You started your garlic last fall. You grew it, watered it, mulched it and watched it grown until you now have enough garlic to last the whole year through. You have enough to last that is, if you know how to store it. After reading this article. You will know how to braid and dry Â garlic so that you'll have garlic until your next crop comes in.
Things You Will Needa years supply of garlic standing in the garden
Twine for tying
a food dryer (or a heat source for drying garlic and a cookie sheet)
Step 1Knowing when to harvest is a critical issue when planning to store your garlic. Harvest your garlic when the garlic plants are just beginning to get dry outer leaves. Â Leaving the garlic in the garden too long will cause the bulbs to shatter and make it impossible to braid the garlic. When harvesting pull up garlic out of the ground and allow to air dry right there in the garden in the sunshine for one day.
Step 2Â Clean off the Â dead leaves and the dirty outer skins of the garlic bulb. Now that your garlic is clean, you can begin braiding your garlic.
Step 3To braid your garlic, take three garlic bulbs and begin braiding. then add a fourth garlic bulb and braid that in by braiding it it with the first strand. Continue adding garlic to the braid in the same way that you'd French Braid. When your braid has 12-15 inches of garlic in the braid, tie off with twine and store in warm dry place like on the wall of your kitchen. Just keep the braid out of the direct sunlight.
Step 4Take the garlic with stems too dry to braid and garlic with shattered bulbs and break into cloves then remove outer tough skins of the cloves and place the cloves in the refrigerator until after you've got the garlic braided that you can braid. Use this garlic in making home-canned spaghetti sauce, pickles or immediately for fresh dishes that require garlic. Garlic Â will keep for about 6-8 weeks in the refrigerator.
Step 5To dry garlic, use those pieces that you've stored in the refrigerator and mince in your food processor then dry on food dryer screens until all the moisture is removed or on cookie sheets and dried until all moisture is removed.
Step 6To make garlic powder, take dried minced garlic and grind, mortar or pound it into powder. It will be stronger than store bought but not as good as fresh.
As you can see, storing garlic for a year isn't difficult. Get good at it and not only can you keep enough garlic for your whole family, but you'll be able to supply your friends and relatives with all the garlic they can use.