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Early Garlic Crop

May 21, 2012

As the garlic leaves begin to die off from the bottom up, you know harvest time is near.

Once 1/3 to 1/2 of the leaves start to brown up I check a few bulbs to see what is going on and make a harvest decision. As warm as the winter was here I noticed the leaves were ahead of schedule and it dawned on me that conditions were probably right for harvest (it has not rained in a few days and the hot weather dried the beds out a bit plus thunderstorms were forecast for the coming week) so I did some checking.

I was surprised to find some of the California Late already past the “prime” harvest time, ie large enough bulb but a tight wrapper skin that had not begun to deteriorate with cloves showing signs of separating out. So I unexpectedly harvested all 3 type of garlic plus the elephant garlic over the course of Sunday afternoon.

The hardneck got floppy (sign that they are ready and then some) in just a couple days and the leaves were well on their way to browning as shown below:

The bulb size has improved as this is the 3rd generation of this lot:

As the day went on I had the hardneck as well as the creole Ajo Rojo all pulled, bundled and tagged in the shade of the large pecan tree:

The softneck was next, as the “California Late” was anything but late. The leaves weren’t as browned yet as with last year’s harvest but I was hoping for better wrappers/skins this year and opted to accept the bulbs for the size they had reached.

These were in good shape for the most part with decent size:

Elephant garlic was next (more on it in another post):

When everything was sorted, tied and tagged it parked on Lizzie’s porch while I took a break.:

The hanging system I put up last year was still in place so the actual hanging of the bundles to cure didn’t take long at all. (By late afternoon it was 90 or more and I decided to forgo farmer etiquette and exposed my pale legs to the world, of course while keeping the sturdy work boots in service.)

(Damn those are some white knees…..)

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Mrs. Cohutt permalink
    May 22, 2012 8:15 am

    I think your legs are cute.

    • May 22, 2012 12:31 pm

      Good to know, even though you are paid to say that.

  2. Dailey permalink
    May 24, 2012 6:53 am

    I hope we have enough garlic

    🙂

    • May 24, 2012 8:37 pm

      We ‘a scrape by i think

  3. May 24, 2012 10:43 pm

    I’m so intrigued. I have never really grown garlic & harvested it. My sister’s mother in law gave me some one year & it ran a muck in my garden back then & I decided it was more like a weed. Funny, I never thought to just harvest it. (way back in the day I had different ideas about gardening)

    ps… the boots are what really make the look, not so much the white knees 😉

    • May 26, 2012 6:08 am

      LOL, this is a backyard only ensemble, per mrs cohutt and cohutt’s daughter.

      I plan to let some garlic “go wild” and grow/divide on its own in a corner to see how that will work.

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