How to Harvest Garlic

by Kimberly Hickok

I love growing garlic. It’s just so easy. I’ve posted how to grow it here and here. So I figured I should probably let you know when you should harvest your garlic. Garlic should be harvested when the tops start to dry out and turn brown. Where I live in upstate New York, that usually happens mid-July.

Your garlic is ready to harvest when the tops turn brown. Pull the garlic and let it dry out for a few days. That allows the bulbs to get ‘papery’.

Tools used to harvest garlic

Then brush the dirt off each bulb and cut off the tops and the roots.

A closeup of freshly harvested garlic

freshly harvested garlic with most of the dirt brushed off

I use a double decker wooden bin for storing them. You can use a mesh bag like the ones that onions come in or panty hose. Just be sure to store the bulbs in a cool, dry place.

Wooden bin holding fresh garlic

One more thing, this is why you want to pull the scapes that grow from the garlic. If you don’t, the plant will put all of its energy toward going to seed rather than into the bulb. See what I mean? The bulb on the left is practically the same size as the garlic flower that is going to seed.

garlic going to seed

We ended up harvesting about 50 bulbs. Not too shabby. As I’ve said before, if you haven’t tried growing garlic before, you should really give it a try.

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