Harvesting My First Crop of Hardneck Garlic

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Freshly harvested garlic from my garden.

Freshly harvested garlic from my garden.

Inspired by another community gardener, I planted my first crop of garlic in October.     Following Dana’s  advice, I sought out the hard neck variety at a local gardening center and once planted, carefully covered the buried cloves with a pile of wood chips to protect it over the winter.    Knowing that growing garlic is a long process , I patiently watched through the winter and spring when finally, the bulbous garlic scapes appeared.    As advised, I cut off the garlic scapes to divert energy to the bulbs growing below.   The garlic scapes added a nice flavor to several of my summer dishes.

After several weeks of watching the stalks dry in the ground, I decided to finally dig the garlic up today.   I used a large shovel to dig deep below the bulbs.   The bulbs were a little smaller than I anticipated but still, I could discern a cluster of hardy cloves.    I brushed off the dirt, tied them up in bunches of 5 and hung them to “cure” on the pot rack in the kitchen.   I am told that I should let them dry for about three weeks and then store them in a cold, dry place for use through the winter.   We eat a lot of garlic in our home so this home grown crop will be a welcome addition to our recipes.

I waited for the stems to dry after clipping off the garlic scapes several weeks ago.   Ready to dig up the garlic cloves.

I waited for the stems to dry after clipping off the garlic scapes several weeks ago. Ready to dig up the garlic cloves.

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Tying up bunches of garlic cloves for "curing".

Tying up bunches of garlic cloves for “curing”.

Hanging the clusters of garlic bulbs next to last summer's dried birdhouse gourds.

Hanging the clusters of garlic bulbs next to last summer’s dried birdhouse gourds.

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About anaincolorado

Hi, I am an avid gardener both at home and at Rosedale Community Garden where I've had a plot for 19 years. I am very interested in learning more about gardening, how to preserve it, incorporating farm fresh produce into my cooking and living a healthy lifestyle. In addition, I am a Master Community Gardener through Denver Urban Gardens and am a shareholder at the Chatfield CSA. In 2015, I spearheaded an effort to start a community donation garden at St. Philip's Lutheran Church -- a project I will share on my blog. I am eager to share what I've learned and the adventures I had learning new things and interacting with the garden community.

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