Harvesting Garlic advice needed

Need to know the best time to plant?

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Daveswife
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Harvesting Garlic advice needed

Postby Daveswife » Wed Jun 20, 2018 12:30 pm

Harvested garlic today. Do I dry them with the stems on?
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Re: Harvesting Garlic advice needed

Postby PLUMPUDDING » Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:31 pm

Yes just hang them up or lay them out in a dry sunny place until the leaves go crisp and dry. You can plait them into bunches and hang them up to keep until you use them. They are easier to clean when they've dried out. Just rub the loose outer leaves off and cut the root bits off with scissors.
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Re: Harvesting Garlic advice needed

Postby Primrose » Wed Jun 20, 2018 6:49 pm

This has prompted me to think abiut my elephant garlic. Some of the stems are starting to turn slightly yellow. I dug one bulb up to check it but it wasnt as big as I'd hoped. Am wondering whether it's worth leaving along longer or not. I could really do with that growing space for planting something else.

Garlic growers - any thoughts?
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sally wright
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Re: Harvesting Garlic advice needed

Postby sally wright » Wed Jun 20, 2018 7:21 pm

Dear Primrose,
it is generally considered that garlic is ready to be harvested when the first four leaves from the ground up have shrivelled. I assume that elephant garlic is similar but I would consider leaving it to leaf six if possible although with the dry year we have had so far that small bulb may be the size you are going to get.....
regards Sally Wright
ps it is a dry year here but I expect others may have had more rain.
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Westi
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Re: Harvesting Garlic advice needed

Postby Westi » Wed Jun 20, 2018 8:30 pm

My garlic looked ready with dried leaves but luckily I only dug one as they haven't cloved! On the one I dug you can feel the cloves forming so I am going to risk it & leave them a bit longer. With no rain expected they should be ready soon but they will get a water to prompt them into action as well.
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Re: Harvesting Garlic advice needed

Postby Primrose » Wed Jun 20, 2018 9:25 pm

Thanks Sally. I will go out and ount the leaves tomorrow!
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Geoff
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Re: Harvesting Garlic advice needed

Postby Geoff » Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:17 am

I usually harvest mine when I decide the rust has stopped it growing! Don't forget when you have dried and plaited it don't be tempted to store it cold in the fridge.
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Westi
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Re: Harvesting Garlic advice needed

Postby Westi » Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:46 pm

I checked mine over when I was down today & indeed the extra few days of sunshine has worked it's magic and the the bulb skin is now dry with lovely fat cloves inside. Mine has rust but when they are properly dry it generally is only on the first layer or so of skin so they look more presentable.

Geoff do you know if you covered them with environmesh if would stop the rust?
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Re: Harvesting Garlic advice needed

Postby sally wright » Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:02 pm

Dear Westi,
Leek/Garlic Rust is a fungal disease which is spread by microscopic spores which will go through any fleece or mesh. If you have had the rust badly then there are some things you can do to mitigate it.
1. Plant the cloves early in September; this allows the garlic to put out a very good root system and a few leaves before winter. Plant in the sunniest and windiest spot in the garden.
2. Feed and water from early March (I use rose food as it has less nitrogen) to get the bulbs growing ahead of the rust starting to affect the plants as the weather warms up.
3. DO NOT put the dead leaves on the compost heap; burn or put them in the green bin.
4. If you grow leeks as well then choose a rust resistant kind to avoid cross infection and grow them as far apart as possible.
5. Get rid of any groundsel on your plot and do not compost it as it can be an alternate host for the leek rust.

Another way to tell if your garlic is ready is to pinch the stem and if it flattens between finger and thumb the garlic is ready to dig up. This is a good way to tell if your garlic has the rust badly and it is hard to make out whether the leaves have died off or dried off!
Regards Sally Wright.
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Re: Harvesting Garlic advice needed

Postby Monika » Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:57 pm

That is very helpful, Sally. Presumably, the occurrence of rust also depends on the weather conditions, or not?
With us, we had rust badly last year on the garlic (not so much on leeks or shallots), but I have so far not seen any sign of it this year. Our garlic WAS planted in late September and it is in a very open and windy site and this year it has, of course, been unusually dry the last two/three months. I wondered if the latter has made the difference between 2017 and 2018.
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Westi
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Re: Harvesting Garlic advice needed

Postby Westi » Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:15 pm

Thanks Sally!

I pretty much follow that advice so probably why my crops are salvageable and why I can generally peel most of the rust layers off to leave mostly clean specimens that do store well. I hoe out any groundsel when I see & put it on the compost (oops) & I expect the field behind is full of it, so that I will be more vigilant with.

Monika I never had it for the first couple of years, but when it came to visit it never went away & I think the groundsel is my reason for it. As I can't control the neighbours or the farmer I will have to live with it & follow all the other advice and maybe not have pretty green garlic but will have garlic.

These wee thread is a reason I love this site, always something to learn. Cheers!
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