Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
I absolutely love garlic! as with a lot of people, garlic is a main staple in my pantry because it adds so much flavor to so many different kinds of recipes. One of the first things I grew on my homestead was garlic and until I did, I did not realize just how easy it is to grow, harvest, and preserve it.
Now before we get started on the note of preserving: due to garlic being a low-acidic vegetable, the USDA doesn’t recommend canning and preserving garlic for long term use. Now if you are like me, the majority of the garlic that I can doesn’t last for a really long time because I use it so often; however, the jars I do make will generally last for about a year if not consumed first.
So what you decide to do is your choice,. I do offer other preserving methods below if you so desire. So let’s get started, shall we?
Garlic is one of the easier no mess plants that I like to grow here on my homestead. You typically plant your garlic in well-drained, fertile soil that has been worked with compost. Plant your cloves 1″ to 2″ in the ground pointed end up approximately 4″ – 6″ apart with your row spacing approximately 1 1/2′ to 2′ apart.
You want to plant your cloves mid-autumn in an area that gets full sun. I utilize a 4′ x 8′ raised bed for my garlic but that is not a requirement; plant, where you can, as long as it gets full sun.
Be sure to add a layer of mulch like shredded leaves or straw on top; then just water them regularly and feed them a foliar tea in your regular feeding rotations. Need to know how to make a Foliar Tea? I explain how to do just that here > How to make a Foliar Tea
Over winter your garlic and you will know when they are ready to harvest when the majority of the leaves have turned brown; typically late July or early August depending upon where you are.
Once the bulbs are ready, carefully remove the plants from the soil, and if you can, lay them in a shady area for a couple of weeks; make sure there is good air circulation to help prevent soiling. Just be sure to bring them inside if it is going to rain.
I typically set up a table in my garage and let them dry out there, this way I can monitor them more closely but you do what is best for you.
There are a couple of ways that you can preserve this precious little veggie. After you have harvested and dried them out, you can braid the leaves and hang them in your pantry; you can tie them in bunches and store them on slotted shelves in a dry location or and this is one of my favorites: you can mince and can them for use later.
I will generally do a couple of these depending upon how I will utilize them. My main preference though is to mince them and can them for use later. Now as stated earlier the USDA states: “Canning of garlic is not recommended. Garlic is a low-acid vegetable that requires a pressure canner to be properly processed. Garlic loses most of its flavor when heated this way. For this reason, adequate processing times have not been determined for canning garlic.” For more information on that, you can download their PDF here.
So here is the garlic canning recipe that I utilize, use at your own risk:
- Bring a medium pot of water to boil
- Add garlic and citric acid to food processor and mince well.
- Remove the garlic mixture from the processor to a bowl
- Add the olive oil, and sea salt to the garlic and mix well
- Slowly add 1 cup of boiling water and stir.
- Slowly pour the minced garlic into your clean & sterilized jars leaving ½” headspace
- Pack well and remove any air bubbles
- Wipe clean and add your lid and ring
- Carefully place your jars into your pressure canner
- Process at 10lbs of pressure for approximately 45 mins or so
- Remove from heat and wait until your pressure canner is safe to open
- Remove your jars and place them on a drying rack or dish towel
- Let cool and check to see if your lids have “popped”
- Use and consume unsealed minced garlic
- Those that did “pop” are now safe to store, remember to remove the ring.
I hope you have enjoyed, I would love to hear your feedback. Please remember to like and share below!
Until next time,
Live Your Best Life
Note: ALWAYS use safe canning methods, refer to your user manual and the USDA publications on the National Center for Home Food Preservation