Garlic OK?


I think i will. All I read says spring planting is fine but it just won’t form separate cloves. It just comes up as a Round single bulb and then you can plant those in the fall and they will come up like traditional in Spring…


Sometimes you just get rounds from spring planting, and sometimes you get cloves … another of those multitudinous things I can’t explain!

But either way you should see some growth, so start diggin’.


Will Do!! LOL…


Here are some of my little top bulbs from my garlic .
I let these ripen,pull off put in a paper bag for the winter in the kitchen.
I just rub them between my hands and blow away the chaff.
Dump them on my food. No peeling ,nice bite size pieces.
I leave the root bulbs In the ground, and they do it again.
Very easy.
Not all varietys make these nice little top bulbs


These scapes sound good. I’ll harvest them all, and chop them up like green onions and freeze them.
There’s an aweful lot of browning leaves on mine all season, but otherwise they seem fine. Is this normal


Jim: when do you usually pull your garlic?


I wait to the lower leaves start to brown and pull one bulb to see how they look. I don’t have a specific time or date. If the bulb I pulled looks good, I’ll go ahead and harvest the rest, hand them in my garage for a week or so, peel off the outer layer and store in a cool spot in an old onion bag. If the bulb looks small I would give it another week. I will take the three or four biggest and put them aside to plant again in November.


Well, pulled one to look as many of the lower leaves have dried up brown. What do you think?:


I’m no expert but it looks good to me…


Look right. You could leave some in for another one or two weeks but not longer and compare the difference.


I just hung it up outside under the eaves. No idea if I should harvest them all or not. Bit weird as it’s mid-may and all the guides I read said late summer.
By the way, I harvested a few scallions and assume you can eat the whole thing. I’m chopping it all up like this and putting it in Ziploc bags to freeze:


It’s best to cut the scapes when still curled as in your picture. After that the stems get woody.


Ok thanks dan. If I understand Mark correctly, hes saying the bulb should be tight in one piece, then able to separate after a few days drying. How do I know if I’m picking too early? For example, Scapes have not emerged on some plants yet, yet there’s a lot of browning dying leaves.


One of the strange things about garlic- scapes are not always reliably present. Some varieties (Spanish Roja?) have started out as soft neck for me, but become stiff neck after some generations. I don’t think you can depend on always getting scapes from stiff neck varieties but I don’t know. But once those leaves are dying back you can start checking for harvest.

JustAnne and GroJim are right in saying that the garlic turns brown from the bottom up, whereas I said from the top down. My addled brain at work again! But I think I am right in saying that it is better, once the bottom two or three leaves are brown, to go ahead and lift the garlic, and not let the heads stand in the garden until they start to shatter.

But the heck with what I think. I searched the question and liked this article:


The leaves will start dying. When there are only 5 leaves still green it’s a good time to pick. You can wait longer but eventually the cloves in the bulb will be loose and they won’t store as well.


Ok thanks guys. Mark there’s some good tips for extreme storage in that article.
Can I take apart a bulb immediately after digging, and it should look like something from the store if it’s ready? Or must I let it cure for a week first to determine ripeness?
Iiuc, The entire garlic plant can be eaten at anytime along it’s life cycle. The main advantage of harvest time is for storage, more leaves representing more ‘paper layers’ over the bulb?


Excellent article. There is contradictory info on the internet and it took me awhile to sort it out over the last few years. I believe the info in that article is accurate.


I think the one you harvested looks a little too early to me, but it is hard to tell from a picture of the exterior. It is also hard to tell whether they are ready since you are getting a lot of yellowing and tip die off as well and I’m not sure what the cause of that might be. Overall, unless you can clearly see that several bottom leaves have gone brown I think if you leave them another week or two you will get bigger bulbs.

But to really tell how mature they are you can pull the bulb you harvested apart now to use it and can post some pictures of what it looks like inside to help us see if it looks mature. I usually do that to the first one I harvest to check them, since I can see if the bulbs have separated completely and plumped up.


Right! Well said.


What’s the verdict?
In my uninformed opinion, I would say they need more time to develop. They look a bit different than store-bought garlic. There’s no clear line between papery outer skin and hard bulbs inside. It’s more fluid than that.