By Susan Patterson, Master Gardener
Now that you have successfully grown and harvested your garlic, it is time to decide how to store your aromatic crop. The best way to store garlic depends on how you intend to use it. Continue reading to learn more about how to store fresh picked garlic from your garden, including garlic storage before planting more next year.
How to Store Garlic
There are a number of methods for storing garlic from the garden. Once harvested, you’ll need to decide how to store garlic based on your preferences and what you plan on doing with your crop.
Storing Garlic at Room Temperature
Spread some newspapers out in a location away from sunlight and in a cool, well-ventilated area. Allow the garlic to dry for at least two weeks, in a mesh bag or airy container, until the skins become paper like. This air-dry storage method preserves garlic for five to eight months.
How to Store Garlic by Freezing
Frozen garlic is perfect for soups and stews, and can be achieved one of three ways:
- Chop garlic and wrap tightly in freezer wrap. Break or grate off as needed.
- Leave garlic unpeeled and freeze, removing cloves as needed.
- Freeze garlic by blending some garlic cloves with oil in a blender using two parts olive oil to one part garlic. Scrape out what is needed.
How to Store Fresh Picked Garlic by Drying
Garlic must be fresh, firm and bruise-free to dry using heat. Separate and peel cloves and cut lengthwise. Dry cloves at 140 degrees F. (60 C.) for two hours and then at 130 degrees F. (54 C.) until dry. When garlic is crisp, it is ready.
You can make garlic powder from fresh, dried garlic by blending until fine. To make garlic salt, you can add four parts sea salt to one part garlic salt and blend for a few seconds.
Storing Garlic in Vinegar or Wine
Peeled cloves can be stored in vinegar and wine by submerging them and storing in the refrigerator. Use garlic as long as there is no mold growth or surface yeast in the wine or vinegar. Do not store on the counter, as mold will develop.
Garlic Storage Before Planting
If you want to keep some of your harvest for planting next season, just harvest as usual and store in a cool, dark, well-ventilated spot.
Now that you know how to store fresh picked garlic from the garden, you can decide the best way to store garlic based on your individual needs.