Gardentalk – Cleaning and curing your garlic harvest

Sam Bertoni and Joe Orsi of Orsi Organic Produce harvest the scapes of nearly 2,500 garlic plants that are already 3-4 feet high. In this picture taken in early July, the tips of some of the leaves are just beginning to turn yellow. Orsi says when half of the leaves are yellow, then it’s time to harvest the entire garlic plant. (Photo by Matt Miller/KTOO)

When half of your garlic plants’ leaves turn yellow, then that’s the signal to harvest.

Joe Orsi follows that guideline for his small commercial operation located out the road.

In the latest edition of Gardentalk, Orsi described how he uses a special tool to harvest a lot of garlic at one time. But most gardeners can simply dig down to the bulb to carefully harvest the bulb. Never pull them up by the leaves.

Orsi also soaks or washes the soil off the garlic bulbs before peeling or removing the first few layers of wrappers or the skin surrounding it. Then, he chokes or gathers them up in bunches of five to hang for several weeks to dry out.

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