Can garlic bulbs be harvested before the scapes show?

I can start planting my seedlings next week, but the garden is still filled with garlic whose scapes haven’t shown yet. Last year iirc the harvest was mid May or so.

They most likely are not ready. They are ok to eat, but wouldn’t store well. Pull one and check.

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I would wait until the bottom 1/3 of the leaves have died down. That’s how you know the plant is going into storage mode and the bulbs have filled. Technically, you get larger garlic if you wait longer than that, but every live leaf at the top is a wrapper for the bulb and means better storage.


Thanks guys, I think we’re in luck!


I might wait for one more leaf, but you’re probably OK. What type are you growing?

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Wow, that appears to be full of leaves and on the short side. What are you using for weed suppression? It looks like it’s very effective. :+1:

I’m not sure just normal white garlic like in the store. I bought the original cloves imported from China a few years ago.

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I lay down landscape fabric and used a knife to cut slits for the garlic. Works really well and doesn’t require much weeding, no watering.


That is A LOT of garlic. Garlic actually flavors better without water. The fabric is good choice. The tops look faded or its nighttime photo. But, I thought once they lose that dark green hue it was good to go.

Yes a nighttime photo. I’m trying to figure out a better way to hang my garlic. Last year I lost about a quarter of the crop to rot because I had no choice but to crowd while hanging. I don’t really have much space on my property that is airy, dark, and cool that I don’t mind getting dirty and stinky.

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Not sure if this is helpful but years ago I built a kiln/dryer for tobacco. I built a box from oak plywood & lined it with airduct reflective insulation . Using a thermostate from an electric hotwater heater & a heating pad with old racks from an oven to allow air circulation. I could make it 120/130 easily to dry tobacco. Would a kiln work? I have no idea about garlic
My patch is very small

Not sure that would work. I think I have to make some makeshift racks and covers outside in a cool area.

Just now. Should I pull all? Rain coming in a couple days.

They look like they have potential to size up a bit more, but it’s always hard to tell.

I think so too. By the way I need ideas on curing. Previously I’ve hung them up dirty outside on our deck for a couple weeks, and then cut the roots and clean them off and move them into inside storage. Cool dark airy dry places are difficult to find here, and the smell was terrible around our deck. I was thinking of leaving them in the field for a couple of weeks, building some kind of rack and covering it with a tarp. The problem is that field gets red hot in the afternoons on a sunny day, and the tarp will maybe retain moisture and let some light through.
Last year I had to crowd the garlic a bit and I lost maybe a quarter of the crop eventually to rotting, which also stank up the house quite a bit.

too early, I think

Looks immature to me. I’d let one more leaf die before picking. What variety is it?

Thanks. How do you cure your garlic?


I’m really struggling with where to cure all these for the first three weeks before putting them in storage. Does the no direct sunlight rule only apply to the bulbs or if they’re covered can direct sunlight hit the leaves sometimes?