Curing Garlic

How to Cure Garlic

Curing garlic is the simple process of drying garlic bulbs down which is essential for good storage. Although there are many ways folks achieve a good cure, we want to share the tips we've learned over our many years of growing. 

You've put a lot into your garlic by this point. It is important to finish strong so you can enjoy your garlic harvest for months to come!

Curing Garlic Bulbs
Curing Garlic Bulbs

Curing Garlic Tips

The curing process begins right after harvest. One main thing to remember is garlic bulbs are delicate, especially when freshly dug. Our rule of thumb is to treat them as if they are apples. Whether you hang them or trim them at harvest, if you follow these simple tips, you will maximize your storage potential.

  • Treat Them with Care!
  • Cure Garlic Out of the Sun.
  • Provide Good Air Flow with Fans.
  • Good Curing Takes About 3 Weeks from Harvest.
  • Remove Fans After 3 Weeks.
  • Curing is Complete When There is Little to No Green Inside the Stem.

The Traditional Way to Cure Garlic

Garlic growers for generations have cured garlic by hanging the whole plant in a dark, dry place. In our humid summers here in Wisconsin, we find that this method gives us more mold issues in the curing process. Embellisia & Aspergillus molds are quite common to see and, although largely cosmetic, the whole process becomes more time-consuming at the cleaning stage.

Keene Garlic Dairy barn curing
Curing garlic with ladder

Keene Garlic's Efficient Way to Prepare Garlic for Curing

Over the years we have tried many methods of curing and this is the way that has come to be our favorite. It allows us to get most of the cleaning done at harvest time. Trimming the mass of leaves off tends to keep mold issues at bay.

Within 1 hour of harvest, we pull the lowest green leaf from the garlic bulb, which leaves a nice clean bulb.

Prepare garlic for curing


Then, we trim the mass of leaves off the bulb, leaving 6"-9" in the stem & brush off any excess dirt from roots.

How to Trim Garlic


Keep good airflow with fans while curing.

Garlic Bulbs Ready to Cure


Can You Wash Garlic Bulbs with Water?

There has been a rare year when we have had such wet season that we cannot avoid harvesting while the soil is muddy. Although it is not something we typically do on our farm, we know some growers that have had success with lightly spraying off their bulbs post-harvest. 

If you choose to use water at harvest time, it is essential that you cure with very good air flow so they can dry properly. Here at Keene, we find our above method of pulling down the lowest green leaf to clean the bulb is best to avoid unnecessary moisture at curing time.

Storing Garlic

See our Storing Garlic Page for loads of information about best storage practices.