Posted: 10/06/2014 at 10:53
Hello Moggy, depending on the variety of garlic that you've planted, there can be a window of between six to eight weeks that your garlic can be harvested. I use a combination of factors - when there are at least 4-6 leaves still green (bearing in mind that each green leaf is a bulb wrapper); when the bulbs have clearly defined cloves (gently scrape away the dirt to check on the progress of the bulb and cover up again until it's ready) and/or if they're hardnecks, when the scapes unfurl plus the above. If that's all too much trouble, then as welshonion suggests, just lift one and use it as green garlic I'd be wary of leaving your harvested garlic in the sun for too long, the bulbs can get sunburnt and won't keep as well. Here's a link to a good site with a guide to the harvesting order of the various garlic varieties http://sev.lternet.edu/~jnekola/Heirloom/garlicFAQ.htm
my garlic has only just started to emerge - two of the early harvesting Turbans have shoots about 3" long just peeping out from under their mulch of pea straw another long six month wait before anything will be ready to lift!