Harvesting: Hardneck Garlic

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Tying up the garlic (the small bunch of 4 are my largest, most of which will be planted for next year)

The softneck garlic is better documented on the blog, but I also have hardneck Chesnok Red Garlic growing outside the deer-protected garden. Hardneck garlic grows better in the northeast, but does not store quite as long as softneck garlic. I planted it out in the terraced row garden, in the ground, where I had my yellow onions last year. Planted in the fall and got some nice growth by May!
Hand-stamped Copper Plant Labels
May 3, 2020

I planted these Chesnok Red garlic bulbs from a couple heads I got from Gardeners.com (this was an expensive source, but I was sorta last minute). In future years, I might consider grabbing some new varieties from the local Garlic Festival. Assuming we have festivals again...
Mulching the garlic bed with leaves and grass clippings
Planting the Chesnok Red hardneck garlic in mid-October
October 18, 2019

The terraced garden has clay soil, which I'm slowly improving with organic matter. This means a shovel was super necessary for getting the garlic out of the ground without damaging the stalk. The stalk is super important for drying and preventing disease/rot while the garlic cures.
The Hardneck Garlic Bed in mid-July (ready to harvest!)
Using a shovel to loosen the clay soil under the garlic roots
14 heads of Chesnok Red Garlic!
July 19, 2020

I generally followed The Spruce Guide to Harvesting Garlic which is pretty straight-forward. I waited until all my garlic only had 5-6 green leaves, checked the first bulb to make sure it had papery skin, and then kept going! Then I tied 8 garlic up together with twine and hung in the garage to cure for a month or so.
Hanging up the hardneck garlic to cure
July 19, 2020

And a month later, I cleaned all the garlic heads by trimming the dried roots, cutting off the stalks, and removing the top layer or two of papery skin. They're now assembled in a net bag, hanging in the basement:

Cleanin up the Garlic for Storage
Cleanin up the Garlic for Storage
August 22, 2020

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