Optimal harvesting time for garlic

Have you planted garlic in your garden? And now you are wondering when would be the perfect time to harvest garlic. Knowing when to harvest garlic is crucial because if you dig it up too soon, the bulbs will be teeny, and if you dig it up too late, the bulbs will be split and not good for eating. So determining the Right Moment to Harvest Garlic is an important thing.

Garlic is typically harvested between July and August in temperate regions, but timing can be varied based on planting date, local climate, and Cloves variety.

In this article, we will let you know the suitable time for harvesting garlic(Allium sativum), how to reap and different types harvesting methods adopted in the world nowadays.

Optimal Timing for Garlic Harvest: Essential Tips

As garlic belongs to root vegetables. It may not easy to know when harvest time has arrived because you can not see the readiness of plant. Most gardeners plant garlic in the fall and wait for the plants to sprout the following spring. But if you planted garlic in the early spring, then you can expect of harvesting in late summer. Timing is very important when it comes to culling and storing garlic.

Here are tips to know when to harvest garlic:

  • The best way to decide optimal harvesting time is simply to look at the color of the leaves. When the leaves start to get one-third brown color, and have proper size then you need to start testing the bulbs. If you do not want to wait too long, Once the leaves get to be one-third brown in color, then you should reap the cloves. Putting off harvesting cloves until after the leaves are completely brown will only result in an inedible bulb.
  • As experts suggest to harvest when several of the lower leaves go brown, but five or six up top leaves are still green—and depending on the weather. 
  • Another way to know the exact time of harvesting, is Simply remove the dirt above one or two garlic bulbs and get an idea of their size while still keeping them in the ground. If they look large size, then you can make cloves to harvest. If you find them still too small, then your garlic will need to grow a bit more.
  • If you live in an area where garlic grows well, your reaping time can take place around July or August. While for warmer climates, you can expect to be harvesting garlic as early as spring. Other factors that can affect the timing of garlic harvest besides the weather, is what kind of garlic you have planted.

How to Harvest Garlic: Beginner’s Guide

After knowing when to harvest garlic, you must know how to harvest garlic. While it seems quite simple like harvesting garlic is just a matter of digging the bulbs out of the ground, but there are few things to keep in mind while harvesting.

When you are harvesting cloves, you have to dig it out from the ground. If you try to pull it out, you will break the leaves off. Be gentle, do not pull garlic or even try to dig multiple bulbs at a time, you can safely lift each bulb individually from the ground. Place it in a safe container where it would not get jostled too much. If a bulb is sliced while digging it up. It cannot be stored.

What You’ll Need: Necessary tools for the Job

Things required for harvesting garlic:

  • Garden fork
  • Knife or kitchen scissors
  • Mesh bag (optional)

When To Stop Watering Garlic Before Harvest:

The soil of Allium sativum should continuously be moist, but not saturated, until a few days before harvest. If the leaves of garlic start to decline, stop watering the plant.

Secondly, If we had partial control over the rain, we would like the soil to start to dry out 5-7 days before harvesting. This also depends on your soil’s moisture capacity. A dry spell will help to cure the garlic.

Garlic Types for Planting: Making the Choice

When you are shopping for garlic, you’ll find a wide variety of types available in the market. I’ll just talk about the differences between hardneck and softneck garlic in this post.

Difference Between Softneck Garlic vs. Hardneck Garlic?

What is Hardneck Garlic?

Hardneck garlic name is derived from the hard “neck” protruding from the bulb’s center. Unlike softneck garlic, it can endure colder climates and yields larger, more easily peeled cloves.

What is Softneck Garlic?

Softneck garlic, as the name suggests, it doesn’t have such a hard neck and doesn’t grow scapes. It tends to be more adaptable to warmer climates and has a flexible, braided stem. The bulbs of softneck often contain more cloves, but they are typically smaller and harder to peel than hardneck garlic.


So, I am sure that after reading this article you are able to know when to harvest garlic and how to ensure proper harvesting without any physical damage in product. Optimal timing really matters when it comes to harvesting garlic. Whether you are planting garlic in fall or spring, knowing the right moment before cutting really ensures optimal bulb size and flavor.

Harvest garlic between July and August in temperate regions, earlier in warmer areas. Look for yellowing or browning lower leaves as a sign it’s ready. Focus on leaf color, when one-third color of leaves turn brown, it’s time to dig in. Also do not forget to use gentle hands, and proper tools for harvesting garlic.

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When is garlic ready to harvest?

Garlic is ready when half of its leaves are getting yellow or brown colour; usually the lowest leaves turn colors first.

What time of year is garlic ready for harvesting?

Garlic is ready for picking in the spring season; it takes eight months to harvest garlic after sowing seeds in the fall.

Do you have to wait before you can eat garlic after picking?

Garlic can be consumed as soon as they are harvest or can be stored for long periods.

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