Now that you have your garlic harvested the next step is to allow it to cure. So, if garlic can be used fresh straight from the garden why do you need to cure it? Let’s talk about how to cure garlic.
The Benefits of Curing Garlic
During the curing process the nutrients are drawn from the leaves and transported to the bulb.
Curing inhibits mold growth or rotting.
Increases storage times.
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How To Cure Garlic
Place the garlic in a warm, dry, shaded, place with good air movement for two weeks up to a month.
The time frame really depends on how much moisture was in the bulb, the temperature and humidity levels where you are curing them.
Don’t overthink this process though. It really is as simple as laying the garlic bulbs in a single layer or hanging them and allowing them to dry.
How Do I Know if the Garlic is finished Curing?
The papery skin on the outside of the garlic bulb will become dry and crispy.
The stems of the garlic plant will be dry and brown.
After about two weeks cut off the stem 2 inches above the bulb head. Check to ensure that it is brown and dry. If there is any moisture or green in the middle of the stem allow the garlic to continue curing for another week or two.
Prepare the Garlic for Storage
Cut the stems off of the garlic bulb about 1 inch away from the bulb. Trim the roots and wipe off any leftover dirt from the garlic. Remove the loose paper from the garlic bulbs. I use pruning shears for cutting the stems off and kitchen shears for the roots.
Never use water to clean the garlic. You just spent all that time curing the garlic you don’t want to add moisture back into the garlic.
Store the garlic bulbs in a place that will remain dry, out of direct sunlight, and at room temperature. That’s it!
Also, remember to save the biggest bulbs for garlic seed for the next planting in the fall.
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