I went out into the garden, today, to catch up on how things are growing. I looked at my garlic patch and thought to myself: “These look like they are just about ready!”
See how the bottom of the stalks are looking dry and brown? The tops are still green, but starting to show signs of drying out.
Let’s have a little poke around the base of one of these bulbs, and see what we have.
Holy moly, that’s the best garlic I think we’ve grown! I’d say the whole patch is ready!
Today was a good day to pull up the garlic, because the soil was very dry, and there looks like there might be rain coming. It’s best to avoid wet soil at the time you lift garlic (and other alliums) because it’s faster to dry out the skins, and you’re more likely to avoid rot.
I’ve laid all thirty-one bulbs out on the patio table, under cover and separated to give them lots of airing room. Over the next week or so, they will dry out. Then I can brush away the dirty skin layer and store them.
The picture above is of last year’s garlic crop. There are only a few (about 8) large bulbs from that crop, but we must have had a similar number of bulbs in total. Notice how quite a lot of these stalks are thin and spindly? They match up with small bulbs with only a couple of cloves.
This year I didn’t see any spindly stalks. Maybe we’ve had a better season, or maybe we just prepared our garden bed better? This year we added well-rotted cow and chicken manure, and dug through some blood and bone. Then a week later we planted out the best five or six bulbs from last year’s crop.
They sure made beautiful bulbs this year!
We ate up all the remaining garlic over the year, and needed to buy just two extra bulbs. Almost self-sufficient! Very exciting. 🙂