Monday, July 25, 2011

Harvesting Garlic

This is what they looked like in June. I just love how they all stand to attention, looking all neat and orderly. These guys are called Music, a Heardneck variety.

And this is how they looked a few days ago, all flopped over and half dead. My first instinct was to water them but they didn't look any better for it. Then I remembered to consult my garlic bible. Doh! These babies are ready to be harvested and watering them at this point is bad. Don't do it! The soil should be allowed to dry for harvest.
I learned after pulling the first garlic that it is not a good idea to grab by the neck and yank it out of the ground. Dig a bit around the bulb first and then gently pull out.The next step is to cure it (you may wash the soil off before curing but I decided not to because I was afraid to damage my little garlics in the washing process).

At first they were drying on the rail of the front steps because it looked cute but then I came to my senses...
...and hung them off the rafters in the basement laundry room. Leave the roots and leaves intact and hang for the required time. The time will vary depending upon where you live. Dry in a shaded well ventilated area. If you hang them outside they must not be in the sun or get wet. Remove dirt, roots and leaves after the garlic has cured.
Remember if you are planning to replant some of your garlic, make sure you pick the best looking ones and mark them so you don't eat them by mistake. By replanting your own stock you will be developing a stronger garlic that is most suited to the growing conditions of your garden.

The garlic bible is called The Complete Book of Garlic by Ted Jordan Meredith.


  1. You never cease to amaze me. You are an urban farmer sista.

  2. More like an urban farmer wannabe!