The Great Garlic Harvest
This entry was posted on the Hudson Valley Seed Library webiste blog on 07/15/2014.
1. When in doubt, check it out
Garlic is ready to harvest when the lower leaves begin to yellow and dry. Usually the tips start to yellow as well, but the important thing to note is that there is still plenty of green on the plant. In New York, this can be any time from the beginning of July to very early August, depending on the weather and the variety. Check on your garlic by digging up a plant or two. If the wrapper has begun to get papery, and the cloves feel solid, its okay to harvest.
It can also be helpful to time your harvest when the soil is dry to help the garlic cure properly. I've harvested garlic a bit early some years to avoid a bought of wet weather.
2. Harvest it, gently
To harvest the soil should be loose. Use a garden fork to loosen the soil around the plants. Keep the tongs of the fork a few inches back from the plants to keep from stabbing the garlic. One the plants are loosened, gently pull them out of the ground.
Don't be too rough with your garlic at this point. The cloves can bruise and end up rotting during the curing process. Gently shake off dirt, but to not clean or trim the garlic before curing.
4. Dry it out
To cure, garlic plants should left in tact. They need to be out of direct sunlight, in a well ventilated, warm, dry place. To achieve this, I tie garlic in bundles of 15 or 20 plants with sections of twine that are about 36" long, and then tie the garlic bundles to beams in a garden shed, spaced about 24" apart.
5. Clean, trim and store
After 5-6 weeks, the garlic should be fully cured. Now it can be trimmed and cleaned up for storage. The roots should be trimmed back, using garden pruners makes this process quick. Trim also the plant, leaving about 1-inch of the stem in tact. Store in a cold, dry, dark place, leaving about a week's worth of garlic in the kitchen at a time. Properly cured and stored garlic can last 4-6 months, depending on the variety.
5A. Submitted by Ulster County Master Gardener Volunteer, Jean.
This blog article was provided by the Hudson Valley Seed Library, a small group of dedicated growers and plant lovers working to provide good seed to gardeners and small farmers. Your purchases support their work. Thanks!
They will have garlic planting stock available for sale in August!
Preparing the Xeriscape Garden for upcoming Learning in the Garden Workshops are 11 of the most Excellent Edgers and Wicked Weeders of the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County, Master Gardener Volunteers... some of whom are also known as The Mighty Mulchers!
"Learning in the Garden”
FREE Workshops 2014 Schedule
Stone Ridge, NY
Each month through October, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County’s (CCEUC) Master Gardener Program will offer a FREE workshop as part of their “Learning in the Garden” series in their award winning Xeriscape Garden on the SUNY Ulster Campus located at 491 Cottekill Road in Stone Ridge. These workshops are a fun, hands-on approach to demonstrate the principles of gardening! Each workshop is from 10:00am to about 12:00 noon and take place rain or shine.
- Saturday, June 21 - Welcoming Bluebirds
- Saturday, July 19 - Invasive Weed Walk
- Saturday, August 16 - Pollinators and Plants
- Saturday, September 20 - Picture This- Photographing Your Garden
- Saturday, October 18 - End the Season Right- Gardening and Tools
Pre-registration is available but not required. Sign up here.