Garlic harvesting at the start of July

Way back in December I planted garlic in containers. Recently, I started to think about harvesting them: I could have left them in for another few weeks maybe, but from what I can gather bulb yield don’t increase much after midsummer; the bulbs just tend to separate into their cloves. The spears had become as thick as bamboo (50p piece for scale):

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although they hadn’t actually scaped yet (thrown up a flower head). I take it this was down to having them in small containers, or maybe just planting too late.

Regardless, it felt like time to harvest. From the containers described here, the bulbs were as follows:

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Although none of the bulbs was much bigger than a ping-pong ball, I think smallness is expected of Solent Wight. They were generally of good quality, entire and undamaged, which felt like a success in itself.

From necessity as much as anything else they were planted originally in a hodge-podge of differently sized pots. Gwenfar is doing a trial into the yield from one-, two- and three-bulb containers, but I wasn’t doing anything quite as scientific as that. The only difference I found between containers is that the five- and six-cloved containers yielded the most consistent size, Meanwhile, the single clove I put in a container on its own sprouted more than one spear, and ultimately provided this odd bulb cluster:

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I didn’t weigh the harvest—difficult to do with the stems still attached—but it’s not a bad one:

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They’ve been moved around a bit to find the best place to dry them, and are currently drying under glass, but we’ll see where’s best. It’s just nice to have had a (rather small) success this season! Especially with garlic, which is just yum.

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6 comments

  1. Julieanne · July 17, 2016

    That’s a good harvest from containers. I used to grow Solent Wight at my lottie and they can get quite big, so once you are able to get your veg garden going… You won’t get scrapes with Solent Wight as they are Softneck’s. It’s only Hardnecks that send up the scrapes. Enjoy eating your garlic! And if you want to try growing any Hardnecks for next season, I’ll be giving some away in September 🙂

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    • jpstacey · July 19, 2016

      Ah, I knew there were other differences between hard- and softneck (hardneck are hardier?) but hadn’t spotted the scapes not appearing when we grew Solent Wight alongside two types that did scape, ages ago. Very good to know in the future!

      (I’ll almost certainly be growing garlic again. It’s always worth it, as they seem to grow in quite small containers, and the flavours of the named varieties are amazing.)

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      • Julieanne · July 26, 2016

        Bizarrely, the difference between hardnecks & softnecks is nothing to do with hardiness. Hardnecks have scrapes, which I guess makes their stem harder, and Softnecks don’t, so not such a hard stem. This is my guess. I know this is the difference, but am only guessing this is the reason for the difference.

        The ones you had in the past with scrapes were the ones I gave to Kate from my Hardneck collection.

        I’ll be giving away some hardneck cloves in Autumn, if you want any.

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      • jpstacey · July 26, 2016

        I’ll always go for more garlic, if we’ve got space!

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  2. Pingback: Planting 2017’s garlic | The next square metre
  3. Pingback: Bumper harvest of garlic: but why? | The next square metre

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