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Softneck garlic harvesting

Posted by Jackleroy MA (My Page) on
Sat, May 25, 13 at 16:35

I planted a few cloves last fall just to see what happened. I'm in Massachusetts, so i know hardneck fares much better, but I really had no reason not to try.

Only one plant came up early this season an I was hoping to get a few opinions on when to pull it. This variety won't be growing a scape, but it's about one foot high and the bottom leaf has browned and died with the remaining tips following suit.

What should I be looking for as a sign that it's ready but not over-ripened?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Softneck garlic harvesting

You should be able to count at least 7 leaves before it's finished growing, and I only count 5 (the withered one counts because it was a real leaf). Many plants go to 9 leaves. Even if it is a very early variety, I would not expect it to be ready before mid June. My softnecks are still growing new leaves, and the hardnecks haven't started producing scapes. Give it time.

RE: Softneck garlic harvesting

I harvested two kinds of soft neck last week. The mild winter here means that all the varieties I grow will be earlier than usual, even the hardnecks that I generally take in July look as if they will be ready in less than two weeks.

Also, I judge readiness by the dried leaves--at least four, better to have five. I usually end up with three layers of wrapper after I strip off the drying ones.

So, it all depends upon where you live and what kind of growing season you have had in any particular year.

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