A bumper crop of garlic

Look at the fancy use of light and shadow

There is nothing better than a successful harvest. After months of work and effort when something in the garden succeeds without too many problems I consider it a good day. This was my second year to grow garlic and because of the changes I made this year I should have enough for a replant in the fall plus enough to eat until then. Next year, I intend to build a new bed and grow enough garlic for the year plus the replant, much like I do with my hot peppers now. That is enough back patting for the day since I know the season has barely begun and there are so many other things that will go wrong.

Tiny corn stalks they are not

On to the garlic. I pull the garlic when there are two to three green leaves left on the plant. If the soil is loosened with a small shovel each bulb should pull free by hand. Do not pull too hard because you do not want to break the stalk from the bulb. Next shake off the excess dirt. When all the bulbs are pulled they need to be dried out. I like to set up a piece of plywood over a couple 2×4’s to make a simple drying table in the garage, but any space out of direct sunlight and somewhat cool will work. Next drape the bulbs over the edge of the wood so they don’t touch the ground and spread them out so they are not piled on top of each other. After about a month the garlic will be ready to braid and hang up which I will talk about in a later post. If you cannot wait, the garlic can be eaten fresh out of ground but if they are dried out they will last at least a year in the right conditions. I usually cut a few bulbs while digging them out and those make for some excellent meals (or eating raw when no one wants to be kissed.)

About Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

This blog attempts to collect some of the things I try to create with food and booze. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail. My hope is to entertain and maybe help people think a little harder about what they decide to eat and drink.
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51 Responses to A bumper crop of garlic

  1. joshuafagans says:

    Very cool! Haven’t tried growing garlic yet. This looks great!

  2. Such gorgeous photos! Fantastic tips. Do you roast any of the garlic?

  3. TasteFood says:

    Love garlic! I’ve never tried growing my own, and now I wonder why.

  4. Hi Greg and Katherine,
    I love reading your blog, so I would love to share my recently acquired “Versatile Blogger Award” with you. Check out my post about it for more info if you’ve never heard of it. Kind of a fun way to share cool blogs with our readers
    http://georgettesullins.wordpress.com/
    Congrats and thanks for your great writing, photography and of course, the food!

  5. ChefMom says:

    Beautiful and yum! I’m dreaming of fresh roasted garlic now…

  6. It is very satisfying harvesting something that you have grown yourself and then still reaping the rewards of eating it for a long while after is even better. Looking forward to some garlicy recipes.
    🙂 Mandy

  7. I so wish we had planted garlic this year! You´ve got a great crop. The taste of fresh garlic is so different from later in the year. And there´s nothing wrong with garlic kisses between two consenting garlic eaters! 🙂 Alioli anyone?!

  8. I absolutely love how you’re growing a garden. My grandmother used to have one and my mom wants one so badly. When she moves down south she will start growing again. Wonderful post and good looking garlic

  9. I’ve always wanted to grow garlic. I need to have my dad build me another garden bed, I’m running out of room to grow stuff. I love eating garlic raw, I don’t care if I smell b/c it’s so darn good and good for you! Luckily my husband loves garlic too so we can smell bad together! 🙂
    Lovely photo’s and post about your garlic bulbs, looking forward to the follow up post.

  10. I love garlic but have never grown it myself. Your pictures are quite nice!

  11. gisellecagli says:

    I really admire you! Harvesting is something out of my league. Even though I don’t have a garden to grow my veggies, I have lots of herbs in my balconny !!

  12. That first picture is amazing! really!
    Thank you for all the info..
    I have 4 potato salads for Katherine on my blog..hope she likes them..
    The daring cooks this month challenge was healthy potato salad..
    here is the link to this month’s round up..I hope she finds something she likes 🙂
    http://thedaringkitchen.com/recipe/healthy-potato-salads-around-world

  13. Colline says:

    Would never have thought of growing my own garlic!

  14. Looks great! I remember the first year I grew garlic – my city-boy husband was SO disappointed that more than half the harvest had to go back in the ground… “You took the biggest ones,” he sniffled…
    We’re nearly self-sufficent in garlic now, but the last month before the new batch is kinda’ sparse – too many of the cloves get squishy…
    Looking foreward to the first green garlic soup of the season!

  15. rutheh says:

    I can almost smell it! Fresh garlic. Minced, sliced, mashed, roasted, chopped, you name it! Garlic enhances everything. (well, maybe not vanilla ice cream)

  16. sallybr says:

    Me and my beloved are probably the worst gardeners in the world, so I admire your beautiful crop of garlic, and wish some of your green “thumbness” could be transferred by email 🙂

    actually, we did have good luck with serrano peppers some years ago, and herbs do reasonably ok, but anything else is a disaster. I can kill mint just by looking at the plant.

  17. Wow, beautiful garlic! Nothing beats the taste and satisfaction that comes with home grown produce. 🙂

  18. Your garlic looks great! Congrats on a successful crop!

  19. spicegirlfla says:

    You are definitely admired….. I too have selected you to receive the Versatile Blogger Award!!

  20. martko1964 says:

    The garlic looks great. Nothing better tasting than home-grown garlic.

  21. Garlic is my favorite! I can eat it fresh, with a slice of bread and a pinch of salt.
    Thanks for promoting it 🙂

  22. Much kudos…to grow garlic, what sort of climate do you need? (I’m in UK) I am completely challenged when it comes to any sort of gardening- except I have tried to grow some herbs in small pots in my garden…and garlic would be an excellent addition, I should say. My friend used to make this wonderful dish of escargot, garlic and cheese…snails swimming in garlic I called it- one reeked for a whole week afterwards but, oh, so worth it…lol.

  23. foodtable says:

    Great pictures! Never thought about growing garlic but what a fine idea. 🙂

  24. SimpleP says:

    Love the garden photos! Makes me want to be outside in my garden right now. Can’t wait to see some of the great recipes you make with your garlic.

  25. Annie says:

    There is nothing more satisfying working in the kitchen than when you’re cooking with food you’ve grown yourself! I loved this article…a perfect example of ‘from garden to kitchen’!

  26. Korena says:

    I’m pretty jealous of your garden right now. I’m currently trying to grow some veggies in containers on the back porch, and it’s not really working. The only thing that seems to be thriving are the aphids on the chives!!

  27. Andrea says:

    I have always wanted to grow garlic! How long does it take? What do you mean replant? Think it would work in Containers?

  28. midaevalmaiden says:

    hmmm excelent posting but if left me hungry for garlic and more info. Where do the baby garlic seeds come from? Can I just plant the cloves like they were potatoes? And you can plant them in fall too like a regular bulb? I wonder if I can go plant some right now or if Ive missed the season. Im in zone 5 east us.

    ok, sorry for all my questions. You don’t have to answer them I know I can google it. But Im lazy and reading blogs is more enjoyable than research. I love Garlic, even the smell is pleasant to me. 🙂

    • I use a seed company called Territorial and plant in the fall. I’m in zone 7B. I’m going to do a post on braiding and will have all this info in it, not to keep you waiting.:) I think you have time before you plant! I think you’ve missed this season. But feel free to check that, different zone and all.

  29. This photo is gorgeous. Who would have thought garlic and dirt could look beautiful but you make it so. : )

  30. Caroline says:

    You are way too cool for me. You have a legitimate GARDEN, and I’m extremely jealous. My apartment doesn’t lend to planting anything. But, we do have a miniature basil plant that sits in our kitchen window sill. Pathetic, I know.

  31. nancyc says:

    I love using garlic in my cooking, but have never grown my own-thanks for the tips! I’ll have to try growing it next year!

  32. Homegrown garlic tastes so much better, and that looks to be a bumper crop. Good stuff.

  33. Sara says:

    This is our second year growing garlic. Love it–so easy to grow, and fresh garlic really is different! It’s amazing to me that I was able to replant successfully from last year too.

  34. I have never raised garlic either but love it in anything. Next year, I am going to try it.

  35. ....RaeDi says:

    What a blessing ~ with as much garlic as I use, I wish I were up to gardening this year, will you be showing how you braid the garlics?….RaeDi

  36. Well done on the garlic. Bad idea on my part reading your blog when I’m hungry. Time for dinner… (oh yes, there will be garlic!)

  37. Pingback: Squashed squash hopes | Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

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