How to store garlic at home
The second half of summer is the time of garlic harvest. And although this vegetable is not as important for the household as the same potatoes or tomatoes, gardeners love to grow it too.
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After harvesting, the logical question arises of how and where to store the vegetable properly so that it is preserved for as long as possible.
In our article, we will answer this question, and also talk about several of the most popular ways to store garlic heads in an ordinary city apartment.
When to harvest garlic?
Harvesting winter garlic occurs in the second half of summer. Specific dates depend directly on the climate of a particular region. For example, in the Middle Strip of Russia, a vegetable is dug up in mid-July. Spring varieties (that is, planted in the spring) are harvested in August, and in more northern regions in September.
Most often, when harvesting, they focus not on specific numbers, but not on the appearance of the vegetable. There are several signs that it’s time to dig up the garlic:
- Drying and yellowing of the lower leaves;
- Straightening arrows;
- Ripening of inflorescences (air sacs) on the leaves;
- The bulb becomes dense to the touch;
- The cloves are easily detachable.
Read more about when to pick up garlic in our article “When to pick up garlic planted in the winter”.
How to prepare a vegetable for storage
The period during which garlic can be eaten depends largely on the preparation of the vegetable for storage. Due to improper preparation, it is highly likely that the garlic heads will dry out or rot.
Preparation of vegetables for storage begins at the time of harvesting. It is very important to harvest on time to prevent the heads from overriding and preserving all the useful properties of the vegetable.
IMPORTANT! If you are late for harvesting the garlic, then the cloves will begin to break up. Such a head cannot be stored for a long time, but it can be eaten as soon as possible after cleaning.
Before laying for storage, the garlic heads must be cleaned of the earth, sorted and dried well. Usually the harvested crop is left to dry right on the bed, but if there is a chance of rain, it is better to bring the dug out heads under a canopy or in a barn. Drying takes about a week. Sometimes it turns out a little less (about 5 days), sometimes a little more (about a week and a half). It depends on the weather.
After drying, cut the garlic. The roots are shortened to 3 mm, the tops to 2 cm.
REFERENCE. If garlic is supposed to be stored in woven braids, then the tops are not cut.
Which garlic is stored better in winter or spring
For long-term storage in the cold season, spring or spring garlic is better. The heads of this variety of vegetables have more husk flakes, so they better tolerate winter.
Winter, or winter, garlic is stored worse. Usually, by the middle of winter, there are a lot of empty dried cloves in the heads. However, winter varieties have the advantage that the cloves in their heads are larger.
Experienced summer residents lay both types of vegetables for storage. Just at first they use winter garlic, and closer to spring - spring garlic.
BTW. In winter, in supermarkets you can find mainly spring varieties.
What storage conditions should be observed
Garlic is relatively well stored under almost any condition. But, if you want to preserve the quality of vegetables for a longer period of time, you need to adhere to the following rules.
- Dark place. It can be a cardboard box, a can under the table, a refrigerator or an attic. It is very important in winter to protect the garlic heads from sunlight.
- Humidity 60 - 80%. If the air is too dry, the heads dry out quickly, and when excessively wet, they begin to rot. If in winter you began to notice that the garlic was not as juicy as before, then the air in the room is too dry.
- Cool. The optimal storage temperature of spring garlic is 18 degrees, winter - 5 degrees. If you live in your own home, you can place garlic in the attic or basement. But, if you live in an apartment, then it will be difficult to ensure the desired temperature. Of course, vegetables can be packaged in bags and put in the bottom drawers of the refrigerator. But what if all of them do not fit there? In this case, try to preserve the vegetable. We will tell you more about this method below.
- Air access. Garlic is best stored in portions in various small containers. Storage in open space can provoke early drying out of the heads.
IMPORTANT! When mold occurs, affected heads must be discarded. The remaining ones must be carefully inspected and moved to a room with drier air.
How and where to store garlic
There are many ways to preserve garlic in the cold season. Each of them, subject to the rules, will allow you to save the vegetable for several months. Which method is more suitable should be decided on the basis of the harvested crop and free space in the room.
Basement or cellar storage
This method is beneficial in that the temperature in the basement is ideal for storing winter varieties of garlic. Plus, there the vegetable is stored away from sunlight. For containers, you can use almost any capacity: boxes, boxes, cans, bags or nets.
An important point in the basement should not be too damp, otherwise the garlic will simply rot. If the humidity is a little more than 80%, then add sawdust or flour into the boxes.
Storage in wooden boxes
In wicker baskets, wooden or plywood crates, garlic heads are kept unpeeled. This is one of the most common and affordable methods, but it involves the greatest amount of loss due to drying or decay of vegetables.
Most often, garlic heads are stored in baskets, boxes and boxes when there are a lot of them and processing, for example, for storage in crushed form or in marinade, will take a very long time.
How to save in banks
In ordinary glass jars, garlic heads store:
- In the form of cloves;
- In the form of heads.
In the first method, the bulb is disassembled into cloves, each of which is inspected, additionally dried and placed in a jar. In this case, the husk directly from the lobules is not removed.
The advantage of this method is that there will be less peel in the jar, and you can always take as many cloves as you need. The disadvantage is that the analysis of each head into slices will take a certain amount of time.
IMPORTANT! Each jar must first be washed and dried. Banks do not need to be rolled up. Just cover them with a metal lid.
How to store in cloth bags or mesh
Keeping garlic heads in a grid is one of the most popular ways. Firstlythis provides air access. SecondlyMesh can be hung on hooks. Thirdly, string bags are easy to get. Fourth, the head is easy to inspect during the winter for drying or decay.
If you have fabric bags, then they can be soaked in saline, dried and garlic put there. Salt will protect the vegetable perfectly.
In a braided braid
One of the oldest, most beautiful and most laborious methods.
To store garlic in braids, you can not cut the tops.
The braid weaves in the usual way, from the heads to the ends of the leaves. The only advice is not to weave a lot of garlic at once. It is best if there are no more than 15 heads in one braid. The finished bundle is hung on a wall or ceiling. By the way, you can decorate the interior of your kitchen with such a scythe even in a city apartment.
Paraffin allows you to keep the heads intact until the beginning of summer. This is a very effective way, albeit somewhat laborious.
- Sort the heads of garlic.
- Cut paraffin candles and melt them to a homogeneous mass in a water bath.
- Cauterize the bottom of the head with a lighter, match or gas burner.
- Take the garlic bulb by the tip of the stem and immerse in liquid paraffin for 2-3 seconds.
- Put your head on the newspaper. Paraffin freezes very quickly.
- Cool all processed vegetables and put them in a jar or box.
Paraffin covers the garlic head with a thin impermeable film and protects the vegetable from both atmospheric exposure and pests.
Sawdust protects garlic from excessive humidity. Heads and wood chips are poured into boxes, baskets and boxes in layers. The last layer of sawdust, which should completely cover the vegetable.
In dried form
In addition to conventional methods, garlic can also be dried. To do this, the teeth must first be dried using a conventional oven or electric dryer. Then they are cut into slices and laid out on a baking sheet, after which they are sent to the oven for 30-40 minutes. The drying temperature is about 60 degrees.
Then allow the dried slices to cool and place them in jars or bags. Such slices can immediately be used in cooking.
Dried garlic is stored for about 1.5 - 2 years.
How to store garlic in an apartment
Keeping a vegetable in an ordinary city apartment is somewhat more difficult because the space in it is limited. This greatly limits the use of wooden crates, sawdust and braid weaving. But there are several other ways that will help you keep the vegetable for the whole winter, and will not spoil the appearance of the apartment.
On the loggia
You can store garlic on the loggia or balcony if you have it closed. Better yet, if insulated. Then in winter there will be no moisture, but it will be cool enough. And these are ideal options for storing garlic.
But even in this case, the heads must be regularly sorted out in order to notice rotten ones in time and not lose the entire crop.
In a refrigerator
A refrigerator is the best place to store garlic directly in the apartment itself. The vegetable is folded into bags and placed in the bottom drawer. The disadvantage is the limited space. But, if there are not many garlic heads, then a refrigerator is the best choice.
Shredded or twisted
If your garlic begins to deteriorate, then you need to chop it. To do this, use a blender, a meat grinder or just cut it with a knife.
IMPORTANT! Rotten or dried cloves should be discarded; good ones should be cleaned of scales.
Add a little salt to the resulting mass, mix thoroughly and put in jars with tight-fitting or tightening lids. After that, put the jars in the refrigerator.
This method will save garlic for some time.
How to keep in oil
Keeping garlic in oil is an interesting way. You need to separate the teeth from the head and clean each of them. Then sort the best, rinse them with running water and pat dry with a towel.
Next, you will need a sterilized jar with a screw cap. Tightly place the cloves there and cover with vegetable oil so that it covers the garlic. Close the jar with a lid and refrigerate.
In this form, the vegetable can be stored for about 2.5 - 3 months. By the way, vegetable oil can then be used in cooking. It absorbs garlic aroma and gives the dishes a piquant taste.
How to store in a jar of salt or flour
At the bottom of the jar, pour about 4 cm of table salt or flour. Then place the peeled garlic cloves in circles or rows so that between them there is at least 1 cm of loose product. Then again, salt (flour) is added to hide the garlic. The thickness of the last layer should be approximately equal to the thickness of the first.
The advantage of this method is that garlic is not subject to drying or rotting. The disadvantage is that it is not very convenient to look for individual cloves in flour and salt.
Garlic can be frozen whole, sliced and ground.
Most often use the third option. For this, the vegetable is preliminarily ground, mixed with a small amount of salt and put into plastic containers or cellular bags for making ice.
IMPORTANT! Re-garlic can not be frozen. Consider this fact when you pack it before freezing.
Frozen garlic is stored for about 6 - 9 months, after which it begins to lose its taste.
Few people know, but garlic can be preserved in the same way as cucumbers or tomatoes. You will need:
- 1 kg of garlic cloves;
- 100 g of salt;
- 100 g of sugar;
- 1 cup vinegar.
- The teeth must first be cleaned and rinsed. Sterilize jars and lids.
- Boil the slices in water over low heat for 5 minutes.
- Mix sugar, salt and 0.6 l of water.
- Boil the mixture and add vinegar.
- Take the jars and put the garlic cloves in them.
- Pour the marinade into the cans and roll up the lids.
How to store peeled garlic?
You can store garlic peeled off as follows:
- in the refrigerator (freezer);
- in pickled form (brine or vegetable oil);
- in flour or salt.
Whatever method you choose, you need to adhere to a number of rules. They are simple, but allow you to save the vegetable for a longer time.
- Only store healthy, peeled and dried cloves for storage.
- Inspect regularly.
- Do not re-freeze.
How much garlic is stored on average?
The period of preservation of the taste and marketability of garlic is in direct proportion to the bulbs themselves, as well as the chosen method.
It is believed that dried garlic is stored the longest - about 12 months. But you need to understand that an oven-dried vegetable loses a certain part of its taste.
The average duration of storage of garlic heads is 5-6 months. This is if you kept the boxes of vegetables in a cool, dry place at 16 - 20 degrees (normal apartment conditions). At 2-5 degrees (in the refrigerator, cellar or on the loggia), garlic retains its qualities a little longer (up to 8 months).
What storage problems might arise?
Storage of vegetables in the winter is a long process during which various kinds of difficulties inevitably arise.
- Drying out. Garlic dries due to too low humidity and too high temperature. Most often, this happens when storing garlic heads in heated rooms. If you notice that the vegetable has become dry, then it must be shifted. If this is not possible, use freezing, add garlic to oil or pickle.
- Mold (rotting) occurs if the vegetable does not have enough air, or the garlic was not well dried. You can solve the problem by removing the affected heads, and placing the rest in boxes with ventilation holes.
- Germination. The heads germinate if they are stored in high humidity and temperature. It is impossible to stop the process. Therefore, you need to either throw sprouted cloves or use them for cooking.
- Strong yellowing of cloves. This indicates the presence of fungal diseases. The affected heads must be thrown out, and the rest examined for any other signs of fungus.
As you can see, there are many ways to store garlic in the winter. You only need to choose the one that suits you the most. By the way, you can use several methods at once.
Most importantly, remember that garlic must be well dried, and it must be stored in a dry, cool place. Then the vegetable will lie longer, and you can use it in the spring.