Get the best flavor and longest storage life from your homegrown garlic with proper harvesting and curing.
Harvest garlic when about 1/3, but less than ½ of the leaves turn brown. Start by digging one plant to check the garlic for maturity. Cloves should be plump and fill the skin. Immature garlic does not store well, while over-mature bulbs are more subject to disease.
Cure garlic for 3 to 4 weeks in a warm well-ventilated location before storing. Once dried, remove soil, long roots and only the damaged outermost layer of the papery skin with a brush of your gloved hand. Cut off the tops being careful not to damage the papery covering that protects the cloves.
Store the garlic in a cool, moderately humid location with good air circulation and out of direct sunlight. Properly harvested and cured garlic will last for up to 8 months.
A bit more information: Use immature and damaged garlic as soon as possible. Save the plumpest cloves for replanting the next crop. Store the garlic in a cool dark location to prevent sprouting.