Question: I know garlic will keep four to six months in cooler climates. Because I don’t have a root cellar, what are my options for storing garlic?
After harvesting garlic from the field or garden, we will tie the garlic together in bunches and let them hang outside to dry in the shade for a week or two. This helps “cure” the garlic bulb and readies it for storage. Some people want fresh garlic, and in this case it is not cured but should be consumed soon.
The ideal storage environment is cool and dry, away from other food items that might absorb the flavor of garlic. Garlic under home conditions will store for about two to three months in a kitchen environment.
An option is to dry the garlic, and it will store indefinitely. If you still have garlic left after two to three months of storage, you can peel it, slice it thin by hand or in a food processor, dry it outside in the shade and low humidity of our Las Vegas environment. Always dry food in the shade, not in direct sunlight here. Keep drying temperatures below 140 degrees if using a commercial dryer or oven.
Bob Morris is a professor emeritus in horticulture with the University of Nevada and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit his blog at
xtremehorticulture.blogspot.com. For more advice, see Thursday’s Las Vegas Review-Journal.