Caring for Garlic in Late Spring

Caring for Garlic in Late Spring
After your garlic has produced scapes (hardneck varieties) your bulbs are really starting to size up. Keep your garlic weeded throughout the growing season as it does not compete well with weeds. Since garlic is a heavy feeder a dose of a good organic all purpose fertilizer (higher in phosphorus) can be worked into the soil. You can start cutting back on the amount of water they are getting (if you irrigate), but you don’t want your garlic to dry out. Once your garlic has 3-4 dead bottom leaves you will want to stop watering. You can dig your garlic in a couple of weeks. If you are unsure if your hardneck garlic is ready to harvest dig up a test bulb to see how well the bulb has sized up. If it is nice and large, you can dig up the remaining bulbs. Don’t harvest too soon or you may have small bulbs, too late and the wrappers may have broken down and your garlic may not keep as long. If this happens eat these bulbs first. Softneck garlic is a little different than hardnecks. Softnecks are ready for harvesting when the top of the plant falls over, similar to onions.
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