Store Garden Produce#2- When to Harvest Garlic & Best Way to Store Herbs

Store Garden Produce#2- When to Harvest Garlic & Best Way to Store Herbs

Store Garden Produce#2- When to Harvest Garlic & Best Way to Store Herbs

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Home Page > Home and Family > Store Garden Produce#2- When to Harvest Garlic & Best Way to Store Herbs

Store Garden Produce#2- When to Harvest Garlic & Best Way to Store Herbs

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Posted: Sep 09, 2010 |Comments: 0



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Store Garden Produce#2- When to Harvest Garlic & Best Way to Store Herbs

By: Kali S Winters

About the Author

Kali S Winters is gardening enthusiast and author who spends much of her time teaching others how to setup and maintain beautiful, amazing gardens. Check out Kali’s latest book, “Holistic Herbs~A Beginners Guide to Herbal Gardening”! There you will find 12 free bonus books for your reading enjoyment. Discover more about Fall Gardening Here!

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Article Source: Garden Produce#2- When to Harvest Garlic & Best Way to Store Herbs

September in old English terms means “harvest month” and just like the name predicts, there is plenty of leftover bounty to store garden produce for the upcoming winter months ahead. This article should be read in conjunction with Part 1 of 10 of this series. (See Below)

The following are individual tips and techniques to help you store your garden produce:

When to Harvest Garlic or Onions: These two are my most sought after commodity in the garden. Even though you are planting onions and garlic separately, they are harvested and stored in similar fashion. That is why I have combined the two.

When are onions and garlic ready to harvest you ask? Well, you will want to wait to harvest your garlic or onion bulbs until half of the tops are green and the other half is yellow or browned. This will indicate that the bulbs are mature enough and ready for storage. Pluck them from the garden and lay them out of the way of direct sunlight to dry for several days, with the tops still attached. Onions require about a 3-7 day warm drying period.

After drying, gently rub the bulbs with a towel or cloth to remove any loose dirt. Do not wash the dirt off the skins with water, that only adds moisture and moisture encourages bacteria growth. Next, trim the roots back closest to the bulbs. Do not remove the protected, dry skins. You will then want to trim the tops to about 1-3 inches and then use the tops to braid the garlic together to hang for storage. (The same can be done with baby onions; large onions are too heavy to sustain the weight.) If you do not want to braid, (understandable–it does require practice), place the bulbs in brown paper bags, cardboard or wooden crate and store in a cool, dry place — 40-55 degree F, with a relative humidity level of 50-60 percent. You will notice that when both of the onions and garlic have cured, the dry, outer skins will start flaking. (Keeping garlic in warm dry conditions for 3-6 weeks will fully cure them.) Garlic can be kept for about 6 to 7 months while onions up to 8 months.

Note: Do not store your garlic or onions in the refrigerator or around the stove. If you take notice of the produce section at the grocery store, you will find that onions, garlic, tomatoes and potatoes are all displayed in center isles, away from the refrigerated section. Why then, do some people pack their produce home in the plastic bags provided, especially the potatoes and tomatoes, and store them in the fridge? A lot can be learned by observing how grocery stores section off their produce department. Look at several stores to compare.

Best Way To Store Herbs and Spices: Dried herbs and spices should never be kept above or near your stove. The heat and steam from cooking will cause them to loose their oils and retard flavors. Store your herbs and spices in a cool dry place and preferably in a dark glass bottle. Using clear plastic containers like commercialized products will allow you to see the contents within, but it will also expose the dried herbs and spices to too much light and will cause the oils to be absorbed into the plastic itself. This is not good if you want to maintain the quality of your dried herbs and spices. When buying your herbs from the market, either tape dark colored paper around the container or transfer them to dark colored glass bottles.

Fresh vs dried herbs: To dry herbs at home, remove any foliage from the base of the stems and then bunch 6-12 stems together and fasten with a string or twine. Hang the bundle, away from sunlight, in a cool dry place. I use several, circular, old metal lamp shades to hang my herbs.To dry individual leaves, place them on herb drying racks or screens for a good airing. Turn them often so they dry evenly. In the beginning, I used window screens to dry my herbs in the shed. Years later they came out with the herb drying racks which I have found to be wonderful.

Other methods have been used in the past such as drying herbs in dehydrator, oven drying herbs or drying herbs in microwave but they have usually produced unsatisfactory results. The heat from the appliance dries the herb too rapidly so the herbs end up loosing their natural oils. After purchasing enough machinery in my lifetime to dry my

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