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Curing Garlic

The process of curing garlic is simply letting it dry.

The rate at which garlic cures and the heat index have direct effect on the garlic and its overall storage. We like to get the garlic from the ground and to the curing space as quickly as possible. Leaving garlic in the sun can cause the garlic to "sunburn" and can cause the garlic to turn a translucent yellow and can create a spoiling effect or shorten the overall storage.

The best curing conditions are simply good air circulation and protection from direct sunlight. Some gardeners will cure garlic on an outdoor covered porch with constant shade a nice breeze, while others will place garlic a dark basement with fans.

When removing the garlic from the ground, remove any dirt from the roots and either lay the garlic flat on a drying rack or screen (where each bulb is exposed to airflow). Another popular option is to bundle garlic plants in groups of 8-12 bulbs, tie by the stem with rope or twine and hang from a rafter, board, dowel, or ladder to allow the garlic to dry. Always aware to keep the garlic out of direct sunlight.

While there are many different ways to store garlic while it is cleaning, we prefer to let the garlic completely cure before removing the roots and stems. Once the garlic is cured we clip off the stems leaving about 1/2 + inch of neck and trim the roots. Remove the outer layer of paper, and place the garlic in mesh bags (such as an onion bag) or plastic crates with holes (such as a milk crate) for long term storage.

Garlic will take 2-6 weeks to cure, depending on weather (if outside) or airflow (if inside a barn or basement). The curing process is complete when the leaves are completely dry and the outer layer easily pulls away - leaving a nice clean bulb.

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