I planned to write about harvesting garlic this week. Then I saw that a number of my Blogger friends had the same idea. In fact, if you want a how-to, head on out to Old World Garden Farms for information including a video. What you’ll find here is probably more like ‘how-not-to.’
I did talk to my master gardener friend, Linda Hoffman, who gave me a cheat-sheet on garlic harvesting. I read it once, then put it away – meaning I lost it. I did remember to cut off the flowers, which look like little bulbous growths on the top of the stem. Here they are in the burn pile. Linda did say I could use them for cooking but I ran out of time before I could do the research on how-to.
I remembered reading that the tops had to die back 50 percent before getting the garlic up. And Linda reminded me to lift the garlic instead of trying to pull it out. As you can see, I planted a life-time supply of garlic.
So today was the day. I got out my trusty fork and found that to lift the garlic, I had to lift half the soil in the garden, still muddy from all the rain. A lot of work – and thanks to husband Jim for his help!
But then my memory failed me. I knew I was supposed to hang the garlic someplace dark, dry, and not too hot. But did I clean it first? Cut the roots off? What? The garlic in the produce department at the store is always clean and dry, no roots. So I opted to cut the roots off. Once again, Jim to the rescue. I hosed while he cut, leaving me with a wheelbarrow full of roots and mud. Where to put it?
Perspective is everything! I considered it compost for next year’s garlic crop and dumped the whole wheelbarrow on the bed. What’s still growing there is horseradish, which I also am unsure of how to harvest – another story for another day!
But where to hang the garlic? Had to be out of the sun, cool, relatively dry. The basement? Too smelly. The kitchen? Really too smelly!! Ah yes, Jim’s workshop.
So there it hangs with a fan on to keep it dry, out of the sun. Hoping that it won’t get too hot in the next few days.
Now. How to store it?