Hello. We keep growing garlic despite not being very successful. Classic huh? The bulbs get planted in the fall. We have rotated locations. The plants grow happily and we harvest after the scapes … we dry the product and start to use it. After a while the garlic is not good. Some of the cloves are rubbery, some are rotten some have sort of dried up. Any suggestions
Hi and thanks for your question. It sounds like you’re able to grow good garlic and it’s just the storage stage where things fall apart for you.
- when to harvest – garlic should be harvested when the green plant turns brown. After pulling the garlic up, they should be left to cure in the sun for an hour or two, so do this harvest on a sunny day.
- Next, you’ll want to examine the bulbs – take note of their condition. If any garlic bulbs have damage or seem soft, use them right away. They’re not good candidates to store long term.
- Once you’ve selected your garlic, you will want to cure them for an additional 2 weeks in a relatively cool environment – no warmer than 18 degrees C. Higher temperatures can trigger mold or prompt your garlic to sprout.
- Humidity is another consideration when trying to store garlic long term – too high and it might cause your garlic to mold or rot, and too high will cause garlic cloves to shrivel and become useless.
- After the 2 weeks are up, you can then transfer them to mesh bags or paper bags or braid them if they’re a soft-neck variety (hard necked garlic can’t be braided easily).
- Air circulation is very important, which is why braiding or mesh bags are ideal garlic storage containers – they allow you to store a lot of garlic in a small space without reducing the garlic’s change to “breathe.”
- don’t store garlic bulbs in plastic bags – too humid
- when you store your garlic, keep between 15-18 deg C – warmer temperatures will prompt garlic to sprout
- don’t store garlic in the fridge as it is too cold
- To freeze whole garlic heads: Place the heads with paper into a freezer-safe bag, label with the date, and freeze.
- To freeze peeled garlic cloves: Peel and separate all garlic cloves, then spread them evenly across a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap, then freeze overnight. Wrap the frozen cloves in foil, seal in a freezer-safe bag labeled with the date, then freeze again.
Good luck with this year’s harvest.