How Long Does Garlic Store?

We’re about 2 weeks away from our garlic harvest. Just in time, since we’ve almost ran out of last year’s garlic.

What’s Left From our 2010 Garlic?

Last porcelain bulbs on braid

We’re down to 6 bulbs of Porcelain garlic on our last braid.

(If you don’t know what a Porcelain garlic is, you can read this post about different garlic types.)

Bag of silverskin garlic

And a bag of Silverskin garlic bulbs.

How Well Have They Stored?

These bulbs look nice on the outside. Let’s cut a couple open to get to the insides.

Cross view of siverskin garlic bulb

The outside ring of Silverskin cloves is just starting to germinate (you can tell by the green sprouts.) The inside cloves are still dormant. Nothing rotting in this bulb.

Cross views of porcelain garlic cloves

Both Porcelain garlic cloves have started to germinate though they are still juicy. The clove pieces on the left have brown rot spots around the sprout. These cloves are still good eating though some need a bit of cleaning.

Comparing Silverskin and Porcelain

Our Silverskin garlic will probably store for a few more months. The Porcelain garlic will likely only last a few more weeks. However, despite Silverskin’s great storage capability, most of our long-term garlic storage is made up of Porcelain bulbs.

One silverskin bulb is the same size as one porcelain clove

Simply because it is much more pleasant peeling one big clove than 14 small cloves.

How To Store Garlic

  • Take the time to cure your garlic after harvest.
  • Keep the best bulbs for storage.
  • Store in a dry place with constant temperature.

Some folks insist on storing garlic in the dark. I’ve found if you follow the above guidelines, garlic stores as well in a fairly sunny kitchen as in the dark.


After the garlic harvest I’ll post more on garlic curing, storage, and variety taste differences!

Also, we’re currently working out the last details for the 5th annual Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue Garlic Festival on August 20th. (You can read the 2010 garlic festival details while you wait for the 2011 information.)

I hope your garlic has fared well this year!

9 thoughts on “How Long Does Garlic Store?

  1. Your garlic looks great. We’ll be ready to harvest our garlic within a week (we’re 40 km north of Cobourg, ON). Mine stored well into the winter, but we never seem to save enough to last us till the next year, though! (I sell it at the Hastings Village Market.) Maybe this year I’ll learn to save enough and plant even more for next year.

    1. Good luck with your garlic harvest!

      I hope you manage to put enough by for the winter – there’s nothing quite like homegrown garlic.


  2. Hi Dan,
    Nice to see you posting again. I’m still growing Puslinch and Korean Violet, as well as Music (all of which I procured from you as healthy, vigorous seed stock ) and all seem to store fairly well. Still eating from last years harvest.
    Any trouble with leek moth in your parts? Seems to be getting worse ’round here. I think I will use row cover on emergence next spring. By the way, any idea where I can find ‘German Extra Hardy’ around here?


    1. Hi Brian,

      Glad your garlic crop has been working out.

      We definitely have leek moth but it’s been much more of a problem for our leeks leeks than our garlic. I suspect that this is due to the size of our garlic patch – we grow about 1/4 acre of garlic. I think that smaller garlic plots get devastated quicker since the leek moths can put more attention on each plant.

      Keep me updated about your row cover.

      I don’t know who has any German Extra Hardy. You could contact Paul Pospisil (Editor of The Garlic News) at 613-273-5683
      or He knows a lot of garlic sources.


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