Garlic storage?

zucchini(5a ONT)October 12, 2009

My garlic is now beautiful, (i hung it in my sauna (heat off) for about a month, allowing air in from time to time)...Now the question is how do I keep if for a long time, (if I have not used it all up too soon)? Does it last longer if I keep it in a very cool closet? Will it keep through the winter?

I planted several different types this past season, but got them all mixed up when I dug them up..Some are really big and have lots of purple. A few became soft but most did well.

I will be planting the bigger, solid ones next week.

thanks, Martha/zucchini

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Store them at room temperature, cool temps trigger them to start growing again.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2009 at 3:09PM
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zucchini(5a ONT)

oh..good to know, I would have thought the opposite!!!
thanks, martha/zucchini

    Bookmark   October 12, 2009 at 3:41PM
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luke_oh(zone 5 NE Ohio)

I'm watching this thread with interest. My wife would like to find a way to keep the fresh garlic longer. A locall grower here in NE Ohio said to leave the tops on to extend the quality. I will try this next year. Any other tips? Thanks, Luke

    Bookmark   October 13, 2009 at 6:48AM
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zucchini(5a ONT)

wish I knew that year...all the new info the better..

    Bookmark   October 13, 2009 at 1:50PM
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I leave mine hanging under my patio roof until planting time in November, then move the remaining bulbs to my cellar. Rule of thumb is cool or room temp with some air flow - refrigerator is the worse place. Garage should also work. Don't stack them more than two deep, preferably one layer, and locate them in an open area. I cut off the tops but leave one inch.


    Bookmark   October 14, 2009 at 10:42AM
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What happens if they get too hot? Where I live it can get a bit warm in my garage. The weather is so unpredictable here, today it's supposed to hit 90 even though it's October.

I guess what I'm basically asking is, if the fridge is too cold, then how warm would be too warm?

    Bookmark   October 14, 2009 at 11:44AM
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Garlic is often cured in sheds that get to 90F, so I would think this would be safe, but room temperature or basement would be preferable.


    Bookmark   October 14, 2009 at 2:46PM
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TJG911(z5b CT)

isn't "room temperature" whatever the temperature is in the room? ;^)

i store mine in the basement which i cool to 50-60 degrees by leaving windows open. i got it down to 58 the other day so i shut the windows.


    Bookmark   October 15, 2009 at 12:19AM
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The short answer is: not too hot and not too cool.

Garlic in storage has two enemies: sprouting and drying out. Those are affected by both temperature and humidity.

Temperatures below 50 degrees tend to promote sprouting. And at temperatures above 68 degrees garlic will tend to dry out relatively quickly.

High humidity, say above 70%, will tend to promote root growth and/or mold formation. Low humidity, on the other hand, will tend to dry garlic out more quickly.

Good air circulation is important, especially if you have higher humidity.

Ideal storage conditions are 56 to 58 degrees with a relative humidity of 45 to 50 percent.

A basement or unheated garage works well for many people, but you may have to experiment a little to see what the best conditions are that you can achieve easily.

Also remember that some varieties of garlic store better than others. Rocamboles are generally the shortest keepers at 3-4 months. Purple Stripes and Marbled types will keep a little longer, 4-5 months. Porcelains usually keep 6-9 months. Artichoke and Silverskins are the best long-storage types.

Within a variety of garlic, you should use the largest bulbs first (they have the most moisture). Smaller bulbs will generally keep better than larger ones. Well-formed bulbs with tight wrappers will also keep better than bulbs with thin wrappers, of course.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2009 at 12:10AM
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I found that asiatic/turbin garlic will start to sprout about 3 months after harvest regardless of temperature - which is why they work well in the tropics. A porcelain garlic would just sit dormant until it died down there. I had to plant mine on 9-29 because shoots were poking through the wrappers already (and now they're 8" tall). I'm planning the rest to go in on 10-31.

Also, you shouldn't be harvesting all the garlic at the same time if they are different types. This year my artichoke garlic was done mid May and porcelain was done mid July. Different types in a given category will be ready at different times too, keep them separate and read the leaves (~half yellow) and/or dig one up to determine when to harvest. Garlic harvested too early or late will not store well.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2009 at 3:16PM
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zucchini(5a ONT)

interesting information from different zones...I just planted my garlic the other day, and threw a mesh cover over them just to keep the squirrels out until they take root, or it snows...then I will uncover and just use ground oak leaves for far I am keeping my garlic in a basket where air can move through, and not putting them anywhere where
I can't see them...good to learn the large ones should be used first,,,I keep saving them as the best for last!!!

    Bookmark   October 21, 2009 at 5:30PM
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sandy0225(z5 Indiana)

If you start having a lot of them try to sprout, put them in the freezer in a glass jar. You can't use them raw that way, but usually you cook them anyway. I still have a little bit from last year and it tastes good to cook with.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2009 at 8:11AM
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TJG911(z5b CT)

martha you want to plant your largest cloves not eat them!

as far as different types maturing many weeks apart, that may happen in zone 9 but not here. i plant rocamboles, porcelains and silverskins and they all mature within about 7 days.


    Bookmark   October 23, 2009 at 10:37PM
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zucchini(5a ONT)

oh! tom, but it is so nice to use the larger ones.
Every time I look here I get more good yes,
I will go into my basket and pull out the biggest peel them off the bulb and plant them...I may have an entire garden for just garlic this year!!! Have to not plant tomatoes in the same place this year, as last years crop was very disappointing...cheers as fall arrives, today up here on the shores of Georgian Bay the oak leaves are now golden and flying off in the wind! Rake Rake..

    Bookmark   October 24, 2009 at 6:03PM
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TJG911(z5b CT)


why do you have such small cloves? are you planting garlic you grew or grocery store bought garlic. most all (except around here in july and early august you will find some chain grocery stores that bought locally grown hardneck garlic) store bought garlic is a softneck silverskin type (silverskin garlic have TINY cloves) from china. what varieties of garlic are you growing? if you want large bulbs and large cloves try music. german white are fairly good sized too.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2009 at 3:15PM
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Very interesting info guys.
I used to keep my garlics in kitchen pantry. But then they dried up. I tought then maybe frig's veggies section should be better. Then , as you guys pointed out, they started sproutig. I just took them out and put them back in the pantry. I will get a clay pot and store them in that, to minimize drying out.
This year I have planted lots of garlics at various intervals.Some of them are as big as scallions sold in the maket, and some have not yet sprouted.
Question: can you grow garlics from seeds?

    Bookmark   October 28, 2009 at 6:45AM
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garliclady(z7 NC)

Our turbans were harvested in mid may and have just begun to sprout. I have found sometypes will sprout first other will grow roots first. Our garlic is stored in our garlic shed which can really get hot in our carolina summers and keeps fine . I am still selling our smaller heads at the farmers market for eating and all varieties but our turbans are not sproting yet. The turbans have been out of the ground almost a month longer than the other types. We have had elephant keep till next harvest but we do bring it inside when it gets really cold (our shed is not insulated)
Commercial garlic farmer info says to store their garlic at right above freezing (32.5-33).It keeps along time. It won't sprout but as soon as they pull it out of the cold storage it will sprout Thats why the grocery store stuff is always sprouting. Since all of ours is usually sold before sprouting time we don't have to use cold storage for keeping . We just make garlic powder out of what we have left.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2009 at 6:18PM
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zucchini(5a ONT)

The garlic I planted last year was mostly garlic I grew the year before..not store bought..some bought from a local grower and they were all nice and big...but I use them...this year I planted some of my large ones, but the 60 plants bringing 60 garlic heads is not enough for me...I give some away and keep the rest then plant I bought some from another local person this year but they are small..too small so I won't plant more of them...just have to give up some of my biggies for planting..and plant more than 60...

    Bookmark   October 29, 2009 at 7:54PM
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I highly recommend that you try to get a hold of some Music. It's a Porcelain hardneck garlic that does quite well in the north. Each bulb will contain 4 very large cloves -- 3 oz bulbs or larger. They keep pretty well, too. Music typically stores for 6 months or so.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2009 at 12:21AM
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I do not intend to grow garlics in order to be self-sufficient. In my area Asian markets they are not expensive.
Second, in a small patch you can grow lots of garlics. I Plant them at about 3-4 inches spacing. So roughly, you can plant 8 to 12 garlics in one square foot. I do not plant hem in rows, but raher such that each one is 3-4" from all its neghbors. Also I plant some of them in the border of herbs garden and other patches. So in one square yard you can have well over 100 garlics.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2009 at 3:14AM
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TJG911(z5b CT)

that spacing is rather tight! i'd suggest 6" on center for better bulb size. some people use 8", 3-4 is very close.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2009 at 5:19PM
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What kind of garlic keep longer, softnecks or hardnecks? or is there varieties within those two that keep longer?

    Bookmark   November 18, 2009 at 10:58AM
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TJG911(z5b CT)

typically softnecks store longer than hardnecks but that's a generalization, i would not be surprised to hear that some hardnecks will store longer than some softnecks. softnecks are wrapped tighter than harnecks and maybe they have higher sulfur compounds tho i'm not sure about that. the tighter wrap does contribute to longer storage.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2009 at 6:01PM
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