How long do you dry garlic after picking?

Answered by John Hunt

After picking garlic, the next step in the process is drying or curing the bulbs. This is an essential step to ensure that the garlic can be stored for an extended period without spoiling. The curing process typically takes around 10-14 days, although it can vary depending on the climate and conditions.

To begin the curing process, you can either cut the stems off the garlic bulbs before or after curing. Some people prefer to leave the stems intact during curing as they believe it helps to preserve the bulbs and enhance their flavor. However, cutting the stems before curing can also work well, as long as you handle the bulbs carefully to avoid any damage.

During the curing period, it’s important to provide the garlic with proper air circulation and keep it in a dry location away from direct sunlight. Hanging the garlic in bundles or spreading it out on mesh trays or racks are common methods used for drying. It’s crucial to ensure that the garlic bulbs are not touching each other, as this can lead to moisture accumulation and potential rotting.

Throughout the curing process, you should regularly inspect the garlic bulbs to monitor their progress. Curing is considered complete when the outer skins of the bulbs become dry and crispy. The neck, or the area where the stem connects to the bulb, should also become constricted and firm. Additionally, you can check the center of the cut stem, which should be hard when the garlic is fully cured.

Once the garlic bulbs have reached the desired level of dryness, they can be stored for an extended period. Proper storage conditions are essential to maintain the quality of the garlic. Ideally, garlic should be stored in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated area. Some people prefer to store garlic in mesh bags, baskets, or even hang them in braids for a decorative touch.

In my personal experience, I have found that curing garlic for around 12-14 days works well in most cases. However, it’s important to adapt the drying time depending on the specific conditions in your environment. For example, if you live in a humid climate, you might need to extend the curing period to ensure that the garlic is fully dried.

Drying or curing garlic after picking is a crucial step to ensure its long-term storage. The process typically takes around 10-14 days, but the exact time may vary depending on factors such as climate and conditions. Regularly checking the garlic bulbs for dryness and firmness is important to determine when the curing process is complete. Proper storage in a cool and dry location is essential for maintaining the quality of the garlic.