We had a really warm November last year and we wanted a little project that would allow us to get a jump start on this year’s garden, so we planted some garlic! You can read all about our process in our planting garlic post, but it’s basically the easiest thing ever. 🙂
It was time to harvest our garlic a couple of weeks ago so I thought I’d show you a little bit about how that whole process works. There was a lot of interest in our planting garlic post, and even our garlic update post from the spring, so hopefully this one will be interesting and useful as well!
Depending on when you planted, where you live, and how your growing season has gone, garlic should be ready to harvest around mid-June to mid-July-ish.
The first thing you’ll notice is that the leaves of the garlic will start to get a bit yellow and crispy right at the tips. The whole garlic harvesting process moves at a pretty relaxed pace though, so don’t panic if you see this starting to happen and think you need to jump into action right away. We started to see ours yellowing a bit in early June, but didn’t really take any action until the end of that month.
If you’re curious, you can dig down a little and take a look at the cloves to see if they look like they’ve grown to a good size. They probably have. 🙂
At this point, you want to stop watering your garlic for about two weeks. If you live in a dry climate this is obviously pretty easy. One or two sprinkles isn’t the end of the world, but you want them to get a lot less water during this time if you can help it. Since we get a lot of rain where we live, we built this little shelter for our garlic patch to keep the rain off. We kept it propped up with rocks around the edges to allow for a bit of air circulation.
Once you’ve gone 2 weeks without watering, it’s time to dig up the garlic! Use a little spade to pull it up out of the soil gently, making sure not to harm any of the cloves.
Brush off any excess dirt and hang your garlic to cure somewhere dark and dry for about 2 weeks. Don’t worry about hanging garlic the “right” way because as long as you have good air circulation around the bulbs, you’re all set!
The garlic is cured when the skins are dry and papery, the roots are dry, and the cloves can be easily pulled apart. Garlic is best stored at either a really cool temperature (32-35 degrees Fahrenheit) or room temperature (60-70 degrees Fahrenheit). Storing the garlic at temperatures around 40-50 degrees can often encourage the garlic to start growing again, so it’s best not to store your garlic in the fridge.
And that’s all you need to know! Garlic really takes such little time, effort, and expense to grow and the resulting harvest is really gratifying. If you find yourself out in the garden this fall, definitely go ahead and plant yourself some garlic!
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