WHEN WE RETURNED FROM OUR FOURTH OF JULY TRIP it was time to pull the garlic that I planted last fall. I planted six types. In 2008 I gave up the ‘seed’ garlic I had been using for fifteen years in favor of trying two new varieties. I did not have good success with either one. Last summer my friend Betty gave me a large head of hardneck garlic (variety unknown) to plant; a head each of soft and hardneck from our friend Terry (varieties unknown); a head each of Inchelium Red and Chesnok that I bought at Fall City Farms in October when we went for pumpkins; and Italian White that I planted originally in 2008 (harvested very small heads).
I pronounce this year’s harvest a success! My goal is to have enough garlic to last into late spring. The largest heads were from the Inchelium (a couple are baseball sized!) and the Betty variety. I shake the dirt off of the heads and lay them on the potting bench, where it is cool with good circulation and there is rain protection from the eaves of the house.
I let the garlic dry for a couple of weeks before completing the cleaning for storage. A great reference book is Growing Great Garlic by Ron Engeland.