Sunday 24 July 2016

2016 Garlic Harvest

After a few years of growing only Red Russian Garlic (a hardneck Rocambole variety), I added Music (a Porcelain type).  And last fall, I planted three other garlic types - Majestic Porcelain, Mennonite Porcelain and German White Rocambole.

The last three types are shown in the main photo (L to R: Mennonite, German White, Majestic).  I've used a few (mostly the Mennonite) earlier in the season, but should have ended up with 8 or so of each.

The German White was to the right of the Mennonite Porcelain in the garden bed and it is likely that I've mixed the two up as I seem to have more of those than I planted!  Or for that matter, I could have mixed them all up when harvesting as the rows weren't quite as straight as I had thought they were when planting.  They all look very similar to me ...

I'm pretty happy with the results as most of the bulbs have a good size and seem to be curing well enough for storage.

Mennonite Porcelain

Majestic Porcelain

German White Rocambole

And the Red Russian:

And Music:

But the harvest was not without problems.  I think that I left them in the ground too long and some have come out a bit mushy.  When I separated the cloves of the mushy bulbs, they were sticky and have a pungent odor (almost like roasted garlic).  This happened with some Music, Red Russian and Mennonite, all of which were in different beds, but all harvested around the same time.

And some of the Music bulbs, though not mushy, have a bluish-green tint.  I'm keeping those ones separate from the others in case it is abnormal.  If anyone has any idea what that might be, I'd appreciate some input - I really don't want to toss them so hoping they are OK to eat (the only reference to "blue-green" on bulb is Penicillium Decay but I don't think that's it as mine aren't rotting at all, they just seem discoloured).

some bulbs have a bluish-green tinge

I will likely pop by the Garlic Festival in a few weeks to pick up some seed garlic for planting this fall (I definitely don't have enough to eat and plant).  And I will check with a few of the growers to see if they have any ideas what this might be.


  1. Nice looking garlic. I don't think you harvested too late. When you do that, the bulbs start to open up and the cloves separate, but they don't become mushy. You may have picked up some garlic disease, which can cause the mushiness and odor. I would definitely separate those from the other bulbs. The greenish tint you show on some bulbs looks OK to me and is probably just coloration on the outer skins of the bulb.

  2. Even with the problems your garlic harvest is far superior to mine! You should take some of the problem heads with you to the festival to show the growers, I imagine they could tell you right away what the problem is, especially if you buy some of their garlic. I'm going to miss fresh garlic, I'm giving up on growing my own.

  3. I think your garlic is looking great - hopefully the soft bits are just off pieces and not some type soil borne disease. Hopefully you get some answers at the garlic festival. I've still to pull my garlic and am sort of dreading it with all the vole holes in that bed...the recent downpour we had a couple of days ago doesn't bode well for it either.