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Garlic: How to Harvest, Cure and Store for the Winter | Enhanced Garden&Life

Updated: Jul 10, 2021

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Intro

Garlic is an excellent plant to grow in your garden. It can keep pests away from other plants, and garlic scapes are delicious in salads! Garlic has many health benefits too. However, garlic will not be productive if you don't harvest it at the right time. In this blog post, I am going to go over when to harvest garlic so that you will get the most out of your crop!


Harvesting Garlic Scapes

Garlic scapes are garlic leaves that have been allowed to grow past the bulb. They offer a garlic "flavor" without adding garlic cloves- they can be chopped and added as a fresh herb or cooked in sauces like pesto.

Harvest garlic scape during midsummer when it is pliable but not wilted, being careful of its fragile tissue paper skin (known as 'rind'). Garlic scapes should be harvested before your hard neck garlic has gone through the heat stage because their flavor changes slightly after this point.


How Do You Know When Your Garlic is Ready to Harvest?

When the garlic has started to mature, the leaves will start turning brown. You'll want to harvest when these leaves are drying and starting to fall off on their own accord so as not to damage them any more than necessary while you're harvesting


- If your garlic is planted in an area where it's hard for water or rain (like a gravel garden) to reach it, the garlic will start maturing earlier.


- If your garlic has a green tinge on the outside of the clove and/or dry leaves are starting to fall off on their own accord from around the garlic plant, then you'll want to harvest as soon as possible!


- If garlic is left in the ground longer than normal, it will start to get a green tinge on the clove, and dry leaves might be starting to fall off on their own accord.

Harvesting Garlic

Pull the Garlic up and out of the ground. Let it dry for a few days outside somewhere that the sun won't shine on them and with plenty of airflow and then cut off any garlic that is rotten, moldy, or damaged.


Garlic can be cured by one of three methods: garlic braids, garlic braidless wraps, garlic curing nets. Garlic braids are ideal for those who have plenty of time to devote to this process, with spacing between each piece. One method used when there isn't enough space to do individual pieces is garlic braidless wraps, which involves all the cloves wrapping together at once so they will be ready in no more than two weeks without sacrificing quality. Lastly, a common way people choose to cure their own crop of garlic is using curing netting, as it is the easiest method. I prefer to use netting for my lack of time.


After letting the garlic sit out and dry, cut the stem above the bulb over two inches long. Cut the roots to a quarter-inch, then place your garlic in a dry and cool area for the winter.


You can store Garlic for months in a basement, garage, or shed by hanging garlic braids from ceiling hooks; garlic braidless wraps should hang using string to allow circulation of air around each individual clove, and curing netting may simply lay flat on a wire shelving system. Proper storage will keep garlic fresh all winter long, so it's ready when you need it most!


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