How do I store Garlic?

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by deerlarkin, May 15, 2006.

  1. deerlarkin

    deerlarkin Member

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    May 4, 2006
    Location:
    Eastern Ontario, Canada
    If anyone can tell me how to store garlic so it does not dry out or start growing in "whatever" or "wherever" I store it, I would be truly gratefull. I would also take any advise on growing garlic....best soil....how to fertilize (naturally ofcourse) ...best location...and so on.

    Keep on Gardening :happy:

    Deerlarkin
     
  2. InHisName

    InHisName Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Jan 25, 2006
    Location:
    NE WA
    Cool &dry will make your garlic last the longest- Curing it is very important- if it is cleaned and then dried (I hang it in my garage- our climate is dry) - for about a month or so, then cut off the tops and store. A great book to get is Growing Great Garlic-
    We plant in the fall, mulch, when it comes up in the spring, the garlic gets some manure tea. It is not too complicated and grows well in a dry climate.
     

  3. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    South Central Wisconsin
    Actually, best storage conditions for garlic are 50-70F temperatures and 60-70% humidity. Watch the cooking shows and often you'll see a braid of them hanging somewhere on the set. That's also how the Italians and French store their garlic. The cooler you store it, the quicker it will want to break dormancy and begin growing. And that can happen quicker when it's just a few ticks above freezing. Therefore, the very last place you want to store garlic is in a refrigerator.

    Best soil is any good loam with at least 15% sand to allow for great drainage and bulb expansion. And that soil should be at least a foot deep to accommodate their large root systems.

    10% composted organic matter also is a must for the largest bulbs. They are a heavy feeder but don't have super-efficient roots to find food. Thus the heavy use of compost is required. Initially, they might appreciate a high-phosphorus fertilizer added such as bone meal. After the plants emerge and have 3 or 4 leaves, a side-dressing with anything high in nitrogen is much appreciated. Neither are needed if your 10% organic matter has somewhat considerable nitrogen and phosphorus in it. Fairly fresh horse manure is also one of my favorite additions to the soil at planting time. Garlic doesn't care how fresh or aged it is.

    Absolute full sun is ideal. Anything less and the results are smaller. They are an allium just like an onion and their growth is controlled by the amount of sunlight and sunlight hours received.

    One final thing, you only have 5 more months to wait before planting them in your area. Either that or you are 7 months late! You'd want to plant them about mid-September, which is also my planting time. In fact, you won't even find any planting stock right now other than some very early California White or similar generic junk. So, start studying up on it and preparing a special permanent garlic bed.

    Martin
     
  4. deerlarkin

    deerlarkin Member

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    Joined:
    May 4, 2006
    Location:
    Eastern Ontario, Canada
    Thanks!
    Wow! I am so excited to get reading (when I have the time). I come from an Italian family. We did dry and hang our garlic. I was living in New York State and New Jersey when we did this. For the past twenty years I have been purchasing garlic from grocers or organic markets here in Canada. I do not store it in the fridge. I store it in a dry pantry or in a garlic crock on the counter. It shrivels and starts growing no matter what, and only after a few days of putting it in these spots. Up until three years ago this was not an issue. I have never had problems with my garlic. I am totally perplexed by this.
    I am fortunate to have property now that seems very suitable for growing garlic, sandy loam and tons of sun. I will definitely copy down your additive advice and be sure to check out the library for Growing Great Garlic.

    Thanks again

    Deerlarkin