Finally, a garlic harvest! The above pictures show the garlic I recently harvested from the vegetable garden. It is a bit dirty as this picture was taken right after harvest. The garlic has since dried and the dirt knocked off. Additionally I trim back the roots and stem with scissors in order to neaten the garlic bulbs up a bit.
Many people do not know when to harvest garlic and I am no expert as you will soon see. However, a general rule of thumb I use is to check the garlic when the foliage begins yellowing and dying back as is shown in the above picture. This technique works well for me. Remember, this garlic has been growing in the ground for about 9 months now and it is probably ready to come out. The problem is that since garlic grows underground it is difficult to determine if it has set cloves or not. I usually dig a plant and check for clove formation once I see the yellowing foliage before I proceed to dig up all the garlic. In this case the garlic was perfect.
Not so in this case and the problem was entirely mine. I did not pay close attention to the foliage and missed it when it began yellowing and dying back. As it so happened, the foliage completely disappeared. Since I knew where the garlic was planted, I just dug down and found all the heads of garlic. Most were okay but several had formed cloves a bit too well. The cloves separated and I wound up with several small cloves instead of one big head of cloves. It is okay. No big deal. I think I have enough garlic to go around and will have plenty for planting this fall too.
If you live in the south and haven't yet harvested your garlic you need to do so soon. If you live in the north and are watching your garlic, don't let it get ahead of you like I did. Check it frequently. My poor vegetable garden has been most neglected this year but I hope to soon rectify it. For now I'm....
in the garden....enjoying freshly harvested garlic.