Do you love the taste of garlic? If so, then you should consider growing it each year. Not to mention, garlic has a ton of health benefits as well.
So instead of continuing to purchase garlic from the store month after month, consider growing your own.
However, you will have to learn proper storage techniques so that it won’t go to waste.
But once you get that skill set down, you are good to go.
So follow along with me and let’s learn how to store and preserve our own garlic so you can enjoy freshly grown garlic all year round.
How to Store Garlic:
Here is how you can store and preserve your garlic:
1. Dry It Out
The process of drying garlic out is also called ‘curing.’ This means that the garlic is dried out so it won’t go bad for many months to come.
So you cure the garlic by separating the garlic into different bunches. You only want about 5 or 10 bulbs per bunch.
Then you’ll need to clean the garlic up. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but you do want to remove any excess dirt from when you harvested the garlic in the garden.
Finally, you tie the garlic bunch together by the tops. Then you hang them from a string in the air to allow them to dry out for about two weeks.
2. Wrap in Newspaper
Your first option for preserving garlic is to simply wrap the bulbs in a newspaper. This will keep each bulb from touching another.
As you probably know, if your crops stay in a cool area but are touching each other, this can cause rot and mold which will ruin your stored harvest.
So you’ll need to take the bulb of garlic and simply wrap it individually in newspaper. Then place it in a wooden box with other garlic that has been wrapped the same way. You’ll want to store it in a cool, dark, and dry location for later use.
3. Layer in Newspaper
This preservation method isn’t as good in my opinion because the garlic isn’t wrapped individually which could cause some rot to form.
But if you don’t have enough newspaper and still need a way to preserve your garlic easily, then you should consider this method.
So you’ll want to trim the cured garlic back so the bulb can be easily stored.
Then you’ll place a layer of newspaper in a wooden box. Then a layer of garlic will go on top of the newspaper.
You’ll continue the process of layering newspaper and garlic until either all of the garlic is stored or the box is full.
However, be sure to end with the layer of newspaper on top of the garlic. Also, be sure that you store the box in a cool, dry location that won’t encourage mold growth.
You’ll also want to frequently check your garlic to make sure that nothing has become rotten. If so, you’ll need to pull out any rotten pieces of garlic and any garlic that looks like it is forming a soft or mushy spot.
So that way you will head off any further contamination of your garlic. Since the garlic has been cured though, it shouldn’t be as big of an issue as it would be with vegetables and other items that are stored without being cured.
As you can tell, making sure that your garlic is thoroughly dried is a large step in having the success of storing the garlic.
4. Layer with Straw
Whenever you store any type of vegetable in a root cellar it is always a good idea to use some type of barrier to protect the vegetables from just lying on top of each other.
So if you don’t have newspaper, then maybe you’ll have some old straw, hay, or even saw dust.
If so, then you’ll do the same process that you did for the newspaper. You’ll lay a layer of straw, hay, or sawdust in the bottom of a wooden box.
Now, you may be wondering why I keep saying to place these items in a wooden box. Well, a cardboard box will hold moisture and attract pests.
So I recommend wooden boxes because they hold up well so they can be used year after year. Also, they are less likely to draw as many pests to your harvest.
After you have finished layering your harvest of garlic with hay, straw, or sawdust, you’ll then need to store it in a cool, dry, and dark location to help it last longer. That way you can enjoy it throughout the year.
5. Can It
If you have ever purchased minced garlic from the store, then you probably purchased it in a jar. What a lot of people don’t realize is that if something can be canned for resale in a store, then you can usually do it from home too.
So you’ll need to gather your canning supplies like jars, a canner, and your jar grabber. Then you’ll also need a great but simple recipe to get the job done correctly and efficiently.
Once you have those components, you can preserve your own garlic to be used at any time. Also, it should be stored in a cool, dry location as well.
6. Braid It
This way of preserving garlic is a gorgeous piece of art, but it also is very efficient.
So you will still need to cure your garlic if you are planning on braiding it. When you cure it, you are drying the garlic out which removes the moisture. Moisture is what can cause rot to take place so the less moisture, the better your preservation method is going to be.
However, with braiding garlic, you will not want it to be completely cured prior to braiding. You’ll want it to cure for about a week.
Then you’ll want to begin the braiding process because it will be easier to work with. Once you have your garlic braided, then you’ll need to hang it upside down to where the bulbs are hanging downwards and store in a cool, dry, and darker location.
Also, you may want to consider this method because it makes it very easy to walk into your cellar and grab a couple of cloves of garlic. There are no jars to open, no unwrapping of paper, or pulling out boxes.
Instead, you simply walk in, grab a couple of cloves, and then go about your business.
7. Dehydrate It
Do you ever skip the difficult stuff when making a homemade dish and reach for the powdered form? What I mean is, when you see a recipe call for fresh garlic, do you ever skip over that and go for garlic powder?
Well, I know I do! If you would like to make your own garlic powder, then use this resource to learn how to preserve your garlic harvest and store by dehydrating it. Then you can actually make your own dried garlic powder. It makes for easy storage and also has many wonderful uses as well.
A Few Ways to Use Your Garlic
If you’ve never grown garlic because you don’t think you’d use enough of it to justify the effort, then let me introduce you to a few delicious recipes that just might change your mind.
Get ready for your mouth to water. Here are some great garlic recipes:
1. Garlic Dipping Oil
A lot of cultures consume dipping oil like this as a regular meal. In the United States, I have to go to a delicious Italian restaurant to get this treatment. That is until now.
Now, I have this recipe to turn to. I can make it as a delicious snack to be enjoyed with fresh bread or as a part of my meal.
2. Garlic Green Beans
Do you love fresh side dishes? I know I do! I also love to be able to incorporate the veggies I grow myself into every meal.
So this is a great way to combine both your green bean harvest with your garlic harvest. You can also use the green beans and garlic that you’ve canned as well. Either way, this dish looks delicious.
3. Easy, Fresh Garlic Bread
Garlic bread is one of my family’s favorites. We can use it with Italian dishes, or it is good to accompany almost any other dish as well, like a salad.
So if you’d like a homemade garlic bread that includes fresh garlic and herbs, then this could be the recipe that you’ve been looking for.
4. Roasted Garlic
This recipe is going to be for those that really love garlic. There are those of you out there, I know. I say that because I have few of them in my family.
So if you love garlic enough to eat it by itself, then you’ll love this recipe for roasted garlic. It will give your favorite flavor a little added pow to your taste buds.
5. Sautéed Fresh Spinach with Garlic
Spinach is a delicious side dish that also contains a ton of great nutrients for you as well. To make this dish even more flavorful though is the addition of fresh garlic.
So if you are looking for a delicious way to fit more super foods and greens into your life, then you might want to consider this side dish.
Well, you now have seven ways to store your fresh garlic harvest, and also have five great recipes to help you utilize it once you store it.
So hopefully this will encourage you to grow a new variety of food and also consume more of a variety of food as well.
But now I’d like to hear from you. Do you grow your own garlic? Any tips for those that are new? How do you prefer to preserve it? And please, those that are new to the idea, feel free to post your questions below.
We love hearing from you all so please leave us your thoughts in the comment section below.