How do you harvest and store garlic?
Harvest garlic before the tops completely die down, preferably with 4 to 6 green leaves still attached, using a garden fork to lift them from the soil. Gently remove excess soil, but do not wash, and lay whole plants on screens or hang in small bunches to dry. Allow it to cure completely in a warm, well-ventilated room, but not in direct sunlight. Watch for rotting bulbs, remove these and increase air circulation if needed using a box fan. Curing will take about 4 to 6 weeks.
After that, roots and tops can be trimmed, and outer dirty skins
can be removed. Store cured garlic in a cool dry place. Remember
all garlic varieties taste the same at harvest time, but after curing
and a few weeks of storage time, individual variety flavors will
Bill McKelvey, Extension Associate, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Missouri Extension; Adapted from Fall is the Time to Plant Garlic, University of Illinois Extension
Last update: Tuesday, June 30, 2009