Harvesting Garlic

Generally, here in SC, garlic is harvested from May to June.  A rule of thumb for knowing when to harvest is that no more than 60% of the leaves have turned brown.  Ideally, the weather will have been dry for a week or so before harvest.  On harvest day, carefully dig the bulbs from the soil, leaving the leaves intact. Brush off as much soil as possible without damaging the bulbs or wrappers. Bulbs should not be left in the sun, but moved to a sheltered location with good air circulation, no danger of being rained upon, and safe from varmints. For most people, a screened porch with indirect sun is a good choice for drying or curing the bulbs.

Artichoke garlic is generally harvested earlier than either Creole or Silverskin; each bulb should still have about 5 green leaves when harvested. Artichoke garlic will store long enough for replanting in the fall but, if storing varieties for consumption, this type of garlic should be consumed within 6 months or less.

Silverskin garlic should be harvested when about half the leaves have turned brown. Under ideal conditions, Silverskin garlic will store the longest of the garlic types, sometimes as long as a year.