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Garlic - when does it look ready?


I planted some garlic late last year to be ready this year, though I've got no idea when they'll be ready considering the long winter we've had. They all survived fortunately and have flourished with the recent good weather.

Can anyone tell me when's best to pick them? I've not grown garlic before!




  • Squeaky73Squeaky73 Posts: 5

    Hi.  I've only grown them three times before so am no expert but from memory you need to wait another few months until they really get quite big and develop what they call "scapes".  Those are the long, pencil thick stalks that end with a pale green or whiteish bulb that looks like an unopenend flower.  You can pick the scapes, steam them and eat them with butter.  They are really tasty and a free treat that comes as a bonus to the garlic!  I used them in stir fries and all sorts of things. Yummy.  Anyway, you can then leave the garlic until the leaves start to die off.  As long as your ground isn't soggy they should sit there quite happily until you're ready to dig them up.  At a guess (and based on my own experience) you should be digging them up sometime between July and September.  There are differences between soft neck and hard neck varieties but I don't think it makes too much difference to harvesting time.  I hope that's some use to you.  Home grown garlic is wonderful and it makes me happy every time I go into the garage and see my bunches of garlic hanging up ready to use.  Oh, one other tip - if you get more than you need, you can pickle it and it's delicious as an accompaniment to cold meat, cheese and all sorts of things.  Or you can use it as normal garlic or even eat it whole so long as your partner is eating it too!!  Good luck!

  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114

    Scapes are not inevitable.  Certainly they will not be ready until the leaves start to die down.

  • quercus_ruburquercus_rubur Posts: 334

    Generally around September/October when the leaves die down. I've eaten those scapes. They're B*** hotter than raw garlic!

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