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Old August 12, 2019   #1
whoose's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Bozeman, Montana Zone 6b
Posts: 329
Default Garlic Harvesting Advice Please

A few questions:
The bottom leaves are dying off so I assume I should harvest.
Pulled one and it looked good.
When I dig the garlic do I leave the tops and roots on for the curing process? If yes when do I remove them (how long)
How long do I cure?
Cool dark place?
Any tips to help me get the crop in.
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Old August 13, 2019   #2
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Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Southeastern PA
Posts: 1,417

I keep the tops and roots attached and cure outside in our shed (OUT of the sun which can change the flavor) for 2-3 weeks. then I trim the tops and roots and store in my cool, dark basement in baskets. Some people braid the leaves together and hang them but I prefer to trim mine. They are hard necks.
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Old August 13, 2019   #3
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: SE PA
Posts: 890

I follow this page's instructions as well as I can...3-4 weeks untrimmed seems to work for me but I'm up around 78-80F with fan blowing on it.
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Old August 13, 2019   #4
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Newfoundland, Canada
Posts: 6,784

whoose, there are many variations on the harvest theme. For a home garden, this is the basic process I started with.

(1) harvest on a dry day. let them lie in the shade for an hour or two and then brush off the dirt very gently. Handle them very carefully as they are easily bruised.

(2) Bring them in, spread them out on a screen with all their roots and greens intact, or if a screen is not available, on some dry paper in a cool and dry place where they don't get direct sunlight. Or alternative, you can bundle them and hang them to dry. You can trim back the tops and roots as they dry down (I often trim to 8 inch stem/ 1 inch roots after the first week), or leave as is. If the environment is damp trimming is helpful. Trimming is also a good excuse to move them gently around, make sure they dry evenly, and remove any damp mess of drying leaves. The drying down takes about three weeks, and then they can be cleaned up and trimmed to final size.

(3) Place them upsidedown in a rack or laid on a screen for another 3-4 weeks to cure.

Nowadays I like to strip them down to a clean wrapper on the day they are harvested. I keep the remaining greens on and hang them in bundles.
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Old August 13, 2019   #5
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: MA/NH Border
Posts: 4,905

And here's another variation on the theme that works well for a hot and very humid environment -- a partial trim before bundling and hanging. When I used to lay them on a wire mesh shelf, they took forever to dry. Hanging with all their leaves also too way to long here. A couple of years ago I tried the partial trimming and it worked beautifully, so this is my chosen method.

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