I checked our Flinders Island Purple garlic this morning and after this hot weekend, reckon it’ll be ready to harvest next week.
So far it’s looking promising – Gen and I cut a plant in half to see if the cloves had fully formed. and yes, it looks like it …
Rule of thumb is when the basal leaves (lower couple) yellow off and the neck (in softneck varieties) softens. You can also feel the individual cloves in the bulb. If left too long in the ground, the bulbs will split or form outer cloves – affecting storage and appearance.
Since planting the crop has had three decent waters, a couple of weeding sessions with (very thick) more mulch added, plus a few feeds of BD seaweed/worm juice solution. And netting when the local birds got bored and decided to nip the tops off, back in winter.
We plan to harvest on Monday arvo at 3pm, so some extra hands would be welcome. Then the crop will be cured for 4 – 6 weeks in a dry, airy, shaded spot so that the bulbs can totally dry out and flavours develop and intensify. We’ll use our donated herb drying racks to do the job.
It’ll be worth the wait.
Thanks to Helen for the use of the land and water, Mel for helping pin down the netting, and for Leon for ploughing and slashing the ground.
For more info on garlic and it’s harvesting : http://www.pennywoodward.com.au/garlic/ or http://www.sgaonline.org.au/harvesting-and-storing-garlic/ to see what Penny Woodward says. And there’s some info our own blog.