Now it’s time to harvest the early garlics. The bulbs are beautiful this year. But the leek moth have been foraging on my garlic. I have sorted them so that the healthy garlic dries with the top, the ones attacked with out top. I found one garlic where the leek moths larva had gnawed a hole out from a clove. That garlic is now on the kitchen table to be cooked these days.
When I decide to harvest the garlic, it’s after counting the leaves. The leaves wither one by one, starting with the lower leaves, from the bottom up. Only the green leaves can makes the scales covering the garlic cloves. By counting the green leaves I can figure out how many scales the dry garlic will have after curing. At least two scales are needed, as the upper leave only produce a scale for the inner half of the cloves. The next leave produce a scale covering the first scale (with its cloves) and the second row of cloves. In some cultivars there can even be more than two rows of cloves, thus needing more scales. I’ve decided to harvest when 4-5 green leaves remain. But as garlic increase size significantly in the weeks before harvest, one also want to harvest as late as possible.