We planted a large raised garden bed full of garlic last October. This is our entire year’s supply of garlic. We feed the plants a couple of times during the growing season and kept them watered. We have harvested all of the garlic scapes and it’s time to pull the bulbs, hang them to dry, and store them for the year. Some of the garlic bulbs will be further dried in the dehydrator and turned into garlic powder and others will be saved for the next year’s crop and the rest will be eaten.
When the garlic crop starts to have the lower leaves wilt and turn yellow, it is time to harvest. I use a pitchfork or a garden fork to loosen up the soil so the garlic bulbs are easy to pull out of the ground. If you fail to loosen the soil the stalks can break. Once the soil is loose it is simple to harvest root vegetables, simply pull up. The digging fork is perfect for the task at hand. Ultimately you want the entire plant intact when drying the bulbs so that they complete the natural drying process for long-term storage.
Garlic is one of the best plants to grow in an urban homestead. It is possible to grow all the garlic you will use for the entire year in a small area. We eat garlic nearly every day and grow all we need plus seed for the next year’s crop in a 6 foot by 8 foot wood raised garden bed.