Beginner to Intermediate Gardeners: 3 Best Tips for Harvesting & Curing Garlic

So, you’re a beginner to intermediate gardener who planted garlic cloves in the fall and now it’s finally time to dig up those garlic bulbs and see the fruit of your labor. As a home gardener with a few years of gardening experience under my belt, who is taking a social media class from Northwestern University through, I found two articles that explain various tips on how to harvest and cure garlic posted an article titled, Learn How to Care for Garlic, Make Your Harvest written by Jessica Walliser. She mentions the importance of removing the scapes (long flowering stems) from the garlic weeks before harvest time because this encourages the garlic to grow bigger bulbs. She suggests that the best time to harvest garlic is when 50% of the plant has yellowed. The article goes on to state that the best way to cure garlic is to hang them upside down or on a newspaper in a cool dark place for 2-3 weeks.

Infographic is my own, made on also has an article about garlic harvesting titled, How to Harvest and Store Garlic by Marie Iannotti. The article states that the best time to harvest garlic is when 3-4 of the bottom leaves have died while 5-6 green leaves still remain. It goes on to recommend digging around the garlic to loosen them from the soil while making sure to never pull the garlic from the ground because that can cause damage to the bulbs. The article goes on to recommend curing the bulbs in a well-ventilated room or in a dry shady spot outside for 3-4 weeks.

Drawing on these two articles and my own experiences harvesting and curing garlic, I have listed three action items that you should take if you want to properly harvest and cure your garlic for storage:

  • Harvest When Yellow – It’s time to harvest garlic when 3-4 of the bottom leaves turn yellow.
  • Dig Around Plant – Do not pull the garlic out of the dirt or puncture the garlic with your shovel.
  • Store in Shade – In order to cure, garlic needs to be stored in a cool, shady, & dry location for 3-4 weeks.

Starting today, harvest your garlic when 3-4 of the bottom leaves are yellow, dig around the garlic to remove it from the dirt and store your garlic bulbs in a cool, shady, & dry location for 3-4 weeks and you will be able to enjoy your delicious homegrown garlic for months to come.

Want to learn more about garlic? Check out my garlic harvesting tutorial, garlic planting tips & garlic planting tutorial articles.

Hello, my name is Megan and I am an avid home gardener who loves to try out new plants as well as stay true to my tried and tested favorites. I created this blog to give gardening advice and provide inspiration to beginner to intermediate gardeners. I am taking a social media course from Northwestern University on Please feel free to connect with me on Twitter and Instagram.

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