Curing garlic

How you harvest and cure garlic is critical to how long it will last. Here is the method I use to harvest my garlic, one that has never let me down.

  1. You’ll know it’s time to harvest when the tops of the garlic are 75 per cent yellow and falling over. Dig up a couple of bulbs to make sure that the cloves have developed fully inside the papery wrapper.
  2. Five days before harvesting, stop any irrigation, and cut back garlic foliage to about 20 cm (8 in.).
  3. To dig up, use a large pitchfork and gently lift the garlic from the soil. Shake off or softly wipe away any loose dirt from the bulbs. Cut back tops to 5 cm (2 in.). You can use the garlic straight away or cure it for storage.
  4. Place garlic in trays that allow adequate air circulation, such as boxes with a wire-framed bottom or plastic nursery flats. Place trays in a cool, very dry and dark area for three weeks. If air circulation is poor, place a fan on low for a few hours each day.
  5. Store cured garlic for up to eight months at room temperature, where it will receive low light and good air circulation.

Hope this helps to keep your garlic fresh until the next harvest!