Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Harvesting Garlic

This is my first year growing garlic. I am by far no expert and have alot to learn about this herb. I planted this garlic in early Spring. My goal was to have a Fall harvest and then plant another crop before Winter hit so that I will have more in the Spring.

The garlic grew great. This year we put in an herb garden and everything in the little plot did and is doing really well. I noticed the garlic leaves starting to die off so I decided to dig down and see how big they were. It looked to me that the first head I dug up was pretty good size. About the size of a plum. So I went inside to read about harvesting garlic. Here are a few tips that I read and felt the need to share. I probably could have waited a few weeks more for some of the bulbs because some are a little on the small side. What can I say? I got a little excited. It's ok though, I am pretty sure I will have enough to last till next Spring. I harvested 18 bulbs!

Garlic can be harvested when the leaves are about 1/3 brown.

Dig down and evaluate the bulb before pulling it out of the ground to see if it is a good size.

Dig the bulb out do not pull.

Keep the bulbs out of sunlight this can change the flavor.

Brush the dirt off the bulbs, do not wash.

Leave the stocks and roots on the bulb until they are completely dry. Once dry you can cut them off.Hang garlic to dry in a well ventilated room or shady spot outside for 3-4 weeks. I tried putting them in the garage and ohhhhh my was it strong in there. I moved them to the shed outside.

For next seasons crop save a few bulbs and use them for planting.

Have any tips about growing garlic?


  1. I am adding this to my list for next year. i have never grown garlic, but I use it ALL the time. Where did you get your "starter" bulbs for planting?

    *Thanks for all the wonderful tips you post! I really enjoy reading them and learning.

  2. I harvested my garlic in July and have almost used it all! I have been using it in the tomato sauce I canned, which made it go fast. But I really need to plant more next year. Yours look great. Can't believe you got a harvest while planting them in the spring. I tried that one year and it didn't work. Must be the different growing seasons.

  3. From the look of the garlic leaves you did have another week or two at least before you harvested. Garlic likes rich soil, and you get bigger bulbs. Save your largest bulbs for next year and you can plant the large cloves in the fall. Here is a good link, search for the book as it is an excellent resource. http://www.filareefarm.com/

    another good resource is this website from here in British Columbia


  4. It's a funny thing about herbs: they don't take much space or much tending. I suppose it's the same with garlic, since no-one really needs all that much of it. For example, I have a rougher time CONTROLLING my mint, rather than getting it to propagate.

    I've never cultivated garlic, but have grown onions, which are pretty compact too. Plus, they really easy: you pretty much just throw them in the ground and wait... not to mention the fact that the bunnies hate them!

  5. All About Us, I got the garlic from a local nursery to start. I will be saving a few of the bulbs I harvested this year to use for planting this Fall.

    Thanks Clay for the ideas. I agree I could have waited another week or two.

    From Wolfhound to Wayfarer, I grow onions too. It is nice not to have to worry about bugs or critters eating them! I am hoping to grow my own mint next year. I love mint tea.