlic be stored or kept somehow for more than a season or two. mine is just starting to show shoots from last seasons crop.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 5:07AM
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