The Q&A Archives: Overmature Garlic

Question: When I harvest my garlic bulbs they are mushy, and the cloves are yellowish and semi-translucent, rather than being crisp and white. The plants grew fine, and show no symptoms of ill health. What's wrong?

Answer: The cloves you're harvesting are past maturity and beginning to decompose. Garlic should be harvested after
the leaves begin to brown, but before they all turn brown. One recommendation is to harvest when 6 of the leaves are still green. This is optimal in terms of garlic maturity and its ability to stand up in storage. Allow soil on bulbs to dry, then hang garlic in a garage or other well ventilated spot (or place loosely on a slotted tray like a nursery flat and allow them to dry for a month. Then collect the bulbs and store them in a cool, dry spot. Garlic can be planted from October to December for early summer harvest, or early spring for a late summer harvest.

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