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-   -   Think my garlic is ready?? (http://www.tomatoville.com/showthread.php?t=47671)

gssgarden June 13, 2018 11:13 AM

Think my garlic is ready??
 
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Usually I see 3-5 leaves to dry up from the bottom but this year the tops seem to be turning as well.
Garlic lovers.....think they’re ready to go and be hung?

Thanks in advance!

Greg

brownrexx June 13, 2018 02:38 PM

That's a nice crop. I would probably dig one up and check it. You definitely don't want the cloves to start separating in the head which they will do if they are too mature but if they are still nice and tight you can even wait a bit longer if you want to.

gssgarden June 13, 2018 03:12 PM

Thanks Rexx. Will do exactly that. I think I may just pull them anyway they're not going to get much bigger than next week or two so why not just do it and get it over with. :)

bower June 13, 2018 05:03 PM

I was going to say the same thing, pull one and see.

Are they softnecks? With the hardneck there's always counting the weeks from the scapes, which is helpful.

PureHarvest is in NC too.. I don't think he has harvested the hardnecks quite yet but they are close. OTOH our softnecks here were always the earliest, at least a week earlier than any of the hardnecks, which is great when you're antsy to pull em up and admire em! :D

brownrexx June 13, 2018 07:10 PM

You probably already know this but dig them, do not pull. Pulling puts extra stress on the necks and can actually cause some breakage.

ChiliPeppa June 13, 2018 07:26 PM

Give them a few more days.

svalli June 14, 2018 12:28 AM

I can see some cut scapes on the photo, so these must be hardnecks. I tried counting the green leaves on the plants and got to six on most of them. I usually pull when there is still five mostly green leaves, so I think that you are not yet in real hurry, unless there is rainy weather coming.

Good looking plants!

Sari

zipcode June 14, 2018 03:34 AM

Of course, digging one is the best indicator. Cloves should be visible in the shape of the bulb.
My guess would be they're not ready.

PureHarvest June 14, 2018 06:00 AM

Bower, NC is 6 and a half hours or 400 miles south of me, so we aren’t quite the same zone lol.
But, it confirms my thoughts about leaving my crop in another week at least.

PhilaGardener June 14, 2018 06:17 AM

Good luck! I waited an extra week last year and my wrappers started to break down. Watch our for (more) wet weather!

PureHarvest June 14, 2018 07:52 AM

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Here's what my garlic looks like as of this morning.
The last pick shows a scape I left on one plant. Notice how green the leaves still are compared to the one where the scapes were taken off.
In Ron England's book, he takes scapes after the coil has fully formed and then starts to straighten out. I might go more towards taking them off when they start to coil. I took mine off right as they were emerging.
Based on what that one plant looks like (being still 90% green), it looks like taking scapes off early speeds up the drying down process.

In other words, waiting longer to take off scapes seems to keep the plant fully green longer. Perhaps this is a good thing for the resulting bulbs as far as size and storage quality/length. This assumes that you still will cut it off a week or so before harvest to not have the bulb size lessened by leaving the scape on through harvest.

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clkeiper June 14, 2018 08:29 AM

THAT! is a lot of garlic. how do you sell it? by the pound, head, on line, at markets? I can hardly move garlic at my market.

PureHarvest June 14, 2018 08:36 AM

We eat all of it.
Just kidding.
I am planning on sending it to a huge CSA in my area. They send out over 400 boxes per week. I'm calling them today.
There is also a broker 30 minutes away that I am calling too.
Last year I sold to about 5 produce stands, but only had a fraction of what I do this year.
I broke the cardinal rule of having a market before you grow a crop, but that is how I roll sometimes. I wanted to try garlic on a somewhat large scale to see if it was doable with my schedule etc, with the faith that if it worked I would find a way to move it all.
Consider too that I will keep 25% of what is there for planting stock this fall.
Shied away from online because of the website, payments, handling, shipping etc. I don't have the time.
Last year I sold by the pound and buyers could wrap their head around the price per pound or how to mark that up and sell by the pound. They always want to know how many bulbs per pound.
This year I will offer them by the each price. .65 for medium, .95 for large.
This works out to about $5.50/lb.

TomNJ June 14, 2018 08:37 AM

Those are not ready in my opinion. I wait until there are just four mostly green leaves before harvesting to get the largest bulbs. Mine store very well - in fact I am still eating fresh garlic (Music) stored in my cellar (temperature and humidity @ 65°F) with no sprouting and very little green streaks in the clove centers.

bower June 14, 2018 08:41 AM

I believe Henry and others also said, if you leave a scape or two on, they show when the rest is ready to harvest - when the scape stands fully upright. I don't think mine have ever got to that point but our weather is always threatening to turn wet and so I tend to err on the early side. Excuses, it's true, I just can't wait to get my hands on em. :)
An advantage of early harvest for a home gardener, it's said to improve keeping quality. I'm still eating porcelain garlic, still good ten months now from the harvest date.
Excuses, more excuses. ;)
Down side is bulbs will be smaller of course, the earlier you harvest.
And somewhere in the middle there's "just right".... :roll:
Posted the same time as you, TomNJ. Sounds like you have the "just right" figured out!


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