How and When To Harvest Garlic

Garlic is one of the most satisfying crops to grow. But how do you know when it’s ready to harvest?

It’s important to sample harvest to make sure your garlic crop is ready to dig.

Look for the when the lower leaves turn yellow and die back. A mature garlic bulb is one in which the individual cloves are plump and distinct. A smooth bulb, one without cleavage between the cloves, is not yet mature.

When harvesting, dig and lift the bulbs rather than pulling them. Pulling can separate the stem from the bulbs and create openings for organisms that will spoil the garlic. Gently remove the excess dirt by rubbing the roots to loosen the soil and then shake the plant clean.

Directly after harvest, move the bulbs into the shade to prevent them from becoming sunburned.

With proper drying and storage, you may be able to keep garlic for 6 to 9 months.

Watch this video with Baker Creek seed production manager Martin Walsh for more tips: