Harvest Mode: Things Are Heating Up.
This week we dish on harvesting garlic, sneaking "new" potatoes, what to do with overabundant zucchini and chard, and suggestions for more ways to learn about gardening.
Let's dive in!
It’s late July so that means it’s time to harvest your garlic. Wait until about half the foliage has turned brown. You will pull the whole plant out of the ground, but you can gently dislodge the plants with a garden fork if you need to.
You can use the fresh garlic right away or store some in the fridge, and that’s a real treat! If you want to save it through the winter you will have to cure the bulbs. To do that, hang your garlic upright with all the foliage and roots attached, in bunches of 5-10 in a dry place out of the sun with very good ventilation (we tie two bunches together and hang them over rafters in a shed). Curing takes about 2 - 3 weeks, depending on humidity, and when finished all the foliage will be brown and withered.
After they are cured, lop off the roots and tops. Save 20% for next planting year (save your biggest bulbs for planting) and store the rest for use.
Here's a quick video with good tips for harvesting and curing garlic.
Your potato plants should be looking very full by now, some may even be flowering. But don’t worry if they aren’t. It doesn’t always happen. They are still forming tubers under the ground.
It can be tricky to know when to harvest potatoes because the produce is underground. If you planted your spuds in May, meaning it’s been over 8 weeks, you can start reaching your hands down into the soil about 4-5” to steal what we call “new potatoes” to eat now. These will be thin-skinned, small to medium-sized tubers.