When the garlic is harvested, how well and how long it will be stored directly depends. It is often difficult to guess at the time of collection, because the garlic ripens at the time when there is most of the work in the garden. But, it is very important not to miss this important moment, so that all efforts are not in vain and the fruits are well preserved until the next harvest. Below you will see when to dig garlic in the Moscow region and how to do it right.
When to harvest garlic
The harvesting of garlic directly depends on the weather conditions of the region, the time and method of planting. The ripening period for fruits is approximately the same in different regions. But still, in some areas the spring is earlier, in others, on the contrary, it comes later. It depends on this when the active growth of the bulbs begins.
Weather conditions are also of great importance. In moderately warm climates, the heads ripen faster, and already at the end of July, you can start harvesting. If the summer turned out to be rainy with sharp temperature changes, then you may have to dig up the bulbs ahead of time and leave them to dry in a dry room.
Also, a lot depends on the type of garlic:
- Winter garlic (or winter garlic) is planted in the garden in the fall. Already in the spring, the heads will fully ripen, and it can be removed from the garden. Usually, this garlic is very large and high yielding. It is distinguished by its erect and tall stems.
- Summer or spring garlic is planted in early spring. The bulbs can be harvested already in summer. This species is not that big, but it has a much longer shelf life.
As you can see, there are many factors that determine when the bulbs are harvested. In order to do this on time, all these points must be taken into account.
When to harvest winter garlic
Winter garlic is fully ripe by mid-July. In regions with a temperate climate, the heads must be removed from the beds already a week before the end of the month. In the Moscow region, this period may last a little longer, but not more than a week.
Attention! After the heads are ripe, they are left in the garden for another week. Thus, the bulbs dry out and ripen better.
When to dig up spring garlic
This kind, naturally, ripens longer than the winter one. It is necessary to dig up spring garlic 2 weeks later than its early "relative". Usually this time falls at the end of August. In colder climates, the heads are dug only by September. Of course, it all depends on the weather conditions. The harvest time may vary slightly each year. Due to frequent rains, garlic can ripen even in mid-September.
How to determine when garlic is fully ripe
Experienced gardeners can easily determine the degree of ripeness of the fruit by appearance. A sign that the fruits are already ripe will be yellowed and drooping lower leaves. If such a phenomenon is observed closer to the end of July, then this, of course, indicates the ripeness of the fruits. If you notice dry leaves in the midst of the growing season, then most likely the garlic is sick or needs watering.
You can also determine the ripeness of the fruit by the arrows, which are formed on the plants around mid-June. In order for the garlic to direct all its forces to the growth of fruits, it is customary to break out such arrows. But still, you can leave a couple of pieces, by which we will determine whether the fruits are ripe or not. Ripe garlic has a firm and straight arrow. The seed pod at the top should crack and the seeds should show out. It is during this period that the bulbs are dug up.
Important! The method described above is only suitable for winter garlic, because spring garlic does not release shooters.
In this case, it is necessary to monitor the leaves and stems. In ripe garlic, they dry out and lie on the ground. Now you can check the maturity of the bulb by digging one of the soil. If it is fully ripe, you will understand it by the following signs:
- dense and solid head;
- the scales are located in at least 3 layers;
- easily detachable teeth;
- the film is easily removed from the teeth.
It is very important to collect the bulbs on time. Otherwise, the heads may crack and expose the teeth. Such fruits are poorly kept fresh. In addition, they will not be suitable for planting next year.
Harvesting and storage
Watering of the plants should be stopped a month before harvest. And in 7 days it would be nice to dig a little ground near the bulbs. Thus, the heads will ripen faster. It is necessary to remove fruits from the garden on a warm day.
The collection process consists of the following stages:
- The fruits are dug in with a pitchfork or a shovel. Pulling the bulbs yourself is not recommended, as this can damage the prongs.
- After that, the rest of the soil is removed from the bulbs by hand. In no case should you shake or beat the garlic on the ground.
- The dug out garlic is laid out in rows for further drying. In this form, the bulbs should be in the garden for at least 4 days.
- Now you can trim dry stems and leaves.
Some gardeners prefer to immediately remove the bulbs in a special room and dry them only there. Thus, you can save the crop from sunburn and unexpected rains. True, in the room the heads will dry out a little longer than in the fresh air. In this case, the garlic will dry out in about 2 weeks. After complete drying, the fruits should be cut and sorted by size.
Attention! The small heads should be consumed immediately. Larger fruits are better stored, so they are left to winter.
Someone weaves bundles from bulbs and keeps them hanging. Others put the heads in cardboard boxes and leave them in a dry room. To create better conditions, you can shift the layers of the heads with parchment. Wicker baskets are the best storage option. Fresh air can easily enter them, so the bulbs can be stored longer.
Winter crops are best stored in a cellar or refrigerator. Such conditions will slightly extend the period of its suitability. Spring garlic is stored better, even in a warm room, it will not lose its properties.
As we have seen, it is important not only to grow strong bulbs, but also to dig them up in time. The ripening time for garlic in the Moscow region may differ depending on the variety and weather conditions. It is very important to keep an eye on the appearance of the plants. It is he who will tell you that it's time for the harvest. It is also very important to store the dug heads correctly. By following all the above rules, you can extend the shelf life of the heads until the next harvest.