A couple of days before the Summer Solstice I pulled up our garlic. Most of it had flopped over and the leaves were starting to yellow. I would've liked to have left it in for another few days but as we had heavy rain forecast, I seized the moment and yanked those babies...or would they be mamas?!

They basked in the sun for the afternoon and were then placed under our verandah on an old work bench to dry out further.

Skip forward a little while and they had wilted enough for me to feel comfortable with cleaning them up and trimming their roots.  To clean them up for storage, the outer papery layer was rubbed off and added to the compost bucket. It's quiet, satisfying work this paper removal!

Again, I would've liked more time to dry them further but as we've got nowhere really to store them while they drape somewhere to dry, I reluctantly chose to braid them today as well (I was actually a little excited, too, what can I say?)!

Braiding garlic is just like braiding hair - start with a 'plait' and then add a bulb or two with each move of the outer 'strand' into the center. Again, immensely satisfying work, this braiding!

My total harvest produced three hefty braids, all 132 bulbs worth! Hopefully this will be enough to last us until next summer as healthy, organic, local garlic is really important to me, as is avoiding the imported chemically treated garlic that seems to dominate in the shops.

Now, where to hang these babies/mamas?


  1. Wow Christine that is an impressive crop...well done. Can't wait to plant ours in a few months.

  2. So envious. I lost all mine when i moved house. Will have to try again next year.

  3. Looks wonderful. I'm going to try growing garlic this year. That was my project for today was to read up on the subject! You gave me the motivation and the inspiration to start. Thanks!

  4. I've left some of my garlic in the garden - but reading your blog that heavy rain is coming hit home. GULP we have rain coming too. As soon as daylight I'll be out getting the last of my garlic up.
    I'm with you re not wanting to buy garlic in supermarkets & hope I've grown enough too.

    Love Leanne NZ

  5. I had no luck growing garlic - i must try again

  6. Whew. A garlic harvest is *hard* work. Congrats on an awesome bounty!

    For others who've struggled with their garlic, may I suggest Ron Engeland's _Growing Great Garlic_?

  7. WELL DONE! Fresh garlic is a real treat - I'm envious! I planted mine at the wrong time...

  8. What a great crop of garlic. I've tried to grow it without luck and agree on all the overseas garlic in the shops. I heard it's planted May, harvested about October .. is that when you planted/harvested yours? I'll give it another go next year .. I live in hope

  9. love your garlic plaits..i must attend to mine..since i pulled them out about a month ago theyve been languishing in a basket waiting to be cleaned up and stored properly..

  10. Wow, so much wonderful garlic, free from all those nasties.
    I need to have a go at growing my own I think. x

  11. Wow what a magnificent haul of garlic! I'm hoping to plant garlic as well next season. I hope mine does as well as yours has. Please keep us updated as to how well it keeps.

  12. That should keep you in supply for the year:0)

  13. I am going to leave some of mine in the ground longer in 2012. Mine have been out of the ground for a month...but I think they were ready. I was afraid they may have rotted. So next year, I will pull them when I think they are ready, but leave a few more in the ground as an experiment.

  14. sadly my garlic was a flop this year :( I hang mine under my verandah, it sways happily in the breeze all year long.

  15. They look ABSOLUTELY wonderful! We only grew a piddling amount, but we're about to buy three kilos from our grower friends!

  16. They look sooo good! With everything I have grown over the years for some reason I have never tried Garlic.

  17. I so want to master growing garlic, we buy granulated garlic to feed to our steers, but if I could only grow heaps of it I would feed it to the chickens as well (and myself of course). We currently buy organic garlic from local farmers at the market, at, gulp, $25/kg, there's none to spare for the chickens!

  18. oh yum, I've got garlic envy - they're sooo fat and pretty, I think they're my favourite crop. Nothing stores as well as garlic.

  19. It seems to come around quick, doesn't it Wendy! No sooner do we pull it up, it needs planting again!!

    Yup, Frogdancer. Exactly! I counted 'em! ;)

    Oh, no, Jaime, that's no good! I hope you manage to grow some to keep next year. :)

    How funny, Dawn. I'm glad you stumbled across my humble post and got motivated.

    It's hard to know how much is enough, Leanne. Last year we didn't have the quantity of bulbs were increased this year at planting. Rain always worries me when I've got garlic in the ground close to harvest..

    Give it another shot, Frugal Queen. It's such a fantastic staple to have on hand and nothing beats homegrown!

    Thanks, Emily! It was time consuming cleaning and braiding them but SO worth it! Must keep an eye out for this title, thanks. :)

    oh, no, Sherri, that's annoying! Hopefully better luck next year. x

    Hi living near the sea, I planted the cloves out in May and harvested a couple of weeks ago. I guess that is kind of in line with the old saying to 'plant your garlic on the shortest day of the year and harvest it on the longest'...

    It's easy to forget about them Jane, I know!

    Do, Zara! Just get some good Aussie garlic from your local fruit shop/or a friend and set them aside to plant in late autumn/early winter. It's such a rewarding crop to grow! Remember the manure and choose a nice, sunny spot for them. ;)

    I will, Cheryl. I hope it doesn't dry out and shrivel up prematurely! I may have a go at freezing some this year too..just to be safe.

    Let's hope so, Debbie ;)

    Love a good garden experiment, Hazel. Will be keeping a watch out for this one next year on your blog!

    Hmmm, we could probably rig up something under the verandah, Sue, but I'd be worried it would be too cold in winter? I like to bring them in anyway..the're such fun to admire. :)

    Ah, yes, I remember you posting about them Celia. Will you freeze all 3 kilos?

    A very straightforward crop to grow, Country life. A bit of sun, a well dug, manured patch and plenty of water while growing, they aren't overly fussy.

    I hear you, Liz, $25 is indeed gulpable. I think it does need a bit of winter chilling, but this could be replicated by placing in the fridge for a couple of weeks before planting out if you live in a warmer climate? Good luck!

    Kirsty, I'm so wrapped - it's the first crop that have all bulbed up! Usually we end up with about half that are a whole bulb the size of a single clove. The hubby has fixed some hooks in the kitchen and now we have a curtain of garlic (of sorts)!

  20. Christine that looks awesome! You must so super duper pleased. To have all of that garlic, grown by you- love it. I'm enjoying locally grown organic garlic at the moment, but I know as soon as my farmers market lady runs out, that's it for the rest of the year. I would rather go garlicless than buy the imported stuff.
    ...and where to hang it? Everywhere! Couldn't be a better new years decorations.
    Happy New Year my girl.

  21. Thanks, Brydie! I've been contemplating different ways to possibly store some garlic...freezing, pickling (?) and even drying and grinding up into a powder! Being garlic-less is no fun at all. Must take steps to avoid this at all costs! It's such a fun decoration to have hanging up..lots of garlic staring is going on in our house. Happy New Year! :)

  22. Wow I am so impressed with your garlic bounty. Lucky you! Good garlic is so fantastic. I have been buying up heaps of it as there is locally grown garlic in the shops at the moment.


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Hi there, so nice of you to stop by! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I love hearing what you are up to. Christine x

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