If you, like many people, wouldn't think of cooking without garlic, you may be planning to grow a row or two in your garden. Garlic is very easy to raise, needing almost no care besides regular watering and weeding. Sets are put out in the soil in the spring and three months later are ready to harvest and store for another year. Harvest and storage take a bit of effort, but taking care during the process will result in garlic that will last for the entire next year.
Wait for your garlic bulb leaves to almost die off. When you only have about six leaves left on each plant, it is time to harvest.
Pull the garlic heads up firmly, keeping the leaves on the bulbs. Don't wash the garlic, but shake off as much dirt as possible. Place the entire plant on sheets of newspaper. Lay the garlic-topped newspaper on a porch or patio, out of any possible rain. Allow the bulbs to dry for about three days.
Braid the dried garlic leaves together into a braided rope. Hang the garlic ropes from the rafters in a garage or attic, so that they will dry thoroughly and cure. Make sure that the place that you hang the ropes is well-ventilated and warm. Cure the garlic for about three weeks.
Test your garlic to see if it is cured enough by cutting one bulb from its stem. If there is no moisture showing in the cut, your garlic is cured. Move the ropes to a cool dry place for permanent storage, about 35 to 40 degrees.