Fading garlic -- getting ready for harvest?

lilacs_of_mayJune 7, 2007

My garlic, planted last fall, started popping up last March. It's grown tall, but in the last couple days I've noticed that the tips are turning brown and some of the leaves are beginning to turn yellow.

Does this mean it's getting "ripe" and ready for harvest?

What about fertilizing and watering? I fertilized it about three weeks ago or thereabouts.

'Course right now most of my edibles are looking quite sad. It's been windy and chilly today. I'm hoping that's it, and they'll perk back up.

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penguingardener

You can actually harvest garlic now if you want to cook with it already. Treat it like chives but it's no doubt garlic!

I'm in zone 6, I stopped fertilizing about a month ago. I also stopped watering. If the leaves are just turning yellow at the tips and if it's bulbs you're looking for, you have about a month to go. Depending on weather, maybe less or more.

I'm pulling garlic plants out as dishes call for garlic. Some of the bulbs seem small, but considering they're going straight into dishes, we find they're packed with.

What variety are you growing?

    Bookmark   June 9, 2007 at 9:24PM
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lilacs_of_may

I watered and fertilized half the garlic yesterday and will do the rest of the patch today. Then I'll let it go. I've read to harvest in July, and I've read in August, but I guess I'll let the plants tell me when.

I rather overbought, and I planted several varieties of garlic. Simonetti, Inchelium, Lorz Italian, Bogatyr, Applegate, Achatame (sp?), Transylvanian, Silverskin, and a couple of others that I can't bring to mind offhand. They grew tall and healthy, but I haven't seen any scapes yet. Luckily I labeled everything. Oh, and I checked back on my records, and I last watered the garlic on April 22. I plan to keep back a bulb of each for planting, and there are a couple others that I'd like to try this fall as well.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2007 at 4:10PM
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penguingardener

Ah, ok. Looks like you mostly have softnecks, you're not likely to see scapes. And coincidentally, I'm growing a lot of the same kind you are. :)

And since it I am about 1 zone ahead of you...

Of the ones you've mentioned and that overlap with mine, I'm so far seeing scapes on Lorz Italian. I understand with softnecks, it doesn't seem to help make the bulb bigger by cutting scapes, but I was doing it when I wanted garlic for things like omelettes.

We had a pork loin the other evening so we pulled out a bulb, it was small but it was packed with flavor. And tonight, I chopped up a scape and added it to my pasta sauce.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2007 at 8:56PM
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lilacs_of_may

Well, now I'm hungry....

    Bookmark   June 10, 2007 at 10:17PM
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lilacs_of_may

My bogatyr sent up scapes, but the Lorz Italian never did.

They're really beginning to turn yellow and brown now. Since I'm new at this, I'm unsure whether it's just the heat and not enough water, or if they've come to the end of their road.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2007 at 11:16PM
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aka_peggy(Central Md 6b)

Lilacs, only hardneck garlic makes scapes. Lorz is a softneck. I think your garlic is coming to the end of their road. Enjoy!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2007 at 6:53PM
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sewadoll(5 Southern Indiana)

I'm in zone 5 (southern Indiana)and just pulled some garlic this morning. The tops were completly brown and had fallen over. In fact, I'd been so busy with the rest of the garden that I had overlooked the sad little things. The bulbs are large and in good shape though. I'm new to this, so have lots of questions.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 1:27PM
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jeffnfran

Well, "sewadoll" sounds like your garlic is been ready to pull! After you pull them allow them to sit out for a day, then hang or lay them out to dry. You want good air circulation ( hanging is best) keep them dry too. The white tissue around the cloves will dry and turn papery.
Allow this to take place for oh, maybe a few weeks.
Once this all happens then your garlic is "cured" and ready to use. By the way, where ever you put the bulbs to dry, be prepared for a STRONG garlic odor! Oh and leave about 4-5" of stem sticking out of each bulb. If it's hardneck varity, if it's softneck, no need to cut anything while curing. Good luck n enjoy

    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 3:49PM
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lilacs_of_may

I've started harvesting my garlic, since they were yellowing and falling over. They look firm and healthy, but I was disappointed that they were kind of small. This fall I compost more and space them a little farther apart.

I have the ones I pulled sitting out on the dining room table. I really don't want them sitting outside. Too many varmints, 2 and 4 legged, to risk it. Then I plan to braid the softnecks if I can figure out how to do it. It looks similar to a French braid.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 5:14PM
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sewadoll(5 Southern Indiana)

I think I messed up. The cloves were so dirty, I washed them with water. Now... I read (somewhere online) that you shouldn't wash them in water. Oh well.... The ones that matured first were the Lotus and Italian Red. Some bulbs were already splitting open, so I'll use them quickly or give to friends. I still have the Silver White and Shatili that don't have yellowing of stems yet. OH... this is so fun.
Mary Ann

    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 5:56PM
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lilacs_of_may

I need to harvest the rest of the garlic this weekend. Some of them are almost entirely dry, and I don't want the bulbs to dry out and start splitting.

I cut off the scapes to the Bogatyr and pulled the bulbs. They're doing their curing on the dining room table.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2007 at 12:46AM
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