Harvesting garlic

The garlic was drooping and browning, so it's time to pick I guess. I planted these last October and they did very well for us. The bulbs are huge (even bigger than their parent bulbs from which they were grown).

For this batch, I simply purchased 4 bulbs from Wal-Mart and planted them. They did really well, and next time I'm going to try my luck at growing some heirloom garlics.

These are hanging up in my office at about 70 degrees. They'll stay there and "cure" for about a month. Then I guess I'll store them in paper bags in the closet.


Thumbnail by dave

Nicely grown garlic Dave - congrats.


Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

Good job, Dave! I pulled out a few shallots the other day for a salad. Actually the lettuce, the shallots and baby potatoes all came from the garden; a bit of bacon, and a hot dressing made a yummy dinner. (And the family was pretty impressed that we (I?) grew most of it, LOL.)

Efland, NC(Zone 7a)

I love a good garlic harvest~! Nice crop dave! Think you'll try braiding them? (Looks like they might be hardnecks but I can't tell for sure. A friend of mine used to braid both soft and hardnecks tho.)
(Vols, what times your next good meal~?)

Shoe, those are braided. I left about 6" of the neck outside the braid so they could "breathe" and for easy removal from the braid. This is a softneck variety here.

Efland, NC(Zone 7a)

Oh yeh, so I see now. Also noticed they go clear across the room~!...You've got LOTS more than I first realized!
Hope you try baking some, it really makes a great spread for crackers or french bread.

Yep, I just counted 58 bulbs, and it's about 14 feet long. Figuring out the best way to braid this was a learning experience, but, now that I did it, it was great and I look forward to braiding my next batch next June. :) Regarding baking the garlic: I'm getting hungry thinking about it. hehehe.

Grove City, OH(Zone 6a)

When your hot peppers ripen, dry them and add them to your garlic braids! They make great gifts to cooks!

Spicewood, TX(Zone 8b)

Cool! I haven't mastered the art of garlic growing yet ~ too many other things to learn. (Ain't gardening great?!) But one thing I have mastered the art of is eating and I can second 'Shoe's suggestion to bake it. Every time we BBQ, I cut the top of an entire bulb, spread on a little real butter, wrap with foil and cook it alongside the ribs or brisket. When it's done it pops right out of the skin when you squeeze it. Yuh-UHM!

Grove City, OH(Zone 6a)

Wingnut, garlic is so easy to grow! As Dave said, all I did was buy a head of garlic at our local Farmer's Market, break it into cloves, and plop them in the ground! So good! They say the "proper" time to plant it is in late summer/early fall; I have planted, transplanted, replanted it whenever the ground isn't frozen solid, and it never has failed!

Spicewood, TX(Zone 8b)

Well, then, I'll have to try it this fall, Lupine!! I've tried the bulbs from the store before, but either my planting timing was off or my pulling timing was. I never seemed to get a big, ole' bulb ~ just thin stalks like green onions. Of course, I haven't put a lot of effort into learning either. But this is the year! We added onto the garden, so I'll have plenty of room to try again. I also have some clumps of garlic from Kenny's grandma's house I'll be able to separate. Cool! Fresh garlic a-comin' up!! :) Thanks for the inspiration, Dave. :)!!

Springfield, MA(Zone 6a)

this sounds really interesting and i'm a garlic lover. you can buy a regular garlic bulb from the grocery store? Pull it apart and plant them how far apart? and how deep?
i tried to plant some onion starts this may and some got washed away in a rain storm, the others rotted and a few are still in the ground. they were little bulbs with green growth. i have no idea if i'll be successful. i read, after purchasing and planting them, that you are suppose to plant them in the earliest spring, after thaw, here in zone 5. help please

Efland, NC(Zone 7a)

debi...I've planted grocery store garlic for years as well as some of the more connosoir-types (sp?). We plant in the fall down here but with your longer day lengths I imagine you could end up with good-sized bulbs by planting early spring. Especially w/regard to onions...some onions are "long day", some are "short day" (and now they even have some that are considered "neutral").
For more info these folks are very knowledgeable with alliums. http://www.dixondalefarms.com/

Grove City, OH(Zone 6a)

From what I have read, if you want good bulb growth for onions/garlic (not necessarily my goal) you should "knock down" the stems in late spring/early summer. That prevents them from flowering and makes it grow a bigger bulb.

When you divide garlic for planting, if you want big bulbs to grow, pull the bulb apart and plant the biggest cloves. If you want small bulbs (also small top growth) plant the small cloves. If you want big and small plants, plant all the cloves; plant the cloves about 5" apart, with the top of the clove just below soil level.

But again, my goal in growing alliums is not big bulbs, so this is just advice I have read/been told by other growers.


Blum, TX(Zone 8a)

wingnut, you pulled it before it matured. if this happens again just replant it. it takes two years from a seedling to make a pod. I have a very large type that I grow. not exactly the elephant, that is advertised. but has 5 cloves to the pod. I am moving my garlic all the time. supposed to deter pests and make the roses smell sweeter! I have a patch beside all my roses.

Lancaster, CA

Hi Tink and all,

I know this before but apparently elephant garlic types (and similar?) do actually take 2 years. I planted elephant garlic bulbs in 2000. As far as I could tell, harvest time 2001 they didn't exist, but they came back 2001 winter and sure enough I harvested gigantic bulbs last week, complete with those little tiny bulbils (?) on the outside to replant this year.

NONE of my other garlics take 2 years. Anybody know why E garlic takes more time? Just curious.

Anyway, this is my first year for "different" garlics. I've been planting CA white every fall for years. It does fine. 01 I planted that along with, Inchelium Red, Kettle River Giant and Georgian Crystal. The KRG and GC were planted mid winter so I'm not expecting a whole lot from them but a taste test. The IR are gigantic. Much bigger than anything in the store.

Only problem is I guess I'm not a garlic person. I love it, just can't tell any "real" difference in flavor from the other.

Spicewood, TX(Zone 8b)

Thanks, Tink, 'Shoe and Lupine ~ I'll keep all that in mind! :)

Richmond, KY(Zone 6b)

>NONE of my other garlics take 2 years. Anybody know why E garlic takes more time? Just curious. <

I don't know if this should matter, but so-called elephant garlic actually is a bulbed leek. Maybe that has something to do with it taking two years?

Grove City, OH(Zone 6a)

Brook, I think you are right; e garlic is not .true. garlic. Not grown it myself; is it good?

Richmond, KY(Zone 6b)

A lot of people like it, LL, but I suspect they are not real garlic lovers. It's much too mild tasting for me.

The size of them is impressive, though. If I could get my Shevlisi to grow that big I'd be in hog heaven.

Richmond, KY(Zone 6b)

>Only problem is I guess I'm not a garlic person. I love it, just can't tell any "real" difference in flavor from the other.<

How are you using it, Dsrtgdn? I suspect, if you can't tell them apart, that you are using small quantities (one or two cloves in cooked dishes only.)

Trying peeling and eating raw cloves. I guarantee you'll find differences. Some are hotter than others. Some release their pungency in strange ways---for instance, with some you may initially only get a garlic taste with no heat, then a sudden explosion that lasts only a few seconds. With others you get immediate heat, which hangs in there. And so on.

Plus there are distinct flavor differences that have nothing to do with the heat levels.

Lancaster, CA

You're right Brook. I've only used it roasted spread on bread. I'll do as you suggest and actually eat some raw. It's an excellent antimicrobial anyway so it's all to the good.

The Egarlic is very mild in flavor. Since it isn't garlic I guess it doesn't have the cold germ killing effect huh?


Richmond, KY(Zone 6b)

I don't know whether non-garlic alliums have the health benefits of true garlic or not. Certainly can't hurt anything, though.

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