Garlic matures in approximately 20-24 weeks, depending on the growing conditions.
When To Plant
Traditionally Garlic is planted on the shortest day of the year, in mid Winter.
Standard Garlic grows into bulbs approximately 7cm wide.
Elephant Garlic tends to grow larger with some bulbs growing to over 1kg in weight.
Garlic likes to grow in full sun, in good quality soil that is free draining.
Soil should be kept moist while the plants are maturing but be sure that the soil does not become heavy and too cold.
Garlic does not like competing with weeds so keep your Garlic plot well tended.
Fertilise with natural fertilisers once a month while growing.
Garlic Harvesting & Tips
Traditionally Garlic is harvested on the shortest day of the year but this can depend on the season.
The best way to determine when to harvest is when the foliage begins to brown and die back. This is usually in mid Summer.
Do not try to pull the bulb out of the ground by the foliage. Instead loosen the soil around the bulb and the pull at the top of the bulb to free it.
Garlic Harvesting Tips
- Stop watering your Garlic about 2 weeks prior to harvesting, to allow the protective skins on the bulbs to begin hardening.
- If you’re concerned that your bulbs haven’t been in long enough to fully form and swell, dig a few up and check them before digging up the whole crop.
- Don’t try and pull your Garlic out by the foliage. It can snap off leaving the bulbs in the ground. Carefully loosen the soil around the bulbs with a garden fork, until the bulbs easily come free, roots, bulb, foliage and all.
- Handle your Garlic bulbs extremely carefully. Knocking or dropping the bulbs can cause bruising and encourage rot.
- Brush or wash away any soil clinging to the bulbs then trim the roots down to about 1 inch for storage.
- Garlic needs to be cured so that it can survive longer terms storage. Either braid the foliage of 8-10 bulbs together and hang them, or lay the bulbs out (with the foliage still attached) on a mesh frame ( I use a wooden frame with chicken wire stapled taut across it).
- Don’t store your curing Garlic in a spot that exposes it to harsh sunlight. Choose a airy, shaded spot for 3-4 weeks of curing.
- Once your Garlic is cured, keep it in a cool dry spot for longer storage. You can either keep the Garlic in braids, or trim the foliage off to approximately 1 inch above the bulb and store in trays. Do not store your Garlic in the fridge.
Before storing, dry your Garlic bulb in a warm, airy place for 5-7 days.
Garlic can then be plaited together with the leaves and either hung or put in net bags.
Keep your Garlic well aired until used to prevent the bulbs from rotting.
Read other article on Propagating Garlic, Garlic Planting Time
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