The Secret Behind Knowing Exactly When To Harvest Hardneck Garlic
Timing is pivotal to harvesting garlic, perhaps more than most other Allium plants, including the one we are all familiar with – the onion. That is the reason we have crafted this article for you, dedicating it solely to the intricacies and nuances of knowing when to harvest hardneck garlic at just the right time.
In this quest, our focus as you might have noted is on the hardneck garlic variant. Are things very different in case of softneck or other variants of garlic? Actually no; at the same time, hardneck varieties are among the most sought after kinds of garlic, for reasons we will describe later in the article.
Accordingly, it only made sense that we placed special emphasis on aspects related to harvesting hardneck garlic in particular.
Garlic Grows Underground
Now, the whole crux of this post is on the basis of the fact that garlic, whether hardneck or softneck, grows underground. If it instead grew over ground, then we would not be surmising so much over the right time to harvest the crop.
After all, in that scenario, the ripeness of the plant would be visible to all and sundry. But in this case, with the plant being underground, we have to rely on other cues as to when to harvest hardneck garlic. It is these cues which we will explore in reasonable detail in the sections below.
At the same time, do bear in mind the fact that these signs are more confusing in nature in case of garlic, even when we compare with its close Allium cousin, the onion. Therefore, the whole realm of harvesting garlic is rather fascinating, a journey that requires careful traversing.
What Signs do the Leaves give?
All too often, a lot of our readers rely on cues given by leaves of underground plants.
Mind you, this is also quite a tricky situation – particularly in case of garlic. We explain below:
Having described both the scenarios as mentioned above, it is strongly recommended that you harvest your hardneck garlic when most of the leaves at the bottom of the plant have turned brown but some of the ones at the top (say 5 to 6) are still green.
Now, this is a phenomenon which depends on climate as well. Therefore, do consider the climate in your area, before deciding upon when to pick garlic.
Difference between harvesting hardneck and softneck garlic
The primary difference between hardneck and softneck garlic in the context of harvesting is the additional flexibility offered by the former. Specifically, if we take conditions in some part of the US where it does tend to get rather cold and frosty such as the North, hardneck garlic grows better and is also easier to harvest.
Additionally, there is a sign so to say in case of hardneck garlic for when to harvest it. This comes in the form of a stalk which resembles a scape. Typically you will find this blossoming around June – this may differ depending on your own location.
Now, the stalk is indicative of about a month or so left prior to garlic bulbs maturing. Therefore, this occurrence helps you plan your garlic harvest.
Caution while Harvesting
Any mention of garlic harvesting or information about when to pick garlic would be incomplete if we do not consider the precautions to take while harvesting your crop.
Don’t worry; there is nothing very complicated. At the same time, it is useful to have some basic aspects in mind while going through the process:
We wholeheartedly vouch for the following video from The University of Maine that offers an excellent, well-rounded perspective on harvesting and drying hardneck garlic in the best way possible:
In this section we enlist additional precautions which are aimed at the overall betterment of your garlic crops.
Now that we have looked at vital aspects related to harvesting hardneck (and other) garlic variants, it would be useful at this juncture to garner some inputs on garlic curing as well.
Some basic facets to keep in mind:
Between hardneck and softneck garlic, you will find the stages to be more or less the same.
Obtaining Garlic Seeds for Planting
Obtaining garlic seeds for planting is not a very arduous task. There are quality resources both online and offline for you to easily obtain preferred garlic seeds of your choice.
If we take hardneck garlic – the garlic variant that has been the focus of our article, then you can consider online resources for Siberian Hardneck Garlic Bulbs and Gourmet Chesnok Red Hardneck Garlic Bulbs respectively.
Online options for softneck garlic are not too far away or limited either. From among available choices, Fresh California Softneck Garlic Bulbs would make good choices.
This article provided detailed insight into the entire process of harvesting garlic. In particular, you would have obtained invaluable information on diverse aspects of the process such that questions like “When to harvest hardneck garlic?” would no longer be on your mind.
Yet, is there anything critical that you feel we missed? Or something important that you feel we could have provided more information on?
Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below – we constantly strive to offer nothing less than the best information repositories to our readers!