Curing Garlic For Lengthy-Time period Storage

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Grow a garlic crop, and also you’ll have a garlic harvest. Then it’s time to protect the flavour and shelf life by curing garlic bulbs. There’s nothing higher than freshly harvested garlic, however cured garlic cloves have all of the scrumptious taste that you really want out of your vegetable backyard. 

There are a number of methods to treatment garlic, every with its advantages. How you treatment may decide the way you retailer garlic. How a lot house you have got additionally influences the curing process, and the kind of garlic you’ve grown does too. 

So let’s focus on the alternative ways to treatment garlic, and discuss all it’s worthwhile to know whereas the garlic bulbs dry. Maybe you’re contemplating whether or not or to not develop garlic in any respect! In that case, earlier than you plant these garlic vegetation, learn this information to see which curing plan works greatest on your scenario. 

Types of Garlic Bulbs

Curing garlic lets you retailer it for later use. Source: undergroundbstard

There are two fundamental varieties of garlic: hardneck and softneck. The number of garlic you’ve grown has a big impact on how the garlic dries. So earlier than we get into curing strategies, let’s cowl garlic varieties first. 

Hardneck Garlic

One of the methods to know whether or not you might be rising hardneck garlic is to have a look at the stem. The stem of a hardneck selection comes out of the middle of the totally mature bulbs in a thick cylinder. These are garlic scapes. The leaves of hardnecks are upright, and from them blooms one very strong flower. Hardnecks have a bigger garlic bulb and every has fewer garlic cloves. The stiff stem goes throughout the middle of the garlic bulb to its root zone.

Elephant garlic is one well-liked hardneck selection that loads of gardeners get pleasure from rising. This garlic plant has giant bulbs with solely 4 particular person cloves. Many of the garlic varieties with purple stripes are additionally of the hardneck kind. One factor to notice about hardnecks is that they don’t retailer so long as softneck garlic, and so they don’t have to be cured as lengthy. Typically, hardneck varieties are solely cured for a few weeks because the neck will likely be a lot drier on the time of harvest than softneck varieties.

Softneck Garlic

Fresh garlic of the softneck selection is what’s mostly offered in grocery shops. Instead of scapes, these have inexperienced leaves that get yellow or brown ideas and fall over when it’s time to reap garlic. There are many extra segments per bulb, and of their complete state, they have an inclination to maintain for much longer. Because their necks are extra versatile, softnecks want curing for longer-term storage. The outer wrapper of the bulb can also be not as robust as hardneck varieties and so they have a smaller bulb measurement total.

Artichoke garlic is the softneck selection mostly grown commercially. Fully mature, they’ll have as much as 20 cloves. They are grown for his or her viability, making it potential to develop a complete crop efficiently. This is the garlic everyone knows from the grocery retailer.

Before you resolve to spend time and power curing, be sure you have a spread that wants it. Some hardneck varieties don’t retailer for lengthy sufficient for the curing course of to be a viable choice. After just a few months, cloves can shrivel up. Set these varieties apart for extra rapid use. Similarly, broken cloves can mess up the treatment for good cloves. You’ll need to type these out earlier than you arrange your curing station. 

Garlic Curing Preparations

Hang drying garlic
Hanging up garlic to dry may be very efficient. Source: Leeks ‘N’ Bounds

To begin, it’s important to know the way and when to reap garlic. You can harvest garlic by timing, figuring out that when garlic grows it is going to be prepared at a sure time of 12 months. For softnecks, when a 3rd of the leaves flip yellow it’s time to get your digging fork out and start harvesting garlic. Always test one bulb earlier than harvesting the remainder. If you examined one and located it not giant sufficient, when half of the leaves are yellowed, it’s time to drag the remainder. 

Select garlic that may be cured. Those which have broken, comfortable cloves must be eliminated and used inside just a few hours to a couple days. Any sprouting garlic also needs to be taken out of your curing bunch. Save them on your early summer time or fall planting. All the cloves which have garlic sprouts ought to both be consumed or turn into planted garlic later.

Prepare them for curing. Before you treatment, clear filth off the roots, leaving them intact together with the leaves. As you clear and harvest, maintain them out of direct mild. Make positive to not bruise or harm them when transferring and getting ready them. They’re delicate and may bruise simply. 

Garlic Curing Methods

Garlic curing on drying racks
Softneck garlic is commonly cured on drying racks like these. Source: organic maven

There is nothing like cured garlic you grew your self. So let’s discuss completely different strategies for extending your bulb’s shelf life. Then you may have your individual garlic everytime you need it! One factor to notice about each methodology right here is none of your bulbs must be in direct daylight, and broken bulbs shouldn’t accompany your different garlic prepared for curing. 

Bunch Curing

Hang bunches from ceiling hooks or rafters to treatment for 2 weeks. In this example, you’ll want an area giant sufficient to carry your bunches, and good air circulation. This may come within the type of a small electrical fan or a bigger field fan, however they need to be on the whole time you treatment. The temperature in your curing room must be round room temperature to 80 levels Fahrenheit. Maintain a relative humidity of 60 to 70%. Any greater than that may trigger mould or would require extra time to treatment (as much as six weeks).  

Once the papery pores and skin in addition to the leaves and roots are utterly dry, they’re prepared for long-term storage. This methodology is greatest for these with a small harvest, and ample curing house. When you bunch garlic, notice that smaller bunches will likely be utterly cured inside about three weeks. Larger bunches will get much less air motion and take longer to treatment. 

Rack Curing

Lay garlic on a rack horizontally to treatment complete bulbs. The similar situations wanted in vertical curing apply right here. Find a well-ventilated location within the 70 to 80-degree vary. Provide average humidity and good air motion. When the bulbs are totally cured, the paper wrappers will likely be dry and brittle. 

Unless you might be rising garlic on a big scale, this is probably not the most suitable choice for you. Racks aren’t broadly obtainable and infrequently have to be constructed. They additionally take up loads of house. If they’re constructed improperly, they’ll block the air circulation wanted for curing. Still, when you’ve got entry to a rack or the supplies to make one this can be a viable curing choice. This methodology takes as much as 2 weeks, although, making the house wants a trade-off for much less time. 

Net Curing

Hang every bulb in a vertical web, fencing, or rooster wire. This methodology is much like the bunch curing methodology, nevertheless it saves quite a lot of house. By utilizing vertical netting, you condense the house into one aircraft that may grasp in a kitchen out of rapid mild. This methodology can treatment much more garlic than you would possibly treatment with the bunch methodology. As with the opposite modes, you want fixed good air circulation and mid-range humidity. 

You’ll have “walls” of garlic this fashion. Keep your field fan or electrical fan on for 3 to 4 weeks, when the bulb wrappers are dry and brittle, they’re prepared. Then put together every bulb for long-term storage. 

Braiding or Trimming Bulbs

Once your garlic is cured, both trim the leaves off bulbs or braid them. Braiding leaves provides you the longest storing garlic potential. It seems good and offers them a beautiful aesthetic enchantment that trimmed bulbs won’t have. To braid them, trim off the roots and take away any remaining filth from the bulb. Then tie three bulbs along with twine. Do a fundamental braid right here, holding it easy with simply three bulbs or incorporating others to make a extra sophisticated tiered design. Then tie the tip with twine and grasp the bulbs in your kitchen the place you’ll entry them for cooking. 

Trimming bulbs has its advantages as properly. Not solely is it a sooner method to clear garlic for storage, nevertheless it additionally prevents the peeling of garlic pores and skin. Here, use a pointy scissor or pruner and minimize about one inch above the highest of the bulb. Then retailer every bulb in mesh baggage. Remove the biggest bulbs for later planting, as small bulbs will produce smaller bulbs in later harvests. The greatest cloves are what you might be in search of.

Stand-Curing Hardneck Garlic

Due to their stiff necks, hardneck garlic can generally be stood on its neck to treatment. This methodology seems odd and is greatest achieved in an space with no wind and average humidity. Fan out the leaves in all instructions to assist present some stability, and stand it up on its stiff neck with the bulb within the air. This methodology just isn’t the very best for folks with pets or youngsters who would possibly knock over the bulbs, as you danger potential bulb bruising, however it may be an efficient answer in case you don’t have an entire lot to treatment.

Garlic Storage

Hardneck garlic curing
Hardneck varieties can’t be braided, however nonetheless may be hung to dry. Source: stumptownpanda

Whether you retailer garlic for cooking or for making a garlic spray that can enable you keep your backyard, you have got loads of choices. You can freeze garlic in freezer baggage in nearly any kind outdoors of the pores and skin. Peeled cloves, minced, chopped: all of those may be frozen. You may even freeze the garlic scapes. All of those frozen garlic elements will maintain for as much as 6 months. 

One delectable storage methodology for garlic is preserving it in oil. You’ll must prepare dinner it first earlier than you retailer garlic in oil as a result of micro organism current on the pores and skin can develop and trigger botulism. Boil peeled garlic in water for 2 minutes. Then drain them and put them in olive oil together with your selection of spices. They’ll maintain for 2 months at room temperature. 

Garlic powder is mystifying to those that don’t know easy methods to course of it. But it’s fairly easy to make so long as you have got a dehydrator close by. Slice peeled garlic thinly and lay it out in a dehydrator at 150 levels till it’s brittle sufficient to crush in your hand simply. Then grind it to your required consistency. A mortar and pestle or blender works for this. Store it in an hermetic container, and also you’ll have your garlic powder for as much as two years. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Upside down curing of hardneck garlic
Standing hardneck garlic on its stiff neck generally is a methodology to dry it out. Source: grongar

Q: Is curing garlic essential?

A: It’s not, however curing homegrown garlic is a good way to protect the flavour and shelf life of those bulbs. 

Q: How lengthy does garlic must treatment?

A: At least two weeks is required to treatment garlic and as much as six weeks for some softneck varieties. 

Q: Can you eat garlic instantly after harvesting?

A: Indeed, you may, however the taste will likely be a lot lighter than garlic that has been cured correctly. Hardneck varieties shouldn’t want as a lot curing and may be eaten instantly.


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