I’m a little embarrassed to admit it, but I harvested my garlic this week. 10 days from November. I’m really lucky there isn’t snow on the ground.
Let’s talk about what an awful gardener I’ve been this year. Wait, let’s not. I think it’s obvious. The good news is that the garlic is still totally fine! The bad news is that I need to eat it all fresh – or figure out what else I can do with it soon (pickling, freezing, etc). The thing is, when you don’t harvest it at the time you’re supposed to (let’s say, August, in my case), the garlic will think that it should start to get ready for the winter. So once the weather starts to get a bit chillier, like it has been here, each clove will start to get green sprouts (similar to what happens when I plant garlic in the fall for harvesting the next year). As well, all those layers of skin that help the garlic cure, have pretty much just fallen off – some skins on my garlic are still intact, but most have come off.
Also, harvesting it at this point is more difficult. The stalks are all dried out, so you really need to dig deep and pull the bulbs by hand. No big deal, just a little extra effort. I say no big deal, but I was actually cursing quite a bit.
So the moral of the story is: harvest your garlic on time if you want to actually be able to cure it properly for long term storage. Otherwise, be prepared to have a lot of garlic that you can only use in the short term.
And as always, the best part of the garlic harvest (besides eating it) is the wonderful smell of fresh pungent garlic filling the air of my home. I love it.
Sometimes I’m not an awful gardener! Here is proof (last year’s garlic harvest)!