Ripening

Garlic is harvested when half of the top leaves have turned yellow (there should still be 5 or 6 green leaves). Pull up a bulb and inspect it carefully before harvesting the whole crop.

If garlic is left in the ground too long the over-mature bulbs may split open. This may not look as nice as a whole bulb, but it doesn't affect its edibility or storage.

When and How

Whole Plant, 1-21 days after maturity

When: Garlic is harvested when half of the top leaves have turned yellow (there should still be 5 or 6 green leaves). Pull up a bulb and inspect it carefully before harvesting all of it. If Garlic is left too long the over-mature bulbs may split open. This may not look as nice as a whole bulb, but doesn’t affect its edibility or storage.

How: Sometimes you can simply uproot the plants by pulling on the tops, but if the soil is very firm, you will have to loosen it with a fork first. Garlic bruises easily, so don’t throw it around while harvesting.

Curing: Newly harvested Garlic should be cured before storage (curing also improves its flavor, as fresh Garlic may be somewhat bitter). If the weather is dry, you can cure the bulbs by leaving them in a shady place for a week or two. Don’t leave the bulbs on the ground in the sun for too long or they may get cooked (they turn a translucent yellow and are ruined).

If it’s wet, you will have to cure them inside (the greenhouse is a good place, as it’s dry and warm). 

The dry bulbs are prepared for sale by cutting off the shriveled tops (leave about 2˝) and trimming the stringy roots (to ½˝). They are also cleaned by removing the outer wrapper layer.

If you want to make some Garlic braids, save the bulbs with the best tops (don’t cut them off of course).

Plants/person:

10.0

Yield/plant:

0.1-0.3lbs

Yield/sq. ft.:

0.8-2.0lbs

Fruit Size:

1.5"-3.0"

Exterior Color:

Papery White

Interior Color:

Creamy white

Nutrition:

Garlic isn't eaten in large quantities, but it contains so many valuable phytochemicals (including allicin, ajoene and allyl sulfide) that it is an important food. It has anti-carcinogenic, antioxidant, antifungal, anticlotting, antiseptic and antibiotic properties.