How to Tell When Your Garlic Is Ready for Harvest

Garlic is one of those things where timing is everything, and the harvest period can span from May to August, depending on the date of planting, the weather conditions, and the type of garlic grown.

It can’t be picked too early or too late, but since the bulbs are all underground, how can you really tell when your garlic is ripe and ready?

The short answer is: It’s all in the leaves.

Unlike its allium cousin, the onion, garlic matures when its leaves are still partially green. Garlic bulbs remain below ground during development, so it’s hard to know when they’re ready to harvest.

Onion leaves, on the other hand, begin to lose color and wilt when they stop growing. The tops dry up and flop over, telling you it’s time to harvest onions. Most onion bulbs have pushed themselves out of the soil and it’s easy to see whether they’ve fully matured.

So what’s the trick of knowing when to harvest garlic? Look at how many leaves are left on the plant.

Each leaf above ground indicates a layer of protective paper wrapped around the bulb. A garlic plant with 10 green leaves, for example, will have 10 layers of bulb wrappers.

While there’s no standard number of leaves that garlic should have, a reliable harvest indicator is when half the leaves have died off, and half are still green. The leaves start to die off from the bottom up.

Swipe up to read the full post!