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.