Friday, July 28, 2017

Garlic Harvest 2017... Finally!

In the garden, pulled and dried for half a day
With our long, cool, wet spring and a late summer finally in full swing, my garden remains about four weeks behind schedule! Since my last post and garlic update, I checked a few heads again today. With five skin wrappers over the bulbs of both varieties, they were finally ready to harvest! For more detailed information of how to test the heads, harvest and set up for curing, check out my Featured Post 'Garlic Harvest 2015'.

Unlike years past, the heads are smaller and my watering schedule a bit different. I removed the mulch and watered every second day for 4 weeks past my usual 'Stop Watering Garlic Date' of June 22nd. 
Partially cleaned, tops cut to 12-inches
I stopped watering on July 20th this year and with the warm days with some wind, the bed had dried out nicely. I pulled the garlic late morning and let it dry in the garden for half a day. 

After dinner I used gloves to gently rub off any dirt and cut the stems leaving about 12-inches of the tops. I decided to give this a try because when pulled, I noticed they had dried in the ground more than I had seen in the past. The tops were not as tall and had also dried more than usual. Seeing as nothing else was going 'as usual' I might as well keep up with the theme! Besides, the curing process will take up less space and not be as messy. You will see what I mean by comparing the photos from this year to my 2015 post of the garlic drying on the screens
Drying on screens with fans
I'm also hoping this will expedite the curing to make up for some lost time.

Using elevated old window screens with fans is the method I prefer. It is under cover, in a garage, which provides the option of an open door for increased air circulation and completely weather safe. This year we managed to escape the little, unexpected rain showers and the roots are very dry compared to last year.

I can breathe a sigh of relief now that the garlic harvest is finally curing under cover!
Till next time... Happy Gardening and Bon App├ętit!

Photos by Sally Rae

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