It's Time to Harvest Garlic!

It’s garlic season and our crews have been busy in the field.

While the time to harvest garlic differs from zone to zone, the garlic being grown at Seed Savers Exchange is ready for harvest. After it’s dug up from the ground, it goes through our processing steps to be ready for purchase in our catalog and online for planting in your garden. Take a peek at some of the varieties we have available:

Our garlic will be ready to ship around September 12, so order now for the best availability. (We’ve already sold out of a few varieties!)

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Harvesting Garlic

If you’re ready to harvest your own garlic, here are a few tips:

  • Harvest garlic after leaf die-back begins and there are still five green leaves remaining on the plant – sometime in June or early July depending upon the weather conditions that year and your zone. Do not wait too long or the bulbs will begin to separate in the ground.

  • Dig the garlic carefully, do not pull the stalk or it will separate from the bulb. Gently brush most of the dirt off – do not wash. Be careful not to bang the garlic against a hard object or each other. It will bruise. Remove from the sun immediately.

  • Tie in a bundle of 6-10 and hang in a shaded, dry, well-ventilated shed or garage. Leave hanging for 4-6 weeks.

  • After thoroughly drying, trim off the roots and cut the stalks off about 1 1/2 inches above the bulb. Store in net bags – old onion bags are good. For optimum storage, hang in an area with 45-55 percent humidity and a temperature of 50-70 degrees. Do not refrigerate.

  • Hold back your nicest bulbs for replanting.

Information provided late Seed Savers Exchange member Darrell Merrell of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Learn more about growing garlic.

Ready to enjoy your garlic harvest? Try out this pesto recipe from one of our Seed Savers Exchange staffers.

Chard Pesto

1/2 cups tightly packed chard leaves

1/2 cup tightly packed fresh basil

1/2 cup olive oil

Juice of 1 medium-sized lemon

1/3 cup walnuts or almonds

1/3 cup grated parmesan (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste

2-3 cloves garlic

Thoroughly rinse the chard and basil. To measure, roll both tightly into a measuring cup, then place in a food processor or blender. Add the olive oil, walnuts, lemon juice, parmesan, salt, and pepper. Blend until well combined and smooth.