When to harvest garlic: the best tips and tricks

when garlic is harvested

Garlic is prized in the kitchen for its ability to add intense flavor to a variety of dishes. Garlic has a delicious pungent flavor and wonderful aroma, and it’s also very easy to grow. It’s also great to have your own supply of bulbs for winter storage. A question that arises from very common is when are the garlic harvested.

For this reason, we are going to dedicate this article to tell you when garlic is collected, its characteristics and cultivation.

When are the garlic harvested?

interpret garlic leaves

interpret garlic leaves

Since these are underground bulbs, there can be some understandable confusion about when garlic is collected. There is no telling when they have reached perfect maturity. If dug too early, the bulbs will be small, barely larger than a tooth.. But if you wait too long, the bulb may break in the ground. So how do you know when your garlic is ready to harvest?

The answer is in the sheets. To harvest your garlic crop at the best time, you must become an expert at reading the leaves, as the correct ratio of brown to green leaves is the best way to predict when to pick the ripe bulbs.

Garlic grows in warm climates and is usually harvested in early summer, depending on the region and variety grown. Nevertheless, in regions with mild winters, harvesting can begin in mid-spring. The calendar gives general guidelines, but maturity is more dependent on location and weather conditions.

Variations in spring bud appearance and summer temperature and humidity levels play a role in garlic ripening, and harvest times can vary by one to two weeks each year. Also, the type of variety planted can affect harvest time, as some varieties take longer to mature than others.

How to learn to interpret the state of the leaves

advice on when garlic is collected

advice on when garlic is collected

Knowing when to harvest garlic is as easy as watch the leaves die, first yellow and then light brown. It is desirable to wait three to four weeks after the pods have been removed, with brown and green leaves in a ratio of half and half, or two-thirds to one-third. But don’t let more than two-thirds of the leaves turn yellow and brown. This is because each leaf is a potential layer of a layer of paper around the bulb.

Only when the tunic is intact is the flavor and aroma preserved. In addition, they resist pests and diseases, retain moisture, and improve the storage capacity of the bulbs by extending their shelf life. However, as the leaves darken and die, so do the corresponding paper layers.

If all the leaves are dead, the tunic will be thin and ragged. This can cause the teeth to split open, exposing them to moisture loss, pests, and a shorter lifespan.. Garlic is best harvested when the leaves have fallen and half to three-quarters of the leaves have turned yellow. But again, the wise grower starts before all the leaves die.

How to harvest garlic

garlic harvest

garlic harvest

Water the plants deeply and evenly until most of the crop has matured, or when the lower leaves are halfway brown and the soft neck has fallen off.

When the plant approaches the proper combination of green and brown leaves, stop watering for about a week before pulling up the bulbs. This starts the curing process in the soil, which helps prevent rot. Also, it is easier to lift the bulbs when the soil is dry and brittle than when it is heavy and wet.

To lift them up, use a garden fork or hand trowel to loosen the soil around and under the roots. Be careful not to damage the bulb or the tunic. Any notches or cuts can negatively affect the longevity of the crop.

After loosening the soil, gently hold each plant by the neck near the bulb and carefully lift it out of the soil. If the bulb is sturdy, avoid pulling too hard on the leaves. Instead, run your fingers under the base of the bulb and lift firmly but carefully to loosen the roots.

Gently remove the soil, but leave the paper robes intact. Dirt adhering to the top coat will dry and be easily removed after curing. Trim the roots near the base of the bulb in preparation for curing and storage.

Do not wash the bulb. This can trap moisture within the fur, which can lead to fungal infection or decay. Once cured, use the smaller ones for cooking, but save the bigger and better ones for future garlic plantings.

curing and storage

After harvest, garlic needs to be cured for a period of time before being stored. Salting removes excess moisture and also helps the flavors stabilize and mature.

Some can keep for up to seven months if stored at temperatures a few degrees above freezing. But it needs a naturally cool place, in an unheated garage or shed, not a refrigerator because it’s too humid to store properly.

Freshly harvested bulbs can be used immediately, but their smell and taste can be strong.. Curing is a process that occurs immediately after harvest. The goal is to remove excess moisture to prolong its life. During this time the flavor will also improve, blend and soften.

To pickle the garlic, place it on a tray or mesh, leaving the leaves, roots and stems intact so that they can concentrate their energy in the drying bulb. Place the tray in a warm, dry place, out of direct sunlight and with good air circulation.

Rotate the bulbs once a day for three to six weeks, depending on the amount of moisture present in the plant tissue. Once all the green leaves are completely brown and the stem is no longer elastic, the bulb is considered cured and ready for storage.

Another way to cure them is to hang them on a hanger or rope, you can make bouquets or braids with several bulbs and hang them together, but be careful where they touch so that fungus does not form.

I hope that with this information you can learn more about when garlic is recognized and how to grow it.

When to harvest garlic: the best tips and tricks

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