Is my Garlic and Scallions Ready? (pics)

naturenut_ohio(z6Ohio)June 4, 2009

I guess I am not sure how to tell when garlic is ready to dig up, I notice that these are browning at the top and the lower leaves have came away from the stem.. I also notice that alot of them are starting to make new stems within the original stem if that makes sense?? I took a picture in hopes someone can tell me if it is ready to dig.. also I was curious, are mu scallions looking as though they will be ready to harvest soon? One last thing can anyone tell me how to cure my garlic? I think that is the correct term..

Thanks so much,


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korney19(z6a Buffalo, NY)

In much of the northeast & Great Lakes states, garlic is usually ready in the middle of July, so feel the bulb with your fingers in the soil around the beginning of July... Onions depend on type, variety name and when planted, and if from seed, sets or plants. Most onions are 85-120 days, check your variety. Green onions will take less time. Garlic leaves will start yellowing, some say it's ready when 2/3rds are yellow, others check a bulb.

To cure, dig up the plants at the appropriate time and lay on wire shelves or hang from rafters or whichever, out of the sun, in a place with airflow, for a couple weeks or so until the rest of the plant dries and then cut them about 1/2 an inch or so above the bulb neck if hardnecks. Softnecks you will see the neck reduce to almost nothing and cut 3/4" to 1" or so above the bulb.

Some larger harvests field dry for a few days first by layering plants over each other in a way that keeps the bulbs hidden from the sun. This only works well with no rain in the forecast.

These ways work best for me here in Buffalo NY, your locale may be slightly different. Hope this helps.


    Bookmark   June 4, 2009 at 9:45PM
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lantanascape(z6 Idaho)

I wait until my garlic tops fall over before I harvest them. If they try to bloom, snip off the flower stalks before the flowers open so that the plant will keep sending energy to the bulbs.

Not sure on your second question - if you are trying to grow green onions (scallions) those look too big. For onions, again, you can wait until the tops fall over. If by chance those are shallots, you can harvest them in late summer/early fall.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2009 at 9:53PM
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shoot, I'm sorry your right, they are shallots, that was a typo darn it.. I thought it seemed early for the garlic, but when I seen the browning at the top and the dieing back at the bottom I thought it might be time..

    Bookmark   June 4, 2009 at 10:02PM
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lantanascape(z6 Idaho)

Yep, those garlics will continue to brown, and should fall over after awhile. I test them by squeezing the stem down by the ground. If it still feels like there's live stem inside (hard to explain, but you can still feel that it's sort of fleshy and has moisture inside), they're not quite ready. When the stems feel like they've died back all the way through, they'll cure the best.

That said, I just dug out some that still had fleshy stems because I wanted to make way for the okra. :) The garlic is an early variety from Territorial, I would expect other varieties to take at least another month.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2009 at 9:39AM
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If you are out of garlic, you could start harvesting them now for fresh use. If you don't need them leave them alone until they are about 3/4 brown. Then pull and dry for storage

For the shallots you could use them anytime if you needed some fresh ones, otherwise wait til the tops completly die and pull, dry, store.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2009 at 11:22AM
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colleen_mi(5b/6a SE Mich)

Your garlic is beautiful! But no, it's not ready yet. The tops will brown and die back a lot more. As lantanascape said, the stem within the stem might be a flower stalk forming. I usually wait until they are a bit longer and start to curl over at the top, then I cut them off. They are called garlic scapes, and they are delicious, too.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2009 at 7:03PM
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