Garlic Harvest 2011

Big garlic for seedIt was such an odd spring that I wasn’t sure how the garlic would do this year. I peeked a week ago to see how a few were doing, and decided to let them go another week. Yesterday I saw some starting to look more than a third dried out so I thought it was time. In addition to a designated garlic plot we have these planted around the yard along other plants, like roses. Last fall I planted even the smallest bulblets knowing it would be a couple of years before they got to any appreciable size. Here is a picture of some of the baby bulbs that will go back in the ground this fall.

baby garlic to plant againAfter separating these tiny ones out, I lined up the rest of the garlic to pick the largest ones to be planted for the next season. The rest we’ll enjoy eating during the coming months. I only had these on the grass a short time to see what we had. These should not be dried in the sun.

garlic arranged by size on grassI removed the largest bulbs for next year’s seed and tied them in a separate bunch. I also tied the rest of the garlic into dozen-sized bunches and hung them from rafter nails in the garage.  This works well because it is shady, warm, dry and gets some air flow. I let the small ones sit in a shallow container to dry in the garage too.

Garlic bunches hanging from rafter beam to dryNow we need to decide what to put in the garlic plot. I’m thinking of growing Mancan Buckwheat to harvest and turn into the soil as I’ve seen this recommended for soil quality and weed control. It takes 10-12 weeks to mature if we want more than a green manure. We might be cutting it close.

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