Hi all, I haven't grew garlic until this now so don't really know when to lift. I've read you can lift June/July but when is it too early. The thing is mine has showed some signs of leaf yellowing but nothing major, however I have come out today to find the majority are flat to the ground. My wife said it would be a cat has sat on it haha! Would have to be a very big cat! You can see on some plantings that there are some good sized bulbs poking through. Is anyone else thinking of lifting now, I know this season seems to be a bit ahead of itself, even my autumn rasps are in flower!


  • ClaringtonClarington Posts: 4,892

    Moggy - funny you should post this today. This morning I asked the very same question here: (no answer yet but worth you keeping an eye in in case someone comes up with something).

    While I don't think mine are cat related I am wondering if they're linked to big feet!

  • Haha!

    Not just me then, son think it could be big feet on mine as I've got my veg garden gated off in my garden to keep little people helping with digging when I'm not there. Thanks for the link
  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,115

    I would just pull a garlic as and when you need one. 'Green' or new season garlic is delicious.

    The remainder I would leave until the roots have let go and then lay the garlic out in the sun to dry off.  Like onions.

  • Thanks welshonion that sounds sensible
  • meganzqnmeganzqn Posts: 10

    Hello Moggy, depending on the variety of garlic that you've planted, there can be a window of between six to eight weeks that your garlic can be harvested. I use a combination of factors - when there are at least 4-6 leaves still green (bearing in mind that each green leaf is a bulb wrapper); when the bulbs have clearly defined cloves (gently scrape away the dirt to check on the progress of the bulb and cover up again until it's ready) and/or if they're hardnecks, when the scapes unfurl plus the above. If that's all too much trouble, then as welshonion suggests, just lift one and use it as green garlicimage I'd be wary of leaving your harvested garlic in the sun for too long, the bulbs can get sunburnt and won't keep as well. Here's a link to a good site with a guide to the harvesting order of the various garlic varieties

    my garlic has only just started to emerge - two of the early harvesting Turbans have shoots about 3" long just peeping out from under their mulch of pea strawimage another long six month wait before anything will be ready to lift!

  • ClaringtonClarington Posts: 4,892

    Can someone tell me what the difference between soft and hard neck is? I planted Marco last year which I think is soft neck?

    I've hung mine underneath the wisteria to give them some protection from the sun while they dry. Hopefully they don't get sun burnt there!

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 42,803

    Stuff about 'necks' here image

    Gardening is cheaper than therapy, and you get tomatoes. 
  • ClaringtonClarington Posts: 4,892

    Thanks Dove. I didn't realise you could plant in modules - that would have been ideal for the very wet winter we had (though it doesn't seem to have affected them too much despite their spending 2 - 3 weeks completely submerged!)

    I shall try to resist planning this autumns clove of choice from the list just yet!image

  • FruitcakeFruitcake Posts: 810

    I planted some at the end of October last year. They are just starting to yellow. Impatience just got the better of me and I pulled one up. Not a fantastic size but there's definitely garlic on the end of it! 

    I shall wait another couple of weeks now at least 

  • Busy Bee2Busy Bee2 Posts: 1,005

    I have some that are in the same bed as the broccoli, and have been insect netted against the marauding hoardes of cabbage white butterflies - not that the garlic needs it, just its cellmates.  Anyway, I planted it last autumn, it's beginning to get a bit scruffy, as are the onions planted at the same time, but none of them has 'gone over' yet.  I'm thinking 'end of June' - does that sound right?  The onions are starting to sit proud of the bed, but the garlic isn't - does it not do that pushing upwards thing?  The necks are pretty bullish?


  • meganzqnmeganzqn Posts: 10

    Hello Clarington, another site with comprehensive descriptions of the various garlic varieties -


  • Well I'm not sure whether I have hard or soft as I made a rookie error back in October and disposed of the packaging and forgot to write the variety down in my journal. However I've taken a photo to show, I think I should lift? 




  • artjakartjak Posts: 4,168

    I'm in a similar quandary; garlic starting to yellow, but on the elephant garlic, no separate cloves have developed; I thought that this was down to the mild winter, but will look at all those useful garlic websites later and learn more about itimage

  • vjwukvjwuk Posts: 26

    Garlic doesn't show it's bulbs like onions, I have got hard and soft neck I planted in Dec. Both are starting to yellow.   The hard neck will have a very rigid stem, I have tried in the past to plait these and it's nigh on impossible.  I usually harvest end of June, I'll pull one and check it then if it is ok I'll lift the others and leave out for a few hours then bring in, use a soft brush to get the dirt off and store in a cool cupboard. 

    The ones I planted at home in raised beds are a bit behind the ones I put in the allotment clay soiled beds so I'll be keen to see how they faired against each other.

  • BizzieBBizzieB Posts: 885
    CurlyCarly wrote (see)

    Hi Everyone,

    I live in the West Midlands and have recently taken on the role of finding speakers for our local gardening club. We are around the South Staffs, West Midlands, N Worcestershire borders. Can anyone out there recommend speakers from this area? (No personal details, just the name and subject should do it).




    Dovefromabove wrote (see)

    Stuff about 'necks' here image

    Thank you, an excellent link about garlic. image

  • Hi Vjwuk,

    Mine aren't supposed to be showing their bulbs either, I think its a combo of birds pulling them up in early planting and heavy rain washing the soil away a bit. however they have developed well from what i can gather at present. I've concluded these are of the soft neck variety.

  • BizzieBBizzieB Posts: 885

    Oops! image sorry about first quote, don't know where that came from - well, yes from quote saved but can't recall saving it, not that it isn't a good questionimage can't help there.

    moving on - the garlic link from dovefromabove was extremely useful.image thank you dove.


  • Bf206Bf206 Posts: 235

    I'm never quite sure with garlic either. Problem is I always get impatient as I generally want to plant something else in its place! I reckon about a third of the leaves on each plant are yellowed now and there's distinct leaning going on. I scratched around to look at a few bulbs yesterday and they look ok but I'm hoping a few more weeks may lead to bigger bulbs?

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 42,803

    Me too -  the garlic patch is ear-marked for some purple sprouting broccoli that needs moving on ....

    Gardening is cheaper than therapy, and you get tomatoes. 
  • Bf206Bf206 Posts: 235

    hah, yes raab for me! i've got beets, broad beans and garlic that all need to make way for leeks, cabbages, brussel sprouts and raab...

    dove, are you leaving your garlic in for a bit longer? when do you stop watering?

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