I finally harvested our crop of garlic that I planted back in April 2014. You can read about where and what variety I planted in this post titled “Planting time for Brassica and Allium“.
It seems very late in the season to be harvesting garlic, but I checked back to previous years, and the timing is about right. Mid November here in Melton with our climate.
So how did it all go?
Well, it was the biggest and best harvest ever! The raised garden beds in the front yard are producing the biggest and best produce on our Suburban Food Farm. It must be all the sunlight that area gets.
You can see that they have a bit of dirt on them, but that is intentional. When you pull a bulb out of the ground, just dust off the loose soil and allow the bulb to dry. You do not need to wash them.
So much garlic, and each clove that I planted survived through the year and produced the most wonderful bulbs. I also found a disused dog bed that I gave a scrub with warm soapy water that is the perfect place to dry off the garlic once it is picked.
I keep it under cover until the tops fully dry, wipe off the layer of skin that has the soil on it, and then I twist off the bulb and store in a wicker basket in the back of the pantry. If you are wondering how we store it, check out this post titled “How to store garlic“.
As you can see, this Australian Purple Garlic is amazing. It produces a decent sized bulb, which is about the size of the palm of my hand. It also smells amazingly earthy.
There is nothing quite like cooking with fresh garlic. It is fat, juicy, peels quickly, and crushes easily with the blade of a large knife.
And the flavour? Well, simply put, it is sensational. It brings whatever meal you add it to alive with garlicky goodness.
Who else grew garlic this year? What was the result, and were you pleased with the flavour?
Lynda D says
I’ve grown garlic and onions in the same bed but my stems are still pretty green. I guess i need a few more weeks. Yours look fantastic, as usual. Im looking forward to pulling them up and seeing the bulbs. Im ready to empty my first potato bin this week, one evening in the cool. Cant wait to see if there is anything in there. Its like Christmas. ps. i did a post on my bag, its beautiful.
I have picked half of my garlic so far. I have been experimenting with different varieties. all of the standard varieties are up and hanging to cure. About 110 of them. I might have gotten a little impatient and pulled them too early, but I doubt they would have grown much larger. I had a mix of huge and small bulbs. Im planning to pick my Elephant Garlic (aprox 80 bulbs) in the next week. Idid pull a few already though and they were the best I have grown. So hopefully the rest will follow suit. I love harvesting my garlic and seeing it all hanging to dry..
I pulled up my remaining garlic (I had already harvested some) this weekend just gone. I grow a type I call ‘home’ as I can’t recall the variety but I’ve saved cloves and replanted it for the past three years, and ‘rose du cars’ which is in it’s second year but I learned from my previous mistake and made sure I documented the variety. Both have given reasonable crops but nothing palm size, maybe tennis ball size. But I’m pretty happy with that. Enough for saving, to provide a years with of eating garlic and even some to give away.
My ‘best’ garlic was golfball size and my ‘worst’ doesn’t bear thinking about. I’ve had better bulbs in previous years, so I still keep trying.
We did really well for garlic last year with some great cloves. I harvested on December 24th. This year, the largest from last year is the smallest from this! I have some nearly the size of my FIST! They’re insane! No waste here with the tiddlers though as the goats, particularly Pandora, love garlic and it’s good for a natural wormer or so I’ve read. She isn’t in milk so we have no garlic flavoured milk with which to contend. 🙂
I’ve harvested my hugelkultur bed I planted with garlic and the biggest of the big (they look more like onions) came from the base of the hugel. The tiddlers from the top so water and nutrients (washed down by the rain) both affected their growth. The other garlics all did well too. I’ve still 1 bed to go but they are in much more limited sun and are all still green.
This was my second year growing garlic. I had a better harvest this time. In the early summer I harvested the garlic scapes to make pesto…It’s worth growing garlic just for that. I also find I am using more garlic in cooking. Almost all of garlic in the grocery stores is from China…..a big reason why I started growing my own.
Next years crop is in the ground, I’m hoping for another good crop.
Exciting!! I am in the eastern side of Melbourne and haven’t harvested mine yet. Apparently it’s best pulled up when several of the lower leaves go yellow.
I’ve been growing garlic for about 10 years now. I’ve figured out an equation for garlic self sufficiency:
HOW TO HAVE HOMEGROWN GARLIC YEAR-ROUND!Work out how many cloves of garlic your household needs each week. Multiply x 52 weeks. Plant the required number of cloves (number of bulbs you’ll need depends on the variety you choose, e.g. some varieties average 10 cloves per bulb). Example: Say you use 8 cloves per week x 52 = 416 per year. Divide by 10 (if your variety will give you a harvest of 10 cloves per bulb) = 41.6. So, plant 42 cloves. You should harvest 42 bulbs @ 10 cloves per bulb. BUT THAT’S JUST YOUR FAMILY. Remember to add more for visitors, chooks and to share, and lots more if you want to eat fresh ‘green garlic’ as well as frozen/preserved garlic during the Aug-Nov ‘garlic gap’.
Jo Dumergue says
Garlic! I love the stuff and use so much throughout the year. In 2013 I grew a wonderful crop using my friend’s cloves (she has been growing garlic for 10 years or more and always has bountiful crops). But this year disaster struck my garlic, onions and Chinese leeks. I’m unsure why since the garlic was planted in a brand new bed we had created as one of the 6 beds so we can rotate vegies to avoid diseases etc. The problem was millions of tiny black aphids which seemed to breed by the hour. I have since learned that all offspring are female and consequently their breeding results in trillions of them sucking the leaves of my alliums! And ants are involved here as well apparently. Has anyone else experienced this problem – and if so, how did you approach this please? Initially I used the hose to spray off the aphids but they came back next day. I then used a mix of soapy water – they returned again. So I then used pyrethrum. By this time they had weakened the plants so my harvest was hardly worth it. I would love to hear so I can avoid this in future years. I hear too that the aphids are not soil borne so I just want to know how to avoid this happening again.
Gavin Webber says
Hi Jo. I had a similar experience with black aphids a while back. Here is the post where I wrote about it.
Hope that helps.
Jo Dumergue says
Many thanks Gav – this looks like you took the photo directly from my veg garden – mine looked the same! I’ll be putting reminders into my phone now to always check my 2015 garlic for these awful aphids so they don’t get too much of a hold & weaken the plants; & I’ll have ready the eco oil.
Just another question – how many times did you need to spray until you harvested your garlic & now that you are aware of the damage the aphids can do, do you spray with anything else (as a preventative, even if there are no signs of aphid infestation) to prevent the aphids even considering your garlic as a new home?
Finally, do you have any idea what actually ‘brings’ the black aphids to the garden, i.e., are there special conditions (mine may not have had sufficient air flow between plants)? I want to be much more prepared in future.
Jo Dumergue says
There is now an abundance of delicious Aussie garlic flooding the markets – is it too early now to save the largest cloves for planting out in 2015? Any suggestions on the best way to keep the cloves safe for planting out (Brooklyn, NSW) area?
My first year of growing garlic (at Port Elliot, SA) in a raised bed. I’ve grown Australian White, Melbourne Market and Australian Purple – the Australian Purple has browned of earliest but the others still have a way to go.
Nola Kontjonis says
Have been growing garlic successfully for the past five years now, and this year had to plant them in pots and even transplanted about another thirty from my garden in the last two months of growth due to us moving house! Was pleasantly surprised with a bit of TLC that they all grew extremely well!
Very jealous of your garlic crop! I seem to really struggle with it, though my shallots always do well. I wonder if I’m not watering regularly enough or perhaps to build up organic matter in our thin Hawkesbury sandstone soil. It’s not just the brush turkeys although they so seem to have a fatal passion for alliums! Any tips gratefully appreciated!
Jo Dumergue says
We live in Brooklyn (Hawkesbury River area) and 7 years ago had virtually no soil – lots of sandstone outcrops and lots of humous from dropped leaves over the years (which we collected). We made raised garden beds and bought in truck loads of topsoil, manure and mulch to build the soil and encourage worms – all paying off now and it has been a very satisfying few years. We take the trailer to my friend up at Booral and collect cow, sheep and chook poo to add to the soil.
The worm farms and compost bins do their magic as do the chooks – picking lovely red tomatoes already and though smallish, will be good enough to make some pasatta (sp?) today.
I am still grieving for my lost garlic crop though………and I figure that for next year I will plant garlic as early and as late into the season as I possibly can in the hope that if the black aphids do attack again, there will be some garlic coming on that will escape the attack! I attended the Stroud Garlic festival earlier this year and purchased different varieties of garlic to plant out, but the garlic that seems to do best in my area is the garlic my friend has grown successfully for the past 10 years.