tedln
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A question for the garlic growers.

Okay, I'm a newbi at growing garlic and simply don't know how to tell when it is time to dig it up.

My garlic leaves are about 36" tall. The outer, older leaves are turning brown. Many of the plants are producing flower stalks. The necks are bending over allowing the leaves to bend to the ground.

Some of the plants appear to have cloves which have grown so much they have broken through the outer layer and the individual cloves have sent up green shoots.

Is it time to harvest?

Ted
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TZ -OH6
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The lower leaves die and form the paper covering the bulb. You want 3-4 layers of these skins for good storage so when about 1/3 of the leaves die off it is time to dig them up and cure them. If you leave them too long (let more leaves die) funny things can happen to the bulb (clove separation etc).

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Ozark Lady
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I think you are a bit late already.

Any smaller cloves that have sent up greens, I would separate from the others and replant them.

If you don't do this, you will have garlic, like the one that I missed last fall. It is a clump, it looks more like wild onions, or chives than garlic. And I already know they are too close together to make any decent bulbs.

So, this fall, I will dig the clump and separate them out, for next year!

My garlic bloomed, and then soon started having leaves turn brown, I dug one to examine it, I would have liked larger, but the paper was just barely enough, so I elected to pull them, let them air dry a bit, wipe off the dirt, and then store them. In my case, I braided them and just hung them in the pantry, which is away from the appliances that produce any heat.
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tedln
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I may not grow garlic again unless I can find a variety that doesn't grow so big in my area. If I wind up with a lot of individual cloves instead of solid bulbs, will too much garlic mess up my compost pile. I understand critters other than vampires are repelled by garlic. How about the microbes in compost piles?

Digging them now will work well because my Prudens Purple tomatoes are planted about six inches behind the garlic. They will now be able to get sunlight all day long. The haven't seemed to suffer from lack of light. They are almost twenty four inches tall now.

Ted
Last edited by tedln on Wed May 05, 2010 9:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Ozark Lady
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How about selling it at a Farmer's Market? Or blessing a food bank with it?

I wish that I had the problem of garlic getting too large!

What kind of garlic did you grow anyhow?

You know, you can still chop up the garlic, even the ones with green on them, and then just freeze them on a cookie sheet, once they are frozen then stick them in a freezer bag, and you have loose garlic that you can just add a bit to your recipes, or cold medicines, or use to treat wounds.

You might like the green part it is usually milder than the bulb.
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tedln
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Ozark Lady,

I'm not sure what variety it is. It may be elephant garlic which I understand is not a true garlic. It is huge and seems to have a purple colored stem. I wanted to see how garlic grows so I just bought some at the grocery store. I may be a little more selective this fall and try to order some that is appropriate for my area. While I love to eat dishes with garlic, I've never had good luck trying to cook with grocery store garlic. It simply isn't strong enough for my taste.

I may try a few bulbs the way you suggested and bake them in the oven. I'm not sure. If I do, I will need to plan it for a week when we will not be around other people.

Ted
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gixxerific
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or you could save it to make organic insect spray for later in the season when the bugs really come out.

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jal_ut
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I may not grow garlic again unless I can find a variety that doesn't grow so big in my area. If I wind up with a lot of individual cloves instead of solid bulbs,
When garlic forms a multi faceted bulb there is a skin surrounging the whole thing. If let to stay in the ground too long, that skin deteriorates letting the cloves go individually. To prevent this you need to dig them a little earlier.
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Dixana
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Where's a goos place to order garlci? It's a must for us!! We LOVE garlic around here :D
Are there varieties that are better than others? Will it grow ok in zone 4?

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Ozark Lady
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Actually, the garlic odor will pretty much clear after one day. So just pick a day to be a recluse, go fishing or something. Then by day two it isn't really noticeable.

This is my first year growing garlic other than plain old grocery store edibles! But, hey, it works. I am excited to see what these new ones will look and taste like, they are up and looking just as good as the grocery store ones, so I will find out.
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TZ -OH6
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I order my garlic from Bloosqualls.


https://www.bloosquallsgarlicfarm.com/garlicvarieties.htm

He is a small grower and his prices are much much lower than most places.

tedln
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Okay, I harvested my garlic today. I think it turned out okay. The bulbs on the left are the cloves that burst through the paper outer layer. The others are normal, still well enclosed in the outer cover to be called bulbs. The larger bulbs are about 3 1/2" in diameter. Our temps are reaching the high 80's with low 90's here shortly. How long should I let them dry. Should I bring them inside if rain is approaching? Are they edible now or do they need to dry and cure before eating them?

[img]https://i291.photobucket.com/albums/ll308/tedln/2010%20Garden/IMG_2233.jpg[/img]

Ted
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WOW! I am jealous!! Good lookin garlic ted :)

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Ozark Lady
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Awesome harvest!
You can eat them now. You just let them air dry a bit, normally in the shade to help them stay good longer. Any moisture in the bulbs or foliage that is excessive will cause rot.

If you want to freeze them, or dehydrate them and make powder, you don't have to air dry them. Only if you plan to braid, or store the bulbs is that necessary.

I bet you will like the strength of these better!
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jal_ut
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Nice harvest. I don't know much about your climate there. Here in dry Utah I can put them in a cardboard box, one layer deep, and put them in the garage. They will dry fine like that and keep like that too. If you have high humidity I don't know what to suggest as I have never lived in a high humidity area.

If those are softneck, you can braid them and hang up the rope in the shed or garage. Hardnecks and elephant garlic don't braid because of the stiff central stem.

I would bring them in if its going to rain.

Yes, they are edible now.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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Ozark Lady
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It is humid here, and I find they keep better in the pantry, since the a/c pulls moisture out and the heat does in winter. Outside that is not the case. So I airdry them, until the dirt dries and can be brushed off, and dummy me, I braid them, no matter what they are! About 4-5 inches up the stiff necks will braid.
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tedln
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Curiosity overcame me. I was concerned that my garlic harvest would be as bland and flavorless as the store bought garlic from which it grew. My intent was to probably compost it if it was tasteless. I didn't want to give it to someone else to eat if I didn't like it. I picked up one of the cloves and peeled it. I took a good bite and was momentarily disappointed. Then it hit me. I didn't realize raw garlic is that hot. It has probably been a couple of hours since I ate it and I still have a pleasant garlic taste in my mouth. Guess I will have to cook a couple of bulbs with olive oil on the grill soon and see how that tastes. Probably have some garlic infused olive oil over angel hair pasta next. Maybe a little garlic toast on the side. I hope no one shows up to visit for the next few days. Not disappointed so far.

Ted
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Ozark Lady
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I found that out the hard way. Many recipes for salad, say, take garlic and rub a wooden salad bowl, then put your salad items into it, for a nice hint of garlic. Hint nothing, I like garlic, so I did that, then I chopped the garlic into the salad... definitely got my attention.

The heat will dissipate with cooking, but the flavor will remain.
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I've actually heard that you can bake the bulb in the oven and it will lose its heat and take on and almost creamy texture. I've yet to try this myself as I hear that it really permeates the house and am waiting for a day when I can have the windows open :).

How do you cook it on the grill, just leave it in bulb-form and pour olive oil over it? Do the cloves ever separate and fall through the grate? (this thread is starting to make me hungry.)
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TZ -OH6
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I roast most of the garlic I grow. What doesn't get eaten with dinner is fine reheated in the microwave (good on crakers) so you can roast a lot at one time. I really don't recall ever noticing a fragrance coming from the oven. It is wrapped in foil anyway. Even when I include bare cloves while roasting olive oil coated potatoes and radishes there is not a smell.


There is a world of difference in the roasted flavor of heirloom garlics over store bought. The white storebought variety has a harsh taste that seems good until you compare it to others. Possibly because it is often old and getting ready to sprout.

tedln
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The clove I bit into yesterday was full of juice and seemed to carry a lot of flavor in the juice. The store bought garlic that it grew from was dried and cured. The juices were gone and it had less flavor. It is possible that the longer garlic cures, the more flavor is lost.

When I cook it on the grill, I will cut it in half the same way I cut a lemon or orange in half exposing all of the sections. I will drizzle a little olive oil over the exposed cloves and loosely enclose them in aluminum foil. Place them on one side of the grill and continue cooking other things on the grill. I think it is the same way it would be baked in the oven. I cook baked potato, whole sweet potato, sweet corn, and many fresh veggies on the grill. Can't wait for my summer squash to get here. Cooking on the grill gives great results, reduces kitchen cleanup, helps keep the house cool in the summer, reduces cooking odors in the house, and is fun.

Ted
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