How To Store Garlic Long Term

How To Store Garlic Long Term

Did you plant cloves of spicy-smelling garlic and now you’re wondering how to store garlic long term?


Garlic is a wonderful addition to any garden, and it’s a wonderful sense of satisfaction harvest it – especially after you cure it and realize you won’t be needing to buy garlic from the grocery store anymore!


The first year we planted garlic, we weren’t sure when to harvest it – it can be different for every zone and even ever microclimate.


So we waited months – and came up with a GREAT harvest.


But then came the next step – how to store garlic long term without ruining it or losing it to bugs, dust, and other pests like mice.


Should you remove the papery skins? What about bulbs that seem ok except for 1 or 2 spots? Could we store those, or did we need to use them right away? What happens if they’re rained on while curing them straight from the garden?


You might have these same questions.


Luckily, a lot of our worries were unfounded – we were able to cure and store garlic long term with very few issues (and it took us quite a while to work through all that garlic!)


If you want to store garlic long term, it’s fairly straight forward as long as you follow some simple rules.


how to store garlic long term #garlic


Selecting Garlic For Long Term Storage

After you pull up all your garlic, you’ll want to let them cure for an hour or two in the sun – be sure to do this on a sunny day. This initial cure helps them dry, prepares them, and is how to store garlic from the garden without ruining your hard-earned harvest.


Next, you’ll want to examine the bulbs – take note of their condition. If any garlic bulbs have damage or seem soft, use them right away. They’re not good candidates to store long term.


Once you’ve selected your garlic, you will want to cure them for an additional 2 weeks in a relatively cool environment – no warmer than 65 degrees. Higher temperatures can trigger mold or prompt your garlic to sprout.


Humidity is another consideration when trying to store garlic long term – too high and it might cause your garlic to mold or rot, and too high will cause garlic cloves to shrivel and become useless.


You will notice a lot of the dirt will fall away – this is a good thing. You can also brush the garlic very gently, although I’ve noticed this can damage them. If there’s excessive amounts of dirt, then you can try gently brushing it off, but if there’s just a little dirt, chances are it will fall off on its own.


Don’t remove any of the papery skins – this will also damage the garlic, making it unsuitable to store long term.


After the 2 weeks are up, you can then transfer them to mesh bags like these or braid them if they’re a soft-neck variety (hard necked garlic can’t be braided easily – keep these in a mesh bag).


Air circulation is very important, which is why braiding or mesh bags are ideal garlic storage containers – they allow you to store a lot of garlic in a small space without reducing the garlic’s change to “breathe.”


As you store your garlic, don’t let the temperature rise – this WILL prompt your garlic to sprout since it’s no longer chilled (it thinks winter is over and it needs to grow!)


how to store garlic long term #garlic


Drying to Store Garlic Long Term

If braiding or storing in mesh bags isn’t your thing or you’re lacking the space, then you can dry your garlic. This process is simple and great because it produces a shelf-stable product that won’t sprout.


Start by slicing peeled garlic into thin strips and then dehydrate them either in a commercial food dehydrator or by placing them on a cookie sheet and drying them in your oven at around 120 degrees for a few hours. Leave the door slightly open to allow for air circulation.


Once dry, store garlic long term in an airtight container and use as needed.


Preserve Garlic In Honey

This hack has the added benefit of being great for colds. So if you have some spare cloves or just want to try something different, then preserve and store garlic long term in honey.


Honey has antimicrobial properties and stored correctly, it’s nearly impossible for bacteria to grow.


To preserve garlic in honey, peel the cloves, then drop them into a mason jar filled with honey. As long as the cloves remain submerged, they will keep for a long time.


Pull them as needed, or drink the honey in tea whenever you’re sick – as the garlic stores, it will steep it’s immune boosting properties into the honey. Yum!

Planting Organic Garlic: The Basics & Common Questions

Planting Organic Garlic: The Basics & Common Questions

Planting organic garlic is one of those autumn activities that can make you feel like a real homesteader.


During a time when most gardeners are shutting down their patches for the season, you can create a 4th season with organic garlic, and get a head start on next spring.


For years, I didn’t plant garlic. I didn’t see much point.


Organic garlic, especially in urban areas, is pretty cheap and pervasive. I had no trouble sourcing it (you can even get it shipped to you by Amazon.)


But there’s something about planting and harvesting your own organic garlic that screams independence.


Planting organic garlic is one of those things that makes you feel like a ''real" homesteader. Here's what you need to know to successfully plant organic garlic. From FrugalChicken


Maybe it’s because as homesteaders, we tend to have the gardening itch year round, and, with our autumn crop choices being fairly limited, planting garlic lets us continue to live self-sufficiently during even the coldest months.


And, as it turns out, planting organic garlic is also fairly simple.


So, let’s dive in to the basics!


Planting organic garlic is one of those things that makes you feel like a ''real" homesteader. Here's what you need to know to successfully plant organic garlic. From FrugalChicken


Sourcing Organic Garlic


There’s plenty of places to source your organic garlic for planting, but here’s a (short) list:


I’m sure there are others out there, but these are the only companies with which I have experience.


The number one thing when sourcing your organic garlic is to look for a reputable dealer (like those above) that will sell seed garlic that has a high likelihood of growing.


I’ve purchased seed garlic from big box stores, and there’s a measurable difference.


The garlic from the big box store was dry, brittle, and probably a few years old.


The garlic from a reputable source, however, was clearly harvested this year, robust, and could be used in cooking (a tell-tale sign of quality).


Since your organic seed garlic will be in the ground for a few months, you don’t want it rotting, and an inferior product has a higher likelihood of trouble.


You get the picture.
Do yourself a favor and go to the right source. You probably won’t even pay any more than you would at a big box store.


When to purchase your organic garlic


It’s never too early to get your order in for your garlic. Most companies don’t ship until late summer/early fall (another sign of quality).




Because they sell seed garlic from the same year’s crop, meaning you have to wait for the seed garlic to be ready.


To ensure you get the type of garlic you want (more on that later), getting your order in around July is a good idea.


They ship based on when your order was received, so if you wait until the last minute, you might be waiting in line.


Reputable organic garlic dealers will also send a set of planting instructions with the garlic, and might even have some sort of guarantee. 


When is the best time for planting garlic?



The ideal time for planting organic garlic is September and October, depending on your location. 


In the South (where we’re at), October is a perfect month. Up North, where October might mean snow and frost, September is a better option.


Planting well before the first frost date in your area will ensure your garlic is able to set roots before the winter freeze comes on.


Either way, planting your garlic in the fall for a summer harvest is best – a spring planting rarely yields satisfactory results.


How much organic garlic should I purchase?


Well, that depends on how much garlic you want to harvest. 


Bear in mind that each individual clove in a head of garlic will be planted and should grow into it’s own head. 


Generally speaking, 1 pound of seed garlic is enough for a 25 foot row.


So, to determine how much organic seed garlic to order for planting, guesstimate how much garlic you will use in the next year, then reverse engineer.


Bear in mind, also, that different types of garlic will yield different amounts.


Planting organic garlic is one of those things that makes you feel like a ''real" homesteader. Here's what you need to know to successfully plant organic garlic

One pound of Elephant garlic does NOT equal one pound of Siberian garlic in terms of the amount of organic garlic heads you will eventually harvest.


In one pound of Elephant garlic, you might only receive 10 cloves, while you might receive 50 cloves of Siberian garlic – so the amount of organic garlic you will harvest in spring will differ.


Something to keep in mind while gazing wistfully at those catalogues. 


Planting Organic Garlic


Once your organic garlic has arrived, you’ll want to plant it as soon as possible, when the seed garlic is freshest.


You want to ensure the garlic can establish itself after planting, and before winter sets in. 


When you’re ready for planting, separate the garlic into it’s cloves. 


(note: some organic garlic might already be separated. I learned this one the hard way after crushing a couple cloves when I wasn’t paying attention).


Leave the papery skins on! Don’t remove them – they provide a necessary barrier so the garlic doesn’t rot in the ground. 
If some skins are removed by accident, don’t sweat it, but don’t intentionally peel your garlic at all.


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Next, dig a trench about 4 inches deep – deep enough so you can plant your garlic 2 inches or so below the frost line. 


Where the frost line occurs will depend on your location. When in doubt, go for 4 inches, and be sure to pile straw on top of the planting location (more on that in a minute). 


Planting below the frost line is necessary to keep the organic garlic from dying off during the cold weather.




Plant your organic garlic cloves pointy side up – the pointy side is what produces the green scapes, while the bottom is where the roots will shoot out from.

Planting organic garlic is one of those things that makes you feel like a ''real" homesteader. Here's what you need to know to successfully plant organic garlic


I like planting my garlic first, then going back to fill in the soil.


Once you have each clove buried, top with a 4 or so inches of straw or hay, and leave it there throughout the winter, adding as necessary.



The straw will act as an additional barrier against the cold, making sure your garlic cloves are in a great position to start growing bulbs.


When to harvest your organic garlic


Your garlic will be ready for harvest several months after planting, usually in July or August. 


The good news is that in the meantime, you will have other garlic goodness to harvest, such as early shoots and scapes.


When June rolls around, snap off any scapes to harvest them – this will help the bulbs will grow to maturity before you harvest.


Planting organic garlic is one of those things that makes you feel like a ''real" homesteader. Here's what you need to know to successfully plant organic garlic


I’d like to hear from you!


Which garlic will you plant this year? Contact me at [email protected] or comment below!