Discussion in 'Fruit and Vegetable Gardening' started by EBennedik, Jun 27, 2008.

  1. EBennedik

    EBennedik Member

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    White Rock
    This is my third season of growing garlic. In the first summer, I dug it up too late, and the skins were almost gone and it could not be stored for the winter.
    Second year was great. This summer, I will be away on holidays until Aug. 7th, and I know that Brian Minter says garlic should be lifted in the 3rd week of July! Question: would it be safe to wait for 2 extra weeks, or do I seriously risk a bad harvest again. Considering the slow spring this year, luck may be on my side - but I really don't know. Should I engage a garlic sitter?

    Erika Bennedik
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 12, 2008
  2. Acoma

    Acoma Active Member

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    Reno, Nevada Zone 6A
    Erika, if you will be absent during the key period of pulling the garlic, then it comes down to two things.

    The first is how many are planted?

    The second, is based on the natural timelines based on heat of day and night, as you put it "slow spring this year".

    This is where documenting your gardening work comes in handy. If you should have pulled the garlic last year by a certain time but waited to a certain date, did you document the weather? I say this because the garlic would be slowed possibly by the cooler and longer spring. How much, depends on your region. As you get ready to go on vacation, pull one and see if the rest can wait until your return. Document the condition. If you see it is too close to perfect, but not quite, get the garlic sitter. I would also wonder how many you planted, one, twenty, one hundred? Be sure that if you get the sitter, that they cure them correctly!

    This will be my first year doing the garlic, and I have about 30. Wierd thing is that they came up in a 3 week duration. I will wait for the browning of the leaves then test pull one. If good, then I will pull all those in the same readiness condition.

    I hope I helped. I hope the ideas I threw out did not discourage you.
  3. LuvsGreen

    LuvsGreen Member

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    Western Illinois
    I'm in zone 5, central Illinois, and for the past 4 years I've pulled my garlic around July 4. It looks like this year the harvest will be later by a week or 2 because none of the greens have started turning color yet although the softnecks are starting to lean. It's pretty difficult to give a definite date for harvest because so much depends on how they are developing in your area but after several years of waiting too long (back when I was first learning) I think I'd err on the earlier side rather than the later. I'm can't think of any sitter that I'd trust to handle the bulbs correctly.

    I plant about 100 cloves each year. I agree with Acoma's suggestion to keep notes about planting, development, and harvesting. Early on I thought I'd remember when they were planted and/or harvested but I never did remember and having my notes to refer to now is very helpful to me.

    Good luck and I hope you have a successful harvest. Homegrown garlic sure is great!

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