I harvested garlic at my village allotment plot a few weeks ago, covered in rust the plants looked very sorry for themselves but the bulbs were a decent size. However, a quarter of the crop was lost to rot and a fungal disease. The time had come to harvest garlic in my veg garden, I checked the plants and noticed a touch of rust, although they looked better than my allotment garlic before pulling. I used my hand fork to ease the bulbs from the soil, I was pleased to pull larger bulbs with no sign of rot.
I drape garlic over the side of the raised bed after harvesting to allow earthworms to free themselves from the roots and drop back into the soil, before dark I gather all the bulbs up and put them inside the greenhouse in trays or on racks to dry for about a week. To store garlic I hang bulbs in nets (recycled from fruit punnets or satsuma nets), or plait the garlic bulbs together to form a bunch.
I harvested all the garlic in July, since then it has been laid out on racks and dried to a perfect ‘rustle’ but there’s plenty left and it needs to be stored. I’ve decided to have a go at plaiting it. I think the bulbs look visually appealing hanging in a plait and it’s a useful way to have the bulbs to hand too – just pluck them as and when you need them. Here’s how I did it:
I started with three bulbs complete with long stem, plait the stems together tightly just as you would for hair styling, an inch or so will do.
Add another three bulbs to the plait, joining each of their stems to one of the other stems in the plait, continue this process until you’ve used up all of your bulbs. Plait any excess stems for a really lovely look and hang it up in a dry place, such as a shed or kitchen.
I’m sure there are fancy ways of plaiting garlic but I’m pretty chuffed with my attempt and it does the job. Have a go yourself!