Monday, June 24, 2013

How Do We Know When To Harvest Garlic?

On the Wasatch Front, we harvest garlic during the last week of June or the first week of July.  A good indication that the garlic bulb is ready is the browning of the leaves.  When the garlic plant is 1/3 to 1/2 brown, it's time to dig it up.  If you wait too long, the garlic bulb or head will start to split apart into individual cloves.
 - Dig deeply a few inches away from the garlic plant so you don't risk slicing into the bulb with your shovel.  Gently lift/lever the soil with the shovel as you pull the plant up and out of the ground.
 - Leave the garlic plant attached to the bulb.  Shake off the dirt from the roots and store in a dark, dry, well ventilated place (the garage is good) for 3 or 4 weeks.
 - After 3 or 4 weeks, cut the plants from the bulbs.  Keep the bulbs in a dark, dry, cool place (like the basement) in a container that provides airflow (like a basket).  They will keep like this all winter.  I made the mistake one year of storing them in ziploc bags.  Even though I left the bags open at the top, the garlic bulbs still got moldy and rotten.

The garlic plants are starting to turn brown on June 23; not ready to harvest until the plant is about half dried out.

The garlic starts to die back - late June

The garlic plant is starting to die back and turn brown - late June

1 comment:

  1. I never knew anything about planting garlic before. Your post was very interesting to read. Thank you for all the tips on the right way to harvest and store garlic.

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