Harvesting & Curing Organic Garlic Posted on 22 Jun 12:06 , 3 comments

Welcome to our 3rd installment of our Growing Organic Garlic series for 2016.  First we shared How to Plant Organic Garlic and then When to Plant Garlic.

Growing Garlic is no simple, quick tasks.  However, it is possibly THE most low maintenance variety growing in the garden.  It take planning and preparation in order to plant and then it takes serious patience.  Growing garlic takes 6 to 8 months depending on the variety and your growing region.

In our region, we usually plant in late October.  Last year I had a late start and planted Garlic in early November.  Harvest times vary once planted but we harvested in June.  I could have left them longer but I was a bit anxious to see how we did this year in our new spot.

Most “experts” say to harvest when several of the lower leaves go brown, but five or six up top are still green

Harvesting garlic couldn’t be easier, as long as you remember one thing: Though tempting, do not try pulling the bulbs out by the above-ground stems, or at least without first loosening the soil alongside each row with a spading fork (not too close to the heads). Garlic stores best when cured with its leaves on.

Brush off the dirt or gently rinse of the dirt from garlic bulbs and bring inside, away from direct sunlight.  Garlic will blanch and burn in the sun. Put the freshly dug unwashed bulbs in a dark, dry place as soon as possible


Curing allows the layers to dry out forming a protective cover around the bulb. Curing can take a month or more, depending on the humidity level.  

If you have a cool, dry area you can lay them out or hang them to cure.  I was short on space this year so we hung our first batch of harvested garlic in the laundry room until I could make space.
**I used string and binder clips for this first batch.  I just had to use what I had on hand**

An alternative is to tie the top of the stalks with string in bundles of five to ten and hang them bulb down in a dark, dry and well-ventilated place for about three weeks.

Once your garlic is cured, snip off the stalk about an inch above the bulb.  Snip the roots off, then wipe off the dirt with your fingers or a soft brush, being careful not to remove too many layers of skin. **I add the stalks and snipped roots to my compost bin**

Select out any bulbs that are quite small or have nicks in them to eat first!

There you have it!  Growing Organic Garlic from Clove to Harvest!

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