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Harvesting Garlic

July 20th, 2010

Last year I harvested my garlic on July 17. This year my garlic was ready to harvest early last week, but I didn’t have time to get out to do it. I ended up harvesting all the garlic last Friday evening.

As with onions, the heads of garlic I grow here at Chiot’s Run are always a little smaller than I’d like. But this year they were much larger due to the fact that I added a teaspoon of bone meal under each bulb at planting time.

I planted different varieties of garlic than I did last year, I haven’t tasted them yet so I don’t know how they’ll stack up to the varieties I grew last year.

I only have a few heads of garlic left from my harvest last year, so I’m happy that the pantry is once again filled with a nice basket of garlic. I use lots of garlic in my cooking, both because of the flavor and the health benefits.

Are you a garlic lover? Do you grow garlic in your garden?

35 Comments to “Harvesting Garlic”
  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by mark mile, Susy Morris. Susy Morris said: Harvesting #Garlic #edible #harvest #growinggarlic […]

    Reply to Tweets that mention Harvesting Garlic | Chiot’s Run —'s comment

  2. Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary on July 20, 2010 at 6:53 am

    Wow timely, I was just going to ask if my garlic is almost ready to harvest cause it looks like the tops are really starting to die. Do I wait until all the green is gone and let them get really dried out or do I pull them now? This is my first yr growing garlic so I’m a total newbie.

    Thanks for the bone meal trick, I’ll try that this Fall when I plant again.

    Reply to Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary's comment

    • Susy on July 20, 2010 at 9:06 am

      Some places say to harvest when there are still 5 green leaves, some say 2-3 green leaves. This year I waited until there were only 3 green leaves left. The green leaves are the ones that produce the protective wrapper on the garlic from what I read.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  3. Corrie Carswell on July 20, 2010 at 7:57 am

    I dedicate a large part of my garden to garlic. Love it so much. I harvested mine in early July here in Southwest Ohio. It did really well this year– my garden is only a few years old, so every year the soil gets a little sweeter! I’m always torn between wanting to share my garlic with everyone I know, or hoard it for my own cooking.

    Reply to Corrie Carswell's comment

    • Lisa Anne of This Urban Homestead on July 20, 2010 at 10:29 am

      What kind of garlic did you grow? I am in Cleveland and am deciding what to plant this year.

      Also, I am looking for good seed garlic resources!

      Reply to Lisa Anne of This Urban Homestead's comment

      • Susy on July 20, 2010 at 11:17 am

        I live in NE Ohio (Canton area) and I purchased the a medium flavorful collection of hardneck garlics from Gourmet Garlic Gardens. It’s great because if you want to they’ll choose varieties that will do well in your area and send you a collection of those. This past year I purchase a garlic collection from Southern Exposure but I don’t think it did as well in this climate, I had a greater percentage of cloves that didn’t produce bulbs. I’d recommend getting a sampler from Gourmet Garlic Gardens.

        See comment below for specific varieties I am currently eating that I planted in 2008 and harvested last summer.

        to Susy's comment

      • Karen in OH on July 20, 2010 at 12:32 pm

        I’m in Cleveland too and I love Inchellium Red. It grows so well here with very little help from me. Giant heads with loads of yummy garlic flavor.


        to Karen in OH's comment

  4. Julia on July 20, 2010 at 8:04 am

    I think I might have harvested my garlic too early… they were on the small side — which is standard for my garden… but the tops hadn’t completely browned. I wonder if they would have been larger if I waited.

    Reply to Julia's comment

  5. Amy on July 20, 2010 at 9:08 am


    Reply to Amy's comment

  6. hillwards on July 20, 2010 at 9:13 am

    We’re growing garlic for the first time this year. Picked the first bulb at the weekend to use green, it’s also not as big as we hoped but tasted lovely in a stir fry. I think we can leave the others a little longer as their tops haven’t really flopped yet.

    Reply to hillwards's comment

  7. Stace on July 20, 2010 at 9:14 am

    I did a “test” pull of a couple this past Spring just to see how they were progressing – above ground they were beautiful, but below ground they were a mushy, wormy mess! (Sadly, all of them were…) I pulled them all, stuck them in the compost pile, and seeded the area with lettuce. I put off looking into what happened, but now that I’m thinking about it, does anyone have any ideas as to what went wrong, and what I can do this Fall to start off on a good foot?

    Reply to Stace's comment

    • Susy on July 20, 2010 at 9:18 am

      Most likely too wet of a winter or spring. Garlic enjoys quickly draining soil and many places recommend growing it in a raised bed for this reason.

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • Stace on July 20, 2010 at 9:28 am

        Excellent point – we had a very snowy wet winter for these parts. I had planted them in a raised bed, but even so, I think I’ll mix in a good bit more leaf mold mulch this Fall to keep the bed a little more “fluffy” – thanks!

        to Stace's comment

  8. Turling on July 20, 2010 at 10:09 am

    We will be growing garlic, how is that for an answer? One question on storing garlic, though, as you say you still have some from last year. The garlic we get at the store allways seems to begin to sprout on us, or at least has the beginnings of shoots after a period of time. Should this be happening? Or am I mistaken, and we are purchasing them when they’re that way? I don’t see how they can last a year.

    Reply to Turling's comment

    • Susy on July 20, 2010 at 11:11 am

      Different varieties of garlic have different lengths of storing time. Last year I purchased a sampler that included short and long storing varieties, Here’s my post about planting garlic in 2008 for harvest last summer. I found that a few of my bulbs sprouted, but generally the long storing ones are still good. I also store them in the basement where it’s cool, in a dark box. Last year I bought my garlic from Gourmet Garlic Gardens I grew these varieties:

      German White: A Porcelain Garlicvery rich garlic flavor, rather hot pungency when raw, harvests mid-late season, stores 8-10 months

      Killarney Red: A Rocambole Garlicvery rich garlic flavor, very hot pungency when raw, harvests early-mid season, stores 5-6 months

      Chesnok Red: A Purple Strip Garlic very rich garlic flavor, medium warm pungency when raw, harvests mid-season, stores 6-8 months

      Georgia Fire: A Porcelain Garlicvery rich garlic flavor, very hot pungency when raw, harvests mid-late season, stores 8-10 months

      Reply to Susy's comment

  9. kristin @ going country on July 20, 2010 at 10:13 am

    It is even now drying in the shed . . .

    Reply to kristin @ going country's comment

  10. Kaytee on July 20, 2010 at 11:17 am

    I’m going to plant some garlic this fall. Does anyone have varieties they could recommend?

    Reply to Kaytee's comment

    • Susy on July 20, 2010 at 11:21 am

      I’d recommend buying from Gourmet Garlic Gardens. They’re great because if you want to they’ll choose varieties that will do well in your area and send you a collection of those. This past year I purchase a garlic collection from Southern Exposure but I don’t think they did as well in my climate as the garlic from Gourmet Garlic Gardens.

      I also like Gourmet Garlic Gardens because you can choose collections of mild, medium, or strong flavored garlic according to your tastes. Here’s a link to their sampler page.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  11. Seren Dippity on July 20, 2010 at 11:25 am

    I harvested 118 heads this year! I ordered a sampler pack of 5 different varieties. Three of these I will save bulbs to replant in October and I have already ordered 3 more varieties to try. I’m still not sure how much garlic I use in a year. I’ve never counted before! So between guessing how much to plant to last a year AND hoping that I can store it correctly to have it _literally_ last that long, I’m still learning.

    Since you have some left from last year’s harvest, it sounds like you managed that equation correctly? Or did you scrimp? How do you plan how many to plant?

    Reply to Seren Dippity's comment

  12. mamaraby on July 20, 2010 at 11:58 am

    We’ve always had difficulties getting ourselves organized enough and coordinated enough to get the garlic planted in the Fall. Garlic’s on our to-do list, though.

    Reply to mamaraby's comment

    • Susy on July 20, 2010 at 12:09 pm

      I know, I always order mine early, late July or early August, then when it comes I plant it, that’s how I remember.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  13. Tommy on July 20, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    This was my second year with garlic, and I planted a lot last year. It’s such an easy crop, and it looks beautiful in the garden when it sprouts and even when the flower bulbs come up.

    I planted elephant garlic last year, and the huge flower ball has been the hit of my garden from spring until I just pulled it up—everyone asked, what in the world are those beautiful purple flowers out there?

    I am going to branch out into more of the gourmet varities this fall—I’ll have to check out your link to the gourmet garlic website.

    Thanks for the info!

    Reply to Tommy's comment

  14. Laura on July 20, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    i love garlic but i’ve not had much luck growing it…will have to try again this year…

    Reply to Laura's comment

  15. Susan on July 20, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    This is my second year and it’s almost ready to harvest in upstate NY. (I used to live in the Cleveland area and miss that nice bottom soil with way fewer rocks!). Thanks for the link to Gourmet Garlic Gardens. I think I will try some new varieties for next year. I bartered planting garlic for some of my honey and it seems to be excellent. How long do you ‘age’ your harvested garlic before putting it in storage?

    Reply to Susan's comment

    • Susy on July 20, 2010 at 1:53 pm

      I usually leave mine in the warm garage or attic for 2-3 weeks, then I store in a cardboard box in the basement pantry.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  16. Miranda on July 20, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    LOVE the garlic! Sadly, i’ve already lost 2 of my very few cloves to rot. Wah wah. I had them stored in a cloth bag which i thought would be sufficient. Apparently not. I’d like to get some of those produce baskets to hang them in next time. I honestly don’t have enough space to really warrant growing my own garlic – but i love it so, so i’ll keep doing it anyway. Sometimes gardening doesn’t have to be PRACTICAL.

    Reply to Miranda's comment

    • Susy on July 20, 2010 at 1:54 pm

      I agree, I have limited space for growing things, but garlic will always be in my garden. I usually grow things I can’t find at the local farmers market or if it’s expensive. Garlic is rare and very expensive when you can find it, so I grow my own. Then I buy zucchini, cabbage and other things that are inexpensive and readily available from small local growers.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  17. Jackie on July 20, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    That soil is gorgeous :) I really must be a farmer at heart to notice the soil first… And nice job on the garlic. I had garlic rust last year, so I decided to take the year off from garlic…missing it a bit now, since everybody’s harvesting lately.

    Reply to Jackie's comment

  18. Hanna Fushihara on July 20, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    I LOVE growing garlic. I never have trouble with pests and as long as I mulch heavily and add a layer of compost, they seem to take care of themselves. I just ordered my garlic for fall planting from these folks
    Haven’t tried them before but they have lots of variety and you can buy in small quantities.

    Reply to Hanna Fushihara's comment

  19. MAYBELLINE on July 20, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    Love it.
    Grow it.

    Reply to MAYBELLINE's comment

  20. Cool Happy Harvest images — Yivie.Com on December 14, 2010 at 2:52 am

    […] […]

    Reply to Cool Happy Harvest images — Yivie.Com's comment

  21. Nanette on July 22, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    I also am new at growing garlic. Excited to harvest it. I pulled some already and it looks good. Some of the tops are still green. I’ve read that 5 leaves should still be green…. Did I understand that correctly?

    Reply to Nanette's comment

    • Susy on July 22, 2014 at 2:25 pm

      Yep, should be ready.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  22. Nanette on July 22, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    If garlic gets seed heads was it in the ground too long? And can the seed heads be planted for next year?

    Reply to Nanette's comment

    • Susy on July 22, 2014 at 3:43 pm

      The seed heads are scapes, you can harvest those. They aren’t great for planting as they will only form one clove. But you can plant them and then save the whole clove to plant the following year and then you will get a head of garlic.

      Reply to Susy's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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