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Garlic Harvest

Posted by jrslick KS/5 (My Page) on
Fri, Jun 28, 13 at 0:57

Today I harvested all of our garlic. I was trying to get it all harvested before the storms that we missed tonight.

This was the first time I have grown garlic. I have learned that I should have watered it more. With that said, I am pretty happy with the first attempt.

I got it all picked and piled up in my shed and now I am working on tying it up to dry.

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Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Garlic Harvest

nice. You can hang it a couple of ways. One is to tie together bunches of 8 to 10 plants and hang the bundles in your barn/garage/shed. the other is to take two poles and tie them together in 3 to 5 spots and put the garlic plants between the poles
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This is part of the harvest from 3 years ago


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RE: Garlic Harvest

Several of our vendors sell garlic as fresh without drying it. Might be a thought for a few.


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RE: Garlic Harvest

Thanks for the ideas. I really like the two pipes. I will have to give that a try!

I want to save garlic back for seed, should I only save the largest bulbs for that or just the most uniform looking ones?

I think I am going to grow more garlic next year. This was an easy crop that really grows on the "Back" side of the calendar.

Jay


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RE: Garlic Harvest

Nice looking garlic, looks like you got it in at the perfect time.

For your seed garlic save the largest and disease free heads. Big seed garlic makes larger heads next year. Anything strange or suspicious looking should be sold for eating, not planted.

I bang nails into the rafters about a foot apart and hang bundles of 15 by these with some bailing twine. If you have any softneck you want to braid, dry it on a flat screen so as not to damage the tops.

-Mark


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RE: Garlic Harvest

Thanks! I was out picking and when I went past where the garlic was, it just looked wrong. After being in the same place for 9 months, it just looks weird!

We purchased a the seed garlic from another producer about an hour away. I am hoping they grew more of it this year and have some to sell. I would like to get some more of theirs, and add it to mine for next years planting.

All of this is hardneck garlic, so no braiding for me.

How long do you let it dry? 1 to 2 weeks? Some of it is fairly dry already. How do you know it is dry enough?

Jay


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RE: Garlic Harvest

Thanks! I was out picking and when I went past where the garlic was, it just looked wrong. After being in the same place for 9 months, it just looks weird!

We purchased a the seed garlic from another producer about an hour away. I am hoping they grew more of it this year and have some to sell. I would like to get some more of theirs, and add it to mine for next years planting.

All of this is hardneck garlic, so no braiding for me.

How long do you let it dry? 1 to 2 weeks? Some of it is fairly dry already. How do you know it is dry enough?

Jay


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RE: Garlic Harvest

I hang mine for a month. By this time, the roots are bone dry, and the necks are close to brittle. As someone else said above, you can sell green garlic anytime but if you want it to keep, better to err on the longer curing time.
After the month hanging, I cut the roots, cut the necks, brush the dirt off and store in boxes with good air flow in a cool, dry place. I use the insulated room where I also store potatoes.
The softnecks I remoisten the tops and do some braiding if i'm feeling creative!%^*


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RE: Garlic Harvest

we cure 3 to 5 weeks, when the greens are brown and crispy dry the garlic should be cured. than cut off the roots and remove the soiled skins and you are ready to store. get you seed garlic out before you sell the garlic or you may end up selling the best bulbs


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RE: Garlic Harvest

Here's some harvest photos from yesterday. I'd already dug 1/4 of the patch by hand for the early varieties but finished it up with the digging bar on the tractor and some help from friends.

First I undercut the 4 row bed with the bar.
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Brush the dirt off and tie in bundles of 15-20.
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Most of it fit in the truck, but just barely.
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Bundles hung in the barn.
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RE: Garlic Harvest

awesome!


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RE: Garlic Harvest

You put my puny harvest to shame! Very cool. Could you tell me more about your digger bar? I am picturing a big stirup that is mounted on a 3 point.

I know I would like to move to a more mechanical way to dig the garlic next year. Maybe I could build it this winter.

Jay


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RE: Garlic Harvest

Jay, i'm sure you're joking but your "puny harvest" is fantastic looking and a lot more than I ever did my first time growing garlic.
Using the tractor does make digging so much easier and there's much less damage than by hand digging. I'd keep increasing my amounts but I just can barely keep up with overwinter weeding. I used to mulch with straw but kept getting more weeds from the straw than I started with.

The bar is just that, a reinforced stirrup, about 38" wide at the base. The piece in the middle is just the wood it's leaning against. The bars in the back are for holding weight as my tractor doesn't have a hydraulic top link.

I can't take any credit for building it. It belongs to my friend who had it made to his specs by a welder he knows.
-Mark


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RE: Garlic Harvest

Thanks for the picture, that is what I was visioning in my head. I have several ideas already going on how to build something like this. That will make harvest much easier.

I am very happy with my harvest, I am hoping it is enough for the rest of this year and our winter markets. I may see if I can buy some more garlic and plant a larger patch next year. People have been asking for it. Now to come to terms about price. What are you getting for your garlic?

Jay


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RE: Garlic Harvest

I sell the smaller garlic at market for 8/lb and the seed quality for 10-12.
If I have the time, I sort out the food garlic by size and sell them by the each. People generally prefer to see a price of $1 or $1.50 rather than $8/lb. even though sometimes a medium head at $1.50 is actually selling for $12/lb. I think big numbers sometimes scare people. Funny.


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