Saturday, November 13, 2010

Harvesting Garlic

I've been harvesting garlic for the winter and well.... there is no disguising the pungent aroma inside the house. Yes, I know, most gardeners are planting their garlic cloves right now, anticipating garlic bulbs next year..and so am I! But unlike a lot of gardeners, I do not cut the garlic scapes from my plants in spring.  I use them when they form their soft little bulblets, and sprinkle those on my garden salads. Eventually they grow past that stage and get I leave them ..well forget about them really. So what happens...they fall around mother garlic..take root and make their own little bulbs.

So..there can be a few hundred of these, and they are just perfect for harvesting now. Covered in their skin, all dark and dirty, you dig the bulblet out of the damp ground,  slide your fingers over this and underneath, you are left with the glowing white baby bulbs. I freeze these in a baggie to use over the winter. They pack a punch that cured cloves sometimes do not. You could almost call these "garlic sprouts".

The crowded garlic was thinned out, and some bulbs were transferred to the new raised bed. Maybe next year, that will help with the earwig problem we experienced in spring.

This is how I grow my garlic. It might not be like others, but it suits me. I might not always get large bulbs but I am satisfied with those I do harvest. This is the first time in ten years I have really thinned them out, and I must admit, perhaps every three years might be a better idea))).


  1. Hi Brenda, not something I've grown yet but loved hearing how you grow yours. Love your white frames too - very nice!

    Wishing you a good day, however you like to spend it :-)

  2. Wonderful post. I have planted garlic before but in the spring! This past summer I've been learning more about garlic and for the first time planted bulbs in fall. Looking forward to see how things turn out next year. My mother never cut down her scapes either (and until recently i'd never heard of such a thing) and had a very free flowing type vegetable garden with plenty of volunteers each year.

  3. Ooh i am so envious of your teeny weeny garlic.

    I haven't planted any this year. My home soil has not produced garlic very well and those I grew in pots this year were disappointing. Sad, because I use garlic a lot in my cooking. As well as freezing, have you thought about pickling them. I've never done this myself, but have seen jars of preserved garlic with herbs. Looks good.

  4. How clever to work with your garlic and harvest it as you choose. I keep saying I will plant it each year and then get so busy that I forget. I suppose I still could. Great harvest Brenda! ;>)