If your garlic looks like the
photos above, harvest it last week!
Don't have a time
machine? Right now will work.
Strange leaves poking
out of the garlic plant's stalk are a sign that the cloves have already
broken through their outer wrapping and sprouted, so the garlic won't
store as well as you would have liked.
This year, the garlic
harvest snuck up on
me. Usually, we don't dig our garlic until mid to late June, but
a mild winter and hot spring matured the heads early.
the softneck varieties were precocious, though. That's what
really kept me from digging a test bulb two weeks ago when the garlic
leaves started to look ratty. We hadn't seen any garlic
scapes, so no way
the garlic could be ready, right?
Wrong. Even though
Music (hardneck) and Silverwhite Silverskin (softneck) usually mature
at the same time in our garden, clearly the two varieties handle early
springs differently. So about a third of our softneck bulbs are
going to have to be eaten soon after curing, rather than saved for the
Since I know someone's
going to ask this in a comment --- yes, you can just leave the garlic
in the ground to resprout and grow as a no-work perennial, but I don't
recommend it. If you don't split the cloves apart before
replanting them, a dozen little plants will be competing with each other in
the same spot and you won't get a good yield next year.
Plus, you can't just go
out in the garden throughout the year and dig a head whenever you want
it. That spicy garlic flavor matures as the bulbs cure over the course of a month
or so out of the ground.
Stay tuned for a later
post about how well our new garlic
curing racks worked!
Our chicken waterer makes care of your backyard
flock quick, easy, and clean.
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