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Garlic

 
gardener
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I am new to planting garlic.   I used 3 different approaches late in Oct and planted it in a large container, raised bed, and a high tunnel.  All 3 appear to be doing well.  When can I expect to harvest?
 
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Since you planted at the same time as I did, I assume you have the same timings as me here in Berlin, Germany: You can start checking June/July for harvest. One rule says, you can harvest when at least 1/3 of the plant turned brown and wilted. Some others recommend to cut away if the plants start to create a flower which is supposed to grow bigger bulbs, I cannot verify that. But you don't have to follow all this. The best way is to dig a bit with your fingers next to a garlic so you can see/gauge/feel how big the bulb is already.
 
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John F Dean wrote:  When can I expect to harvest?



I've been growing garlic for about ten years and here's what I do. When the scape emerges and starts to curl, I remove it for two reasons- 1) the plant stops sending energy into making a blossom and it's my understanding that that energy will thus result in fatter heads of garlic, and 2) scapes are delicious, and can be used in numerous ways, even in lieu of garlic in recipes. After I remove the scapes, I then wait for, as Ben mentioned, about a third to a half of the leaves are turning brown.
 
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Yup, cut the scapes off and eat them.  They only show up on, I believe, hard necked garlic varieties.  In mid summer when 3-5 of the leaf sets have dried up, it's time to pull them.  Set them somewhere in an airy but shaded location to dry out for a month or two then cut the tops off leaving an inch or two of stem above the bulb.  They should keep in a cool spot in the basement till February.
 
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agreed with both posts above. scapes are delicious and unless you’re going for true seed for some reason, better off eaten - note, that’s only hardneck garlic varieties, softnecks rarely grow flowers. harvest when 1/3 of the leaves are dead. around here, that’s usually around the end of june. i cure the most undamaged plants (leaves, stalks, and all) in a shady, covered area with decent airflow for around 6 weeks before cutting stalks off, cleaning the bulbs up, and bringing them in.
 
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When you think they're ready pull one plant. You should be able to clearly see the cloves beneath the paper, but the paper should not be splitting. Also, if you can, stop watering them when you think they're getting close.
 
Mike Haasl
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I always think they're getting thirsty and having troubles for a while before I realize they're just naturally dying and I can stop pouring extra water on them
 
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