Depending on a variety garlic stays in the soil for around 6 months on average. Although garlic is not difficult to grow it does require some basic care. You should water, feed and look for any signs of garlic common diseases and pests, just like with all other plants.
Ask the seller when it is the time to plant and harvest the seed garlic you bought so the crop is at it’s best and stores well.
When to harvest garlic
You should stop watering about 2 weeks before lifting the garlic to ensure a dry harvest.
Garlic will tell you when to harvest – it is all a matter of balance:
- Hard-necks are ready to lift when the leaves start to change colour.
- Soft-necks are ready to lift when the garlic leaves lose their strength and lay on the ground.
The general rule of thumb is to harvest when around 60% of leaves are still green. If all the leaves are still green, the bulb is still growing and it is too early. If all the leaves have changed colour to brown it is too late.
How to lift garlic plant
You need to loosen the bulb and its roots before pulling the plant from the soil. This will ensure that the whole garlic head was removed and it will extend its life.
It’s best to leave the garlic out in the sun to dry if possible. Bring the garlic into a shelter if it rains.
After removing the leaves and cleaning the bulbs, unless you’ll eat your crop right away, make sure garlic is stored correctly!
After months of waiting it is now time to enjoy the wealth of garlic goodness and flavour. Some say that the garlic tastes best in the first 2-3 months after the harvest. If you are curious you should try growing garlic in your own garden or even a pot.
Visit “Garlic Recipes” tab in the lower menu at the top of a page for my favourite recipes and inspiration.