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I have heard that you can leave garlic in the ground too long. What is the correct time, and how do I know when to harvest for best results.
It's great to see the planting and harvesting of garlic but I never know how you tell when they are ready for harvesting?
I believe you wait until the plant has flowered and the leaves have withered, then it is right to harvest. Haven't done it myself yet though as this is my first year growing garlic!
I love both wild and bulb garlic...but this has inspired me to try growing it myself!
The adverts are ridiculous, one 20 seconds then just a longer version of the same damn advert which was 40 seconds. 60 seconds of ads to watch a 43 second clip!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Get a life gardeners world and stop wasting mine.


I have grown garlic for a few years now.  I plant in October/November and overwinter.  It has appeared now.  When the leaves go yellow I investigate to see how the bulb looks and if O.K. I harvest and hang up to dry.  Some people eat it 'green' and others prefer it dried.  I keep it overwinter in a dark cupboard (the odd bulb in the fridge as I use it) and I am just on my last bulb now.  I am no expert.  Just plant it and wait. I think you can plant it anytime.  Not sure. 

Graham Morgan
I left my garlic in a raised bed overwinter, and have now found that each bulb has divided into at least 10 smaller bulbs, each one is like a spring onion, I am going to try and grow them on again and see what happens, hopefully I will get lots of garlic,
Q. has anyone else tried this and does it work OK ?.

We planted "Isle of Wight" garlic in late Oct. Grown well and tall BUT not divided. Any ideas??

nb Live in Hampshire and planted in well manured soil.


Garlic is not normally ready to harvest until July. When the foliage goes yellow and dries off.

 Graham, you should have harvested your garlic last summer.  If you leave the bulb in the ground over-winter each clove will grow in the spring, and you will get a clump of garlic.  Not really much use in the kitchen as the cloves will be fiddly to peel.

Normal bulbs, like the ones in the supermarket are grown from one clove.

Seen the advert three times now, given up. Sorry Monty!
I never saw the harvesting garlic bit - only 'this is Birmingham' ad - 3 times over!!!
Taff im told if the garlic stays in one bulb its due to not enough cold,we always plant in Oct /Nov colder the better it seems, i even for a laugh planted a sainsburys one last year and it grew just nicely a bit small but very strong (solent i think it was)im trying elephant this winter
Three of my garlic plants planted mid December have "flopped" over at the base (less than an inch from the soil) but I don't know whether this is because they've been caught with the edge of the lawn mower and nudged / squashed by a size 12 boot or whether they've decided to announce themselves ready for harvest / give up the ghost and drop dead.

Are there any other signs that would give me a clue? I didn't think they would be ready for harvesting so early especially since they went in quite late.
Steve 309

Just to confuse matters, I read somewhere (it might have been on here actually) that you shouldn't wait till the leaves go yellow, as it then keeps less well.  All a bit academic in my case as it has rust so it's coming out tomorrow, ready or not


You SHOULDN'T wait til they go yellow? Oh! I thought you were meant until they DID turn yellow.

Now I'm most confused!

I'm tempted to pull the fallen ones up tonight and hanging them to dry (would the greenhouse been too warm a place to dry them?) and see what they're like. I'm concerned with them now laying down they wont be as effective at growing any further and don't want them to rot.


Steve 309

I though that as well Clari, like onions.  And maybe it's true.  I'm confused too.  But someone will be along in a minute who knows   The tradition is to plant on the shortest day and harvest on the longest day, which is fast approaching but Ithink it's a bit later with modern varieties.

The greenhouse might be too humid, depending on the weather.


I think the shortest day tradition is for shallots or something else, certainly not for garlic.  Although I've been growing garlic for over 40 years I note it is still treated as an unusual crop in my 'Expert Book.'

Pull them as and when you need one for the kitchen, you don't have to wait until they are all harvested.

Steve 309

...wherever you have two gardeners you have three opinions.....



Lifted my floppy ones last night now they're hanging in the garden to dry. Not sure if they were ready or not but as long as they're edible! 


I think I shall instruct OH to lift his this week as they're showing signs of rust - they appear to have some nice fat bulbs so fingers are crossed