Monday, August 3, 2020

Garlic Harvest - First Impressions


This morning, I harvested the garlic - it's always one of the hilights of the season as you just never know what you will get.  As with most root crops such as potatoes & carrots, the "surprise" factor is always fun.

Ready to Harvest

This year, I let the garlic mature a bit longer than I normally would - I had been meaning to harvest it for the past week, but just never got around to it.

I try to harvest the garlic when the bottom 2-3 leaves die down, but this time, the bottom 4-5 leaves were dried up and/or yellow on all the varieties, with yellowing reaching most of the top leaves.

All week, I kept thinking "I need to harvest the garlic" but other garden tasks took precedence and it was just so darn hot & humid - I would got to the garden, do a few tasks, then come back inside to the A/C as quickly as possible.

The garlic was a little further along than I would like.

Yesterday it started to rain and I kicked myself for not harvesting earlier.  Today, however, we had a bit of a break from the rain and I decided to finally get out there and pull up the garlic before it was subjected to even more moisture this evening.  Ideally I want to harvest the garlic after a few dry days, but sometimes, you don't have a choice.

Luckily, all was well - none of the bulbs were overripe.  The protective, papery skins were still intact and none of the cloves were exposed.

Perfect!

The garlic this year is what I would call "average" - not bad but not stellar either.  I'm not overly surprised, though as I did literally nothing to the bed all season, other than weeding.

In fact, I didn't even bother taking the straw mulch off the bed this spring.  Normally, I would take it off in the early spring - which allows the bed to warm up more quickly - then replace it in early summer to conserve moisture, keep the bed cool and help with weeds.  Not messing with taking the mulch off then putting it back on was a lot less work and I didn't see a noticeable difference in how the garlic grew nor how quickly it matured.  I think I may do this (or actually NOT do it 😜) from now on.

For the trip to the garage (where the garlic is hung on a rack to cure),
 I place each variety in a plastic bag, together with the label

The final tally will be done once the garlic is cured, but it's evident that there were some clear winners overall.  Music and Duganski were, hands down, the largest of the bunch.  The losers were also clear:  Pitarelli and Puslinch Wild...tiny doesn't begin to describe how small some of these bulbs were, if you can even call them that.

A portion of the Duganski harvest

The rest of the varieties - Porcelain, Sweet Candy, Portugal 1 and Persian Star were right in the middle when it came to size which is more than acceptable.

Garlic all loaded up and ready to head to the garage for curing....

And off to the curing rack they go....

Today, I'm linking up with Dave at the Happy Acres Blog for his Harvest Monday roundup.  Head on over to see what everyone else has been harvesting over the past week!

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things” ~~ Robert Brault

6 comments:

  1. That looks like a good harvest. We don't use all that much garlic but Eleanor loves it, she can't get enough of it, so it's used more now that she's living at home again.

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  2. I haven’t had much luck with garlic for few years now so I gave up on it. It’s maybe time to try again and make more of an effort.

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  3. I've never tried growing garlic but I like the idea of low-maintenance crops!

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  4. Average size for garlic is not bad if it doesn't involve a lot of work! Music always made big bulbs for me here when I grew it.

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  5. Big and fun garlic harvests, the heads look perfect. My husband used a lot more garlic when we grew our own.

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  6. If you're looking for volunteer taste testers, Judy and I are available.

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