You’ve harvested bunches of lovely garlic…now what? How do you prepare them for storage?
This from Karen Chrisman, Master Gardener (http://www.wmassmastergardeners.org/0708.html):
“CURING Brush the dirt off the plants and bulbs and lay them on a screen or a flat basket in a warm, dry spot with good air circulation, such as a well-ventilated room or covered porch. Most sources recommend shade for this. Curing is complete after three to four weeks when the skins are dry and the necks (stems) are tight.
The dry tops and roots can be cut off. If you further clean the bulbs by removing the outer skins, be careful not to expose any cloves. Although hardneck varieties are more common in the north, growing some softneck garlic gives you a chance to make a hanging braid, created the same way a French braid is done with hair. Braiding is easier before the stems are completely dry.
STORING Only store well cured bulbs. Garlic stores nicely under a wide range of temperatures, but produces sprouts more quickly at or above 40 degrees F. Mature bulbs store best at 32 degrees F with low humidity. Cloves should keep for six to seven months; I usually have garlic right through the following harvest.”
We grow Georgian Crystal and Russian Red, both hardneck varieties.