Garlic OK?


They look close, but a few more weeks, possibly even a month, will help them fully separate and they may get a little bigger as well. Watch the plants carefully and after the bottom leaves start dying I’d pull another one and see if they look closer to fully separated. Part of the skins becoming papery happens during the curing process as well, but when I harvest mine are more clearly differentiated and the skins more obvious. The good news is they are usable at anytime, so you can cook with the one you’ve harvested and sample the flavor now.

Keep in mind that there are many types of garlic, so this is just based on my growing hard neck types in the mid Atlantic region of the US. I believe I usually harvest 3-4 weeks after pulling the scapes, but again it is a different location and probably different varieties.


Just an FYI, scapes can last 4+ months in the fridge, they hardly even dry out.

I like the little bulbils that form on scapes as well, mosquito repellent pills!


Ok thanks zendog. Good to know they’re usable Anytime. All of them have had lower leaves dying off for quite a while already, so it’s Confusing. The landscape fabric must get quite hot, maybe that’s throwing them off.
I’ll leave them For another month. I’ll leave some scapes on as A ripe-o-meter. Mark mentioned they should straighten out when they get ripe.


About half a dozen of them had gotten so weak at the stock base they fell over , so I dug them up. A few more had lost almost all of their leaves, so I dug them up as well. A couple look to have the stalk completely rotted out. They appear to be ripening at different rates. A couple looked almost a little too ripe. The majority look about the same and appear ok, although all have lost several lower leaves and the green tops are showing some brown.
I was going to cure them by tying them in bunches leaves and all and hanging them below the eves on the north side of the house. You’re supposed to leave them dirty like that for a month before cleaning and bagging?


Keep them out of direct sun and water, so yes, the north side eves should be good. I leave mine until I get around to it, two or three weeks, and then “polish” them by rubbing with my hands. Soft necks can be braided if you don’t leave them too long. I like to put mine in big paper grocery bags in the garage until they’re ready to clean up; every once in a while I turn them over or around or whatever just so they can breath a bit. When it’s time to clean them you can do it right in the bag and contain the debris easily. I like to cut the roots with scissors and the necks with my Felcos and drop them into smaller paper bags. Then they go down into the basement for winter, so they’re usually at about 60 F. They seem to keep OK this way.


Sounds like a plan. So they don’t need constant air circulation (hanging), you could just put them in a box in the garage and turn occasionally? What happens when things go wrong, mold?


It’s not that hard- you’ll know when you get there. You just have to let them breath by not overcrowding them. I don’t know where you are vis-a-vis humidity but your common sense will steer you right.


Well I made a scape pesto, it was pretty good, But I think when you mix with olive oil, sea salt Parmesan, and pistachio nuts, even grass clippings would taste pretty good.
I think I’ll harvest everything now. Some are not fully mature, but most leaves are dead and drying up, so I can’t see the point in waiting longer. I’m just amazed how early this is, still spring. Every guide I read said late summer.
I would prefer late summer. It starts to dry out a bit here. From now until September, it will be extremely hot and humid. Even clothes and shoes in your closet need regular airing out and desicants etc or they’ll get mildew. The only cool dry place is when the aircon is running. Some places such as Under the house are comparatively cool, but always humid. I have a hard time believing I’ll be able to keep any garlic, especially seed garlic, until next year.


I do it at 3 leaves, and yes, I have had great swings as to when ripe, weeks difference some years.My hardnecks were very slow, not so much the soft.

Mine are ripe in June, and they will vary by weeks when ripe year to year.

I prefer to error on early, I pulled late once and ended up having to freeze them as they were falling apart and rotting after a month. They say not to dry in direct sun, nobody mentioned that, or I missed it, so just to get it out there.


Haha, there ‘They’ go again, tryin’ to set the rules for everyone. :blush:

We can be kinda wet here so I def will use the direct sun for a few days to dry the roots and surface layers of the bulbs. I turn them over, and when the bottoms have lost the majority of their wetness, I finish curing in the shade. If I listened to what ‘They say’, I could have some moldy looking bulbs. :thinking:


My wife says a local internet site recommends cutting roots off immediately after harvest to stop moisture uptake and sprouting. And the leaves are optional…?


Yes, On softnecks I like to tie braids. Onions too.

I have an overhead porch in front, south facing, but shaded, I leave them on the bench on my porch, it’s perfect, shaded, yet hot and dry.



Those look super! Should get you through the winter.


That’s a lot of garlic. Well done. Here’s a pic of what I got going.


Funny thing is, my garlic started to lose leaves a couple months ago. That’s quite an early harvest. Not sure if the black fabric speeds it up. Even now, it’s within range of double cropping – Spring plantings can go Where the garlic was. In fact, The reason I planted the garlic was because I had the watermelon spot finish up, With all the landscape fabric in place.
On the topic of landscape fabric, I realized I’ve had this spot covered for an entire year. I only lifted it once to mix in aged chicken manure and plant the garlic. This soil looks incredibly healthy. There were some wood bugs, but mainly earthworms. Almost every bulbi pulled up had an earthworm intertwined in the roots. All these online pseudo-hippies saying fabric kills the soil – my experiences so far have been fantastic. There would’ve been no garlic harvest at all for me this year without it.
As a side, a couple of the bulbs were growing with the top out of the soil. This seem to have no effect on them other than that they were very clean and easy to see their progress if you were to lift the fabric.
Anyway, I’m really impressed with these. The seed garlic was nothing to write home about, but a lot of my bulbs are the size of a baseball. Quite a few of the outer layers are gone, it would be nice if they can still store well.

Edit: This planting bed was riddled with mole tunnels, as is the whole property. I was happy to see none when I harvested the garlic. Maybe they don’t like the taste of garlic.


Nice harvest. I’m about 3-4 week away from garlic harvest.

I usually wait to put in beans until the garlic and onions are harvested, so in essence that is the second crop.

I learned the value of tarping from market gardeners as a time saving, and earth saving practice. If I have a growing area which I have harvested and nothing to put in there yet, I’ll tarp it. Saves lots of time weeding and the soil is ready and in the best condition when I need it.

They’ve not bothered mine much unless their tunnel disturbs the roots. I periodically stomp their tunnels in the garlic and perennial beds b/c voles use them and will eat roots of some things - not garlic though. :blush:


Some good info, thanks all for posting. My garlic seems to grow different every year. When i plant in the fall I usually seem them sprout, last October only the softnecks broke the surface. Nothing from the hardnecks. In the spring the softs really took off and it looked like all the hards were dead. But low and behold they started growing. Every single one. Usually the hards are always taller at any given point in growth, but not this year. In recent weeks the hards are now taller. They both look awesome at this point. The hardneck are a deeper green and on the right. I grew more softs as the wife likes to make small braids to give away.


Beautiful garlic bed. How many weeks before it’s time to harvest you think?

I’ve grown garlic before but this year looks very promising to me. I have two batches. One I planted few weeks before thanksgiving and the second few weeks after. One that was planted before thanksgiving is starting to yellow.
Might be time to pull in a couple of weeks.


Hard to say, every year seems different. Last year I harvested around June 28th. Timing was perfect. I still have a few bulbs of the softneck and they are still good, well getting there. Still I can have garlic year round. The softneck though I can see will be ready earlier. The first leaf is starting to brown. No browning on the hardnecks, the 28th may be a good date for them.