When to pull garlic

Jackleroy(6)May 21, 2013

From everything I've read, garlic shouldn't be ready to pull up for another month or two, but mine seems to be exhibiting signs or readiness. I planted a clove last fall and it sprouted pretty early this season. I was planning on waiting until late July or August to pull it up, but the bottom leaf has already turned brown along with the tips of the upper leaves. It's a softneck variety and is standing about six inches high.

Should I pull it or let it ride? I know deciding when to take it out of the ground is a tricky business and I've already dedicated so much time to it, I'd hate to make a mistake now.

Thanks!

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Jackleroy(6)

They're about a foot high, not six inches.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 10:20PM
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Campanula UK Z8

Oh no, I think they could stay in the ground a bit longer. Mine are practically decrepit, brown and falling over before I lift the bulbs.Traditionally, they are harvested on the shortest day.....but this is in the UK.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 4:38PM
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phantom_white(6)

You might try posting this in the Alliums forum. There's actually a fairly recent thread going on right now that would be of use to you.
I don't have much experience with garlic, but I have a 12 inch high 4x8 bed filled with it this year. Can't wait to get some of those experience points! lol

Abby

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 2:15PM
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Jackleroy(6)

Great, thanks. I'll post over there right now

    Bookmark   May 25, 2013 at 4:23PM
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rredbbeard(SE CT USA/zone 6)

I'm no expert on these, but here's my 2â: I have a lot of garlic that grew from just a few cloves from 30 years ago. Here in NE US, I leave my bulbs alone until fall, when they've usually produced bulbils too. I removed a large bunch of them that were in the way and laid them out in the garage. I was very surprised to see that when the leaves had dried, the bulbs seemed to have grown noticeably by absorbing the water from the leaves. So, when you do pull them, tie the leaves loosely together and let them hang until cured.

As a side note, I picked up this handy trick: when you are ready to peel the 'paper' off the cloves, place the separated cloves in a medium bowl, place another bowl inverted over the first, and holding the edges together, shake it as hard as you can for 30 seconds. the cloves should be stripped, and no garlick-y fingers. It works for me!

Good luck!

--Rick in CT

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 5:31PM
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