I am back from an excellent vacation in NY. I had some friends watching the garden for me (gotta keep picking beans… don’t stop… keep picking) and they enjoyed beans, peppers, and onions. In fact, they got some nice local peaches and made a peach salsa that I can’t wait to try. Best of all, they go away this week and I get to watch their chickens!!
I let the garlic sit the extra week. This is late for garlic, but the weather has been so weird that I’ve stopped paying attention to normal harvesting times. I harvested yesterday and some may have gone a little long as there was some clove separation, but no big deal.
All in all, the harvest was pretty good. I got 80 bulbs and of those about 40 are in excellent shape, large, skins forming, lovely. Another 25 or so are in good shape. The rest are very small or cracked, but I’ll just use them right away.
For me harvesting is easier and safer by hand. I don’t have that many to pluck and I can be easier on the garlic. Most people use a garden fork, but I didn’t want to stab anything so I just reached in, cleared around the bulb a bit and worked underneath to get the roots out. Garlic can be pretty delicate so I used my gentle hands as opposed to my very strong hands of crushing. Stop laughing. I have very strong hands of crushing on account of my incredible strength.
After gettting them out of the ground, I cut the necks off down to about half an inch. I washed most of the dirt off, but did it very carefully. I want the skins to cure and they are in a delicate state right now. Too much scrubbing and I’d take the skin off and that will hurt my chances of storage.
I will hang the bulbs now in my garage, out of the sun, out of the heat, but not too cool. After a couple of weeks of hanging and even airflow, they should have pretty good skins going and I can store them in a cupboard.