The Q&A Archives: How to store Garlic

Question: What is the best way to store garlic for an extended period (6-8 months)? I live in the Pittsburgh, PA area and my house has a root cellar, but each year after I harvest it in July and store it there (in an old potato sack, out of the light), it dries out by February or March. The cellar's temperature is as low as 40 degrees during the coldest months.

Answer: How a garlic bulb ends up at the end of a storage period is 25% variety, 25% growing conditions, and 50% storage conditions. If there is an ideal storage for garlic, it may be a humidity range of 40-65%, a temperature range of 50-60 degrees or 32 to 35 degrees for long term storage (bulbs must be used immediately after being removed from storage at these lower temperatures), and, possibly most importantly, good air circulation between the individual bulbs. Bulbs that dry out before being brought out from storage are usually stored at a humidity level below 40%. Often, homes Heated in winter and early spring, especially those with furnace units in the basement, have low humidity in the root cellar.

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