First garlic harvest - How do I cure?

jwk1(zone 4a)July 27, 2005

I've got my first harvest up on drying racks in the garage. Most of the dirt is knocked off and the plants are intact, leaves and all. Do I leave them like this for a couple of weeks or do I remove the leaves right away? I've got about 100 bulbs. I was surprised in the size variation. Thanks.

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garlicgrower

I hang mine. Dig up, wash off with sprayer, tie up in bundles, tag with name. Hang in shady but airy spot at least 2 to 3 weeks or more if your storage spot is not ready. Leave the green stems on for curing. After all are brown, clip off stems and roots, (you can leave "handles" on the heads and make bouquet, snip roots to .25 inches) sort by size. I reserve the biggest heads for re-planting. Small and less than perfect are used for cooking first. Sort the rest (keeping and gifts). Store those you are keeping for yourself in plain brown paper bags in a cool dry dark place (cellar if not too damp). Decide how many and how to present those for gifts...if you can bear to give any away! ;-)

Make note to self: Double production next year :-)

Good luck
Maryanne in WMass

    Bookmark   July 27, 2005 at 10:59AM
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Nelz(z5b/6 NW PA)

Nice synopsis Maryanne. I loved the part about gifts and doubling production next year. Why not, the seed garlic is free!

My ony variation from above is that I do not spray them off. Some do, some don't. ALso, laying them on racks is fine, if you have the room. In the past I've grown 1000-1200 total, made up of 11 variaties. Hanging was the only option, and that wasn't a simple chore either, and it was space consuming.

If you have softnecks and can pick maybe 16-22 (or more) that are very similar in size, that you will not be planting, you may want to brain them! Neat look and good for storage!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2005 at 11:36AM
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gardenlad(6b KY)

>Make note to self: Double production next year :-) Nice thought. But it just doesn't work. Galic usage expands to 10% more than the amount you have, no matter what that quantity is. :>(

    Bookmark   July 27, 2005 at 1:36PM
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jwk1(zone 4a)

Thanks all. Looks like I'll just leave them as is and everything should be fine.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2005 at 10:27PM
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garlicgrower

I spray them with the hose now - I previously dried the heads hanging, then took them down and "dry cleaned" brushed the dirt off. But it was so time consuming, I followed my husband's lead ( about the only time!) and resorted to the hose. At least my son helps now!

This is not rocket sceince, so I guess many approaches will work!

Happy dining!
Maryanne in WMass

    Bookmark   July 28, 2005 at 12:02PM
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