One of the garlic varieties we have growing here, Inchelium Red, a soft-neck/braiding/artichoke variety is starting to show some leaf die-back. I pulled a bulb a couple of days ago out of curiousity, and the size was decent. After pulling up a couple more today I think I pulled up one of the larger bulbs initially as these were both smaller.
This is my first year growing garlic, so I am feeling under-confident in my decisions of when to harvest, and how to cure. I figure I have two options. The first being a shed cure. There are windows, but no electricity for fans so depending on the 3 or 4 week stretch of weather I would worry over air circulation, but the temperature and indirect light should be ideal.
I put the two newly dug bulbs in a wire drawer. The bulb on the left must have been planted up-side-down, the roots were facing up and the stem is U shaped. The bulb on the right is quite small still, even with another couple weeks of grow time left, it would be puny.....certainly not seed stock!
My second option for curing is to hang the bunches indoors from the ceiling.
This bulb had been drying in the kitchen before I hung it today, and it seems to be doing OK. I will follow the bulbs over the next couple of weeks and see which environment seems to be better suited for curing. Thoughts??
Things to remember about harvesting garlic:
- Watch for leaf yellowing, when 4-6 green leaves remain it may be time to harvest.
- Best to withhold water for the weeks leading up to harvest to help the curing process along.
- More time in the ground = bigger bulbs, but it can also result in splitting.
- Different varieties mature at different rates.
- SSE link: SSE's Garlic Growing Guide