If you get your storage methods right, then your garlic bulbs will store for over six months, so it is well worth the time and effort.
But what are the right storage methods? Let’s get straight into how I do it.
Hang & Dry
The first thing to do when you have pulled your garlic out of the ground is to let it dry for a while.
I do this by simply hanging it in my greenhouse, but a shed or other shelters spot out of the sun is often better.
I let them hang like this for about a week.
Once they have dried up and the dirt has dried I give them a gentle brush to remove the vast majority of the soil from the bulbs.
Braiding the garlic together now is a great idea as this method of storing your garlic comes in really handy for all my next steps.
Note – braiding really only works with soft neck garlic, hard neck garlic stems are often too tough to braid, although give it a go by all means.
Mine don’t look anywhere near this nice!
But this photo does show that if you put the time and effort in then garlic braids can look great!
The next step is to move your garlic somewhere for it to cure.
This wants to be a dry, temperate spot. Not too hot, not too cold and definitely not humid or damp.
But it also needs to be out of direct sunlight, so I now move it out of the greenhouse.
If you have a pantry, cupboard, or even a spot in your kitchen out of direct sunlight, then you can hang them there.
That is why braiding works so well as the cloves can look really nice and are much more suited to hanging in a pantry or kitchen.
To store hard neck garlic, let it dry and cure as above but then chop the stems off, give the bulbs a scrub to remove most of the dirt and store them in a container.
This could be a mesh bag, paper bags, cardboard box etc. then move the box to a cool dry spot and leave them.
When is it cured
You will know your garlic is cured when the outside skin goes papery.
The stem will also be completely brown with no green left at all.
This is just one of those things that you get better at knowing through experience.
Once your garlic is cured, store it somewhere out of direct sunlight and keep it dry.
If it gets light, moisture and cold then your garlic bulbs will be inclined to start growing.
This is why you should never store it in the fridge!