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Old May 26, 2018   #1
GoDawgs
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Default Trying to cure the garlic

When the garlic was hung under the pole shed to cure, the weather was hot but breezy. Then we entered this streak of overcast days and scattered showers. Lots of moisture in the air even if the garlic is under cover. The foliage doesn't seem to be drying well.

The garlic has been moved to the tool shed. Sister Pickles figured a way to do that with short sticks inserted in the small trusses. I trimmed the roots of the bulbs, made sure there was space between the bundles and hung them with a big oscillating floor fan sweeping back and forth over them during the day. Hopefully that will do the trick.




Meanwhile, the tomatillo that was 34" tall three days ago is now at 40".
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Old May 26, 2018   #2
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The fan should help a lot.
Tomatillos, they grow up so fast dont they.
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Old May 26, 2018   #3
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I dry a few hundred lbs. of garlic every year. Garlic is dug in early July and soil is gently removed from the bulb. Wire racks are set up outside on the north side of a building. Garlic is layed flat on the racks and covered with thin sheets of cardboard. Everything is then tarped. The garlic dries slowly from the bottom. Dry time varies year to year but generally in about 3 weeks. Curing begins once the crop is cleaned and trimed. Other than planting and harvest this process is the most time consuming.

Your garlic will cure and store much better if not braided. After trimming the tops this exposes the neck for proper curing.
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Old May 26, 2018   #4
bower
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Environmental moisture seems to make a huge difference in garlic curing. I think the point of leaving the greens on at first is to slow down the drying by letting the greens provide some extra moisture. Some hardneck growers are trimming to six inches in the field, and it works for them because they have such a huge crop in the barn, the garlic alone raises the ambient moisture level as much as needed to slowly dry, and don't need all the tops for that.

I had mites one year and tried washing a few of the worse bulbs, also trimmed them right away. The dampness they took up from being wet was really noticeable to touch and stayed a long while. Not a problem for curing indoors in a dryer environment, but it was as well I trimmed them too. The extra moisture they took up was more than enough to slow down the drying process.

Softnecks are a bit different for sure... I know if you do braid them it has to be done before the tops are totally dry. You strip away most of the dry greens before making the braid. If dampness is a concern it is probably true they will be better off trimmed short instead of braided.

Those are nice looking garlic!
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Old May 26, 2018   #5
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That is a nice haul! You are much farther head than here in Zone 5. I accidentally pulled a bulb when weeding, and it was a round slightly larger than a pearl onion. I pull the same time as bjbebs. It is so unseasonably hot and dry. Hard to keep up with watering.


How many varieties did you grow GoDawgs?


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Old May 27, 2018   #6
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We used to cure garlic in the attic. It's really hot in there, anything was crisp very fast (depends of course what sort of attic you have).
So putting it close to the roof is a good idea, it's much warmer there. Also, yeah, braided will cure much slower.
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Old May 27, 2018   #7
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Thanks for all the suggestions! There are about 95 bulbs, about eight to the bundle. It's the second crop I've ever grown. The bundles of garlic just have the tops tied together as I have no patience for braiding. Since I have no attic, last year I started out with the garlic loose on a raised screen on a table under the pole shed, then when the roots were pretty dry I tied them in bundles of eight and hung them under the pole shed roof. This year the rain came with mist blowing about so no using the screen after the first week of drying so I had to hang them. Then there was too much moisture in the air so into the shed they went.

It's been raining every afternoon for almost two weeks and now rain from TS Alberta is heading in. I think I will untie them, remove some of the tops and maybe the dirty outer paper layer, then re-tie and hang. Less foliage to dry. When finally dry they'll hang in an unused closet in the house. They held up fine there last year.

I'm growing two kinds, both hardneck Turban types. 'Maiskij' originated in Turkmenistan and the name means May harvest. 'Shilla' is from Korea. Both are large varieties that come up fast and finish in may before our heat sets in. That's why they were chosen. They are planted in mid September and are ready early May.
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Old May 27, 2018   #8
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I did some in the clothes dryer on the shoe drying rack it has on low heat.
Made the garage smell lovely and kept out vampires too.
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Old May 27, 2018   #9
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A shoe drying rack in a dryer? I've never heard of that one. LOL! We have a solar clothes dryer... as in clothesline.
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Old May 27, 2018   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoDawgs View Post
A shoe drying rack in a dryer? I've never heard of that one. LOL! We have a solar clothes dryer... as in clothesline.
Yes a shoe drying rack.

It fits in the drier and the shoes or garlic sit on it.
Example.

Not my drier mine is red.
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Old June 5, 2018   #11
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Good info in this thread!! Soon I will have garlic to cure Just got my scapes cut yesterday. LOVE garlic!!
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Old June 5, 2018   #12
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OK, the drying is pretty much done. I untied those untidy bundles shown on the first post of this thread and peeled off two layers of dirty paper off the bulbs. Then I peeled off somewhat dry foliage down to about 4" above the bulb to reduce the bulk and help speed drying, put the bundles back together, tied them and cut off excess foliage above the string. Huge difference!

I took a big floor fan from the house, tilted it up and set it to oscillate so it would fan all of the bundles. Much better after one week of this!







Starting tomorrow we're having all of the flooring replaced in the house, a project that will take two days. As soon as the crew is gone, the garlic will move into the house to hang from a bar in the closet of the coolest room in the house. They lived there happily there last year. I think the problem is solved.
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Old June 6, 2018   #13
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WOW! Those are beautiful bulbs.

I have still couple of months before I can start curing mine. Garlic is fun to grow, but it takes patience to wait for the harvest.

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Old June 6, 2018   #14
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What kind of garlic is ready first week of June? I grow in No Cal, Sacramento type of climate with a bit of ocean influence. I'm trying Creole this year, sort of sub-irrigation/self watering set up, flopping all over, but not sure I should pull them yet.
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Old June 6, 2018   #15
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Beautiful looking and good sized heads.
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