Harvesting Garlic

I've been growing garlic in a window box planter since early last September.
The climate is subtropical (Osaka, Japan.) I started with a clove in five
spots and now have five plants growing. My question is, when would they be
ready to harvest? I've heard spring is ideal but just wanted to get other
opinions.
Thanks.
JT
Reply to
Taylors in Japan
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You can eat the greens as they come up; you wouldn't get any bulbs, but the greens are just as good. And that's the usual part used, for indoors garlic.
For ground-grown, harvest-time is when the leaves are yellow or brown 2/3 of the way down. That's August, if planted in September, over here; but we're sub-arctic or perhaps even arctic.
I don't think you can expect all that much garlic from pot-grown; and from my experience with ginger, any harvest you do get would just taste of dirt. But that's ginger, garlic could be different.
Do let us know.
Thanks, Henriette (fup set.)
Reply to
Henriette Kress
I don't know about that growing zone but then they are beginning to mature you'll see a small round stem come out of the middle of the leaves (called a scape) It will grow and an oblong bulb will begin to form at the end and chances are it will begin to curl into a circle. CUT THESE OFF as low as possible without cutting the leaves. You do NOT want that bulb to flower. After that just leave 'em alone until the main leaves are brown at least 2/3 of the way to dirt level or more even. Use the scapes just as you would garlic, or maybe even as an additional touch in a salad.
When the leaves have died, pull the garlic and you should have nicely developed bulbs. Wash them off and hang them in a cool dry place for a week or two at least (although they can be used at this point) After they've dried well, cut off the top leaves from the bulbs and store in a dark, cool, dry place.
Reply to
Steve Calvin
Growing in a pot doesn't affect the taste of ginger. We let it grow for 2 yrs in a 7 gal pot and end up with a load of tremendous tasting ginger plus more to replant. It flowers in early winter and then goes dormant even in the greenhouse. It must be the latitude (we're at 33 deg) with lots of sun and a long growing season. For 2 of us, we have all the ginger we can use for powdered, candied, tea, salsa, and every other ginger use I know. I'm sure there are some I've never heard of. Alternating 2-7gal pots is the way to go here. It even beats outdoor in-ground production by a long shot. I don't know of enough uses for tumeric if we tried it in pots instead of in-ground. Gary
Reply to
V_coerulea
I not shore about your climate but the general rule of thumb for garlic is: Sow on shortest day, Harvest on longest. (mid winter to mid summer).
Jeremy (in New Zealand)
Reply to
Jeremy
Like most folk advice, not terribly useful. In my location, the ground is frozen solid on the shortest day, and the garlic is well short of mature on the longest. Your mileage may vary.
Gary Woods AKA K2AHC- PGP key on request, or at
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Zone 5/6 in upstate New York, 1420' elevation. NY WO G
Reply to
Gary Woods
il Tue, 4 May 2004 20:38:09 +1200, "Jeremy" ha scritto:
Harvest when the tops fall over. According my gardening guide.
Reply to
Loki
Not a bad harvesting guide for onions but definitely wrong for garlic. Garlic should be harvested when it still has at least five green leaves remaining. These five green leaves turn into the paper wrappers around the bulb. If you wait until the tops fall over there will be no protection for the individual cloves. Anyone really interested in growing garlic should seriously consider purchasing a book entitled Growing Great Garlic by Ron L. Engeland. No, I don't have any financial connection to the book. Ross, Ontario, Canada. New AgCanada Zone 5b 43º19' North 80º16' West
Reply to
Ross Reid
I agree.
The first couple years I grew garlic, I harvested using the "tops down" criteria. I found the cloves to be seperated with soil in between. I was harvesting too late, ususally around mid July.
I have an extraordinary crop this year. I estimate I'll be harvesting late-May/early-June.
I was going to put a couple current photos on the web but I've misplaced my camera.
I put the following on the web on 4-18.
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Vancouver, WA
Reply to
Bus Driver
Ron's book is fine, though with a northwest accent, as that's where he is. I got some varieties from his farm, and most did OK in my _very_ different climate.
Shameless plug: On my personal page in the .sig below, you'll find very basic garlic growing info, as well as pointers to some growers. If there's a garlic festival you can get to, that's best of all for local information. I've never found a garlic grower who wasn't happy to share information at great length...
Gary Woods AKA K2AHC- PGP key on request, or at
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Zone 5/6 in upstate New York, 1420' elevation. NY WO G
Reply to
Gary Woods
Well, all I can say is that the harvesting rules probably alter according to climate. And planting time. I have harvested garlic in mid winter -waaay after the tops died down, they're mushy then if it's been wet although a few do survive to regrow next year. I've dug them up in summer too, but they weren't ready. I don't understand your 5 leaves left bit. Mine never get more than five anyway. When they *start* to go yellow, they have obviously stopped growing. I do reccommend a dry day though, easier to dry them off.
NZ climate is temperate. So quite how Osaka's would be different I can't say. But a google search found plenty of advice :-)
It is obviously a matter of research. How is your Portuguse? The abstract is English but the article isn't.
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temperate info.
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Try a search on garlic tropical and harvesting. See what you find.
Reply to
Loki
il 06 May 2004 10:54:33 +1200, "Loki" ha scritto:
I've found several sources that talk about tops yellowing. This is one.
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other is my book for NZ conditions, and some other sites.
Reply to
Loki
How many bulbs will you get from each of those plants do you think Bubba?
Cinnamon (newbie soon to be gardener)
Reply to
Cinnamon
For this year.
Split the bulbs into cloves and you will get 4-15 bulbs the next year, depending on the number of cloves in the bulb. The year after that, lots more. You're limited only by your growing space.
Of course, this means you can't actually eat any of the garlic since you're saving it all for seed. Bummer.
Reply to
dps
I'm in the Albany area Gary, same as you. This is my 1st try at growing garlic, having gotten some nice "seeds" at the Hudson Valley Garlic Festival last Fall. I planted them last October and they are growing great so far. Tell me, when do I harvest them??
73's, Bob
information.
Reply to
Bob
Easy answer: anytime you're hungry.
In general, you can eat garlic at any stage. However, most people wait until the bulbs have grown to their maximum size.
In Massachusetts (probably similar to the Albany area), I plant my garlic one finger deep in late October or early November. It's a heavy feeder, so I fertilize it moderately at that time. I mulch it with straw, not so it doesn't freeze, but so it doesn't freeze-thaw-heave out of the ground. The mulch keeps it frozen until the weather really warms up for a while.
In the spring (a couple of weeks ago, although now's OK) I give it another shot of fertilizer and go down the row looking for skips in the shoots coming up. Sometimes the shoots get caught under the straw, so I push it aside and expose the shoots, then push the straw back. The straw remains in place for the summer as weed control.
Around June in my area the garlic will put up a flower stalk. It is easy to recognize, since the leaves are flat, but the stalk is cylindrical. Break it off before the flower opens. This forces the plant to send its energy into the bulb rather than the flower. The stalks are edible: just chop them up and put them in whatever you use garlic in. If you wait too long they may get tough, but you can just peel them.
Around mid to late July in my area the leaves start turning brown. When about 50% of the leaves are brown it's time to harvest. Starting in early July you can pull a bulb to check on the size. If it's satisfactory, pull more. If you leave the bulb in the ground, it will grow to the point where the paper covering will split. Then it's harder to clean and doesn't store as well. (However, it eats just as well).
When you pull all the garlic, place it on a table in a dry place with good air circulation out of the direct sun and let it dry for a week or so. Leave the tops on. If you have softneck varieties, you can braid them at this point. Once the tops are dry, you can cut off the top (leave an inch or more of stem) and roots and brush off the dirt. Peeling the outer layer of paper is one way to get the dirt off. Store in at room temperature for the winter. The optimum sprouting temperature of garlic is 40F (your refrigerator temperature). Choose the largest and best looking bulbs and plant them in the fall for next year.
Other considerations: Keep the plant watered. It doesn't grow well in really wet soil, but it needs moisture to size up. When you miss a few flowers the plant will set small bulbils on the top. You can plant them, but they produce a fairly small plant and bulb. The best thing to do with them is to plant them close and use the greens that come up in the spring for cooking. If you grow other things in your garden, having a crop that is out of the field in August makes it convenient to place a leguminous cover crop onto the field. I use oats and hairy vetch. This gives you some automatic fertilizer next year. By harvest time the straw mulch has a start on decomposition, so I just turn it in to provide some organic material in the soil. Don't turn in the hairy vetch until mid may for best nitrogen fixation. By that time the vetch is fairly high and you may want to mow it to chop it up before tilling. Otherwise it will clog your tiller. Really hard to dig by hand. (the nitrogen fixation is in the roots, but there's useful nitrogen in the leaves, so turn them under as soon as you mow). It takes a week or two before the area is ready for planting.
Reply to
dps

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