Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Early Garlic Crop

      Everything is early this year after the mild non winter we had.  Now we are getting some heavy rains on a weekly basis, and I am afraid to let the garlic stay in the ground for another couple of weeks.  So I have started to harvest the garlic, especially those knocked over or ones starting to brown.  These are some that were picked yesterday:

Garlic picked 6/4/2012
      These yielded a full range of sizes, from nice keepers, to small ones that will go back in the ground this year in the fall.

    This is what happens when you forget to harvest small first year bulbils at the end of the summer growing season.  As the tops dry back and die, you lose track of the garlic.  This one had grown from one very small clove to a head of six.  So this spring, all six came up in a clump, and had to compete with one another, so they are fairly small.  I will dry them, separate the cloves, and replant them this fall.  Should make for a nice harvest next year.

      The garlic above was harvested last week and has been drying on the porch.  Most of these had fallen over in an experiment gone bad.  I had transplanted garlic sets from clumps divided in the spring, and put them into pure mushroom soil.  Turns out the mushroom soil does not have enough bulk to support the growing garlic plants, so they fall over.  I am sure they will still be delicious.  At the bottom center of this picture is a head with the cloves evident.  The "wrappers" are weak due to the wet soil, and shred very easily.  I have read that these heads will not store as well.  Better to eat them first.

      This is what happens when all goes well.  You get the best garlic harvest you have ever had.  Big bulbs. I do mean big.  These are regular hard neck garlic, not elephant garlic.  Now how big?

Dis Big.  Fist size big.

      This is what is left of the heads that got planted properly, the big ones.  While the color of the stalks suggests they can be left in the ground a little longer, I am tempted to dig them now, to prevent any chance of them rotting in the ground.
      What is your vote?


  1. I wanted to leave mine in the ground a little longer - the foliage is not yet brown. But one scape has sent up a flower. Is it ok to just cut it off, or should I harvest immediately? I've just got one huge clump, so I can't really separate the flowering stalk from the rest....appreciate any advice you can share.

    Best regards from Lise

    1. From what I have read, it does not make much of a difference if you cut off the stalk. The stalk is edible, so why not cut it off and slice it into small pieces to use as other garlic. I don't understand your comment about having "one huge clump".