The June gloom has put a damper on parts of the garden. The garlic has grown, but in my heavy clay soil it has been way too wet. The leaves have been sliming out more than drying. Usually garlic is harvested in the middle of July instead of the beginning. If I did it would be larger as more energy gets directed to the bulbs. I tried to put plastic over it to keep out the rain, but it just soaks in from the sides.
Everyone has their own time when they decide to harvest the garlic. I've heard anywhere from letting three leaves on the bottom die (in climates like ours) to letting six leaves die (typically in CA type climates). Sometimes they say wait until there are only six (or four) leaves that are still green on top. I'm going with the earliest harvest. I have three leaves on the bottom that have died.
Since I don't have a huge patch, I carefully dug it up with a trowel. I didn't want to accidentally stab one of my cloves with a garden fork. I didn't want to bruise it with a shovel. The bed is destined to have broccoli or Chinese cabbage in it eventually but for now I'll leave it fallow.
As soon as my garlic was dug, I put it in the garage to dry. We redid our windows last year and I still have some of the old screens. When I was done the garage smelled so good. There are four types of garlic.
The German Extra Hardy did the best in this wet wet year. The bulbs are respectable especially with the short season. I have a couple of really nice ones that I'll save for seed next year. If I like the taste I may grow more of this next year than all the others put together.
The next best bulbs were the unknown softneck from the supermarket. I planted 8, only 6 survived the winter (all the other varieties had 100% survival). One ended up very small, but five bulbs turned out very nice. Despite the death of two plants the poundage of the other bulbs may make up for the lack. If so it might be a good one to try again.
Gregorian Crystal did OK. Unless it tastes so much better than the others, I probably won't grow it again. Our wet climate was not to its liking.
Bogytar started out with a handicap. The garlic that I ordered came tiny. Tiny cloves make for tiny plants. They were the last ones to make an appearance in the spring. Some of the bulbs that I ended up with were bigger than the ones I was sent. So they may have more growth yet in them. I'll plant them again next year. There is one clove that did extremely well and I'll make sure to save it for seed.
I can't put these in the harvest tally yet. I'll weigh them once they are dry and the leaves and roots are cut off. I did get some bulbils for the tally, but then used the before I weighed them. I'm guessing they didn't weight that much anyway, but I have to get better with my scale.