I finally have garlic! I planted garlic last year and had no success. I decided to try again in the fall and look at these nice healthy garlic plants. I planted onions in this space last year and they did great, so I decided to amend the soil with my homemade organic compost and plant the cloves in the same spot. They loved it.
I finally harvested the plants this week, and I’m quite pleased with the size of the bulbs. Harvesting the bulbs required a little muscle. The roots at the end of the bulbs run deep, so you must dig the bulbs out. You can’t pull them out like onions. Since this was my first year planting garlic, I didn’t realize how much muscle would be required.
To avoid damaging the bulbs, I decided to remove the dirt until the entire bulb was exposed and I could get to the bottom of the bulb. I used my garden shovel and my hands, please wear gloves, to remove the dirt until the bulb was exposed. I than placed the shovel under the bulb and worked it until it became loose and than pulled it out. Nice way to get an upper body work-out, lol.
It’s amazing what can happen in 2 – 3 week in the garden. I harvested the bulb on the right 3 weeks before the other plants. You can see how much smaller it is than the other cloves, but it cured beautifully. It’s ready to use. I just need to cut off the roots and stem. Some people braid their harvest, but I’m just going to store mine in a dish on the counter since it’s a small batch.
I will allow the newly harvested bulbs to cure for 3 – 4 weeks. Once it turns white and the covering is like paper, I’ll shake off the dirt, remove the roots and stem and than store it. Some gardeners leave their harvest in the garden to cure, but I brought mine in the house and played them in a spot in the kitchen. Stay tuned for a post on what it looks like after it has cured. Do you plant garlic? How do you allow your plants to cure?