Garlic harvest

I love to toil in the soil. Not everyone does. I have a corner lot and as cars drive past my vegetable garden I’m sure some folks are thinking- “what a dope that guy is, if he added up all of his time and expenses he’d see it’s cheaper to go to Safeway for his veggies.”

I harvested my ‘German White’ hard-neck garlic on Saturday. I created a new 16 ft. X 4 ft. bed last fall and planted 4 rows of 55 cloves each last November. My investment was 10 lbs. of garlic ($50) for planting, 4 bags of compost ($16) and some fertilizer ($3)- a total of $69. I don’t put a $ value on my gardening time- it’s a gift to myself, my family and friends.

I harvested 205 solid bulbs (about 45 lbs.) and discarded about 15 bulbs that were way small or rotted.I would have to pay about $200 to buy that much good, fresh garlic at a farmers market and about $135 to buy much lower quality garlic from a supermarket.

I also harvested garlic greens and scapes from April through June that would have cost another $20.And with the garlic out of the ground I’m ready to come back with a double row of bush beans that I’ll put in the freezer.

5 Comments on “Garlic harvest

  1. Thanks for this very informative post, Jon. Two questions:

    1) It seems that your planting distance was about 3.5″ apart (55 cloves in 16 ft). If you'd used the square foot garden method instead rows separated by 1 foot, how many cloves would you plant in a 1 foot square?

    2) Where did you preserve the garlic you harvested after it dried? I've not planted garlic because when I store a few bulbs from the farmer's market in a dark cupboard, they sprout within a week. Any recommendations?


  2. I too harvested garlic recently, the first I've ever grown. I dried them for a few days on the floor of the garage, then wove the tops like a braid and hung to dry further. Do you think I will be OK?

  3. Lena- 1)I would plant the cloves 4 inches apart in each direction. 2)After drying my garlic I store it in my basement where it is about 68 degrees F. and the humdiity is fairly high. I bring 5-10 bulbs at a time to my kitchen.

    Dave- Yes, it should store just fine. You probably grew soft-neck garlic if you were able to braid it.

  4. When is the garlic you've harvested ready to eat?

  5. I would also Like to know when you can eat garlic after youv've harvested it?

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