Growing Garlic – Part 3 Harvesting Garlic

Here’s the third installment on Growing Garlic. Part 1 (an overview of Growing Garlic) can be found here and Part 2 (How to Pickle Garlic Scapes) can be found here.



When the tops of the Garlic are yellowing, it is time for harvesting. In the Valley, that is usually the beginning of September.



You may find that there is a lot of dirt stuck in the roots. Knock the dirt out or lay your Garlic out in the sun for awhile and let them dry a bit – this will make it easier to get the dirt out.




If the weather is supposed to stay warm, you can hang the bulbs outside (out of the weather). We hang them up down at the barn. If your weather is supposed to be quite cool or even frosty, bring your Garlic inside instead and hang it out of the way.

When I bundle them, I put all the largest bulbs together. I may end up with 8 bundles of nice big heads and 4 bundles of smaller heads. I bundle them like this so it is faster and easier for me to pick next year’s cloves (another post). I hang them in groups of 12, as I sell some and prefer to sell it by the dozen.

If you stab a Garlic head with the pitchfork when harvesting, be sure to place those ones of to the side. Use them up first.




After the bundles have hung for several days, bring them into the house. We keep our Garlic downstairs, hanging the bundles in my potting room. 

We don’t keep the Garlic in the Cold Room, as Garlic likes it a bit warmer and we don’t want the smell of Garlic wafting around our other winter stored veggies. When first hung, the aroma of Garlic fills the house –  what a wonderful smell.

Once the Garlic is pulled, hung and drying, we weed out the Garlic bed. It will only be a couple of weeks before this bed is planted again. The earlier the bed is prepared, the better. If another layer of compost is needed, now is the time to add it.

Next up, I’ll show you how I choose which Garlic bulbs to replant for the following year. If you have any comments or questions, please let us know – we love feedback!

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Update: For 2014, we are beginning to sell some of our garlic. If you are looking for Russian Red, Yugoslavian Porcelain or Music, please click on the link for more information.



  1. avatar Kari says:

    Thank you, Annie, for the inspiring three part posts. A few years ago, my class built raised beds at school. This year, we will start the fall with garlic planting. 🙂

    • avatar Annie says:

      Kari, I still have one more post coming, I think…I’m glad you’re enjoying it. Have a great weekend